Hurricane Insurance Claims: Got a hole in your roof? DON’T report a ‘flood’ claim

If a hurricane has punched a hole in the roof of your home or business, you may be tempted to call your insurance agent and tell them it has rained so much that your house is now flooded.


Even if you are standing in your living room in water above your ankles – you need to know that, in the world of property-insurance claims, this is technically not a flood.

The term you want to use when reporting this type of insurance loss to your insurance company is “WATER DAMAGE.”

Believe it or not, using the word “flood” when you report property damage may improperly prejudice your insurance company’s adjuster against your claim.

The easiest way to distinguish floods from water damage is this:

  • If you have water coming into your house or business from the ground up, from below – this is flood damage.
  • Whereas, if you have rainfall entering your house from above, this generally causes water damage, and more often than not, it IS covered by your standard non-flood Property Insurance.

Need help sorting this out? You should be aware that your insurance company will assign one of its full-time professional adjusters to handle your claim. But, even though technically assigned to you, this type of adjuster’s allegiance is to the insurance company, not to you.

To level the playing field, you do have the option of hiring your own adjuster, a Public Adjuster, who represents only your interests – not those of the insurance company – to help level the playing field.