《What is the difference of flooding and water damage?》

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Most of people don’t know the definition of “water” in insurance. In general speaking, water can be divided into “upper water” and “sewer water”, where the “upper water” includes flooding and water damage.

Today I will try to explain the difference of two types of “upper water”, flooding and water damage.

Flooding damage is the result of a large amount of water flowing over land and seeping into a building through doors and windows (like the disaster in Germany, Netherlands, etc. this summer), but water damage is the damage (may be significant, may be not) has occurred from a burst pipe within a building or the faucet without turnoff.

Common causes of floods include:

  • Natural breach or failure of a dam (like 75.8 Banqiao Dam failure in Henan, China)
  • Snowmelt run-off during Spring
  • Heavy storm rainfall leading to flash floods (like 7.20 Zhengzhou flooding disaster in Henan China this summer)
  • Tidal flooding in coastal areas

There are three distinctive types of floods:

River Flooding (fluvial) occurs when land is covered by water (either fresh or wastewater) that has been released from a river, stream, or lake.

There are three fluvial processes:

a) Erosion which is the process of materials being removed by water flow
b) Transportation is the process of the eroded material being carried away
c) Deposition is the process of the eroded materials being dumped

Urban Flooding (Pluvial) occurs when infrastructure is unable to contain and drain water generated by a combination of rain, snowmelt or storm, the typical examples are “75.8 Banqiao Dam failure” and “7.20 Zhengzhou flooding this summer”.

Coastal or Storm Surge Flood is when seawater covers dry land as a result of high tides or strong winds and waves including tsunamis.

The general water damage is easy to understand. It includes the burst of pipe due to low temperature or other reasons , the results of faucet without turnoff, mold caused by water seepage from pipes, and so on.

Regularly, residential property insurance covers the general water damage, and / not flooding (see different companies’ policy wording). The flood coverage is specifically excluded from the standard Commercial Property Policy.

Where eligible, flood coverage can be purchased as an endorsement to a Commercial Property Policy. Eligibility and pricing are partially determined by where the risk is located in relation to the Flood Return Period.

The Flood Return Period is defined in terms of flood years which describes the estimated probability of a flood event happening in any given year:

  • 10 Year Flood Zone = 10% probability
  • 50 Year Flood Zone = 2% probability
  • 100 Year Flood Zone = 1% probability
  • 500 Year Flood Zone = 0.2% probability

This article is just insurance information shared, not any insurance suggestion or consultation. Please contact a professional insurance consultant for a suggestion if you have any questions in insurance. It would be welcome and appreciation if you contact me for a professional consultant to discuss your insurance demands. My cell: 4163004768.

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