How is Flood Damage Different From Water Damage?

In past years, the necessity of New Jersey flood insurance has been made clear. Short of a hurricane, however, what constitutes flooding? It may be defined simply as an excess of water on land that is normally dry. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says a flood is the partial or complete inundation of two or more acres or two or more properties due to certain occurrences. These include:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal water
  • Unusual or rapid accumulation of surface water from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse of land along shore due to erosion from wave action or currents

Flood damage is the consequence of one of these events. Water damage may occur due to a broken pipe or a sewer back-up. Unless it backed up because of flooding, the damage that ensues would not be covered by flood insurance, but by another type of policy such as homeowner’s or business property.

Flood Damage Statistics

Conservative estimates for the cost of property damage from flooding say that one inch of flood water may cost $10,600 to repair. Four inches of water put the number at around $40,000. The numbers can go much higher, and do not cover the possible cost of relocation during construction.

Is Flood Insurance Necessary?

Some people believe it is best to rely on federal disaster assistance in case of an emergency. Consumers should be aware, however, that this assistance is usually a loan with interest. New Jersey flood insurance in addition to a homeowner’s policy can be the more economic choice when disaster hits.


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