Do You and Your Insurer Speak The Same Language?

InsuranceTomato “ta-motto”, potato “po-tatto”. Pronunciation is not a big problem so long as the idea is understood. However, what if two parties have different ideas of what one word means? Such could spell disaster. Take, for instance, one word.


To most the term is self-explanatory. Yet, in the insurance field, the term flood can take on a different connotation than what most home and business owners may expect. FEMA defines flood as:

“A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder’s property) from:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
  • Mudflow; or
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.”


If you have a flooded basement or other rooms due to a plumbing issue or rainstorm, your insurance coverage may not cover that type of flooding. How can you tell?

Reviewing your insurance policy for specific information concerning floods and water damage is the best way to verify that your coverage is sound. Some insurances will cover water that comes from internal sources, but not water that seeps into your home from outside sources. Therefore, look for wording that entail accidental overflow of plumbing systems (home and municipal) and natural perils like storms.

If you are having difficulty locating or understanding the terminology that is used in your policy, call your insurer and ask specific questions. They should be able to show you exactly what you are looking for in your policy. If you want a second opinion, show the policy to us. We work with insurers of all types and are well acquainted with the language necessary for proper water damage coverage.