Flooding

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Flooding

 

A flooding in a watercourse causing compensatory damage is understood to be a situation where extraordinary precipitation/snow melting causes exceptionally high water level causing damaging flooding. It is also compensatory flooding when extraordinary natural overflow creates wild brooks in sloping ground.  It is further an assumption that the situation causes extraordinary damage.

Extraordinary precipitation means unusual large quantities of precipitation for that location. Precipitation causing compensatory damage in relation to the expression “flooding” means precipitation as rain.

As a guideline, we have to assume that the quantity of precipitation in full measure exceeds what is normal, i.e. the highest mean value for a day for that location.

If the precipitation (the rain) hits ground covered by ice or heavy snow, this has to be included in the consideration on an individual basis.

Information about the amount of precipitation shall be ordered and obtained by the surveyor, but the evaluation of the circumstances is assumed to be done by the claims departments in the insurance companies.

A wild brook is a collection of water finding new ways through the landscape or is following the natural hollows in the ground

Other overflow of water on the surface is not defined to be within the meaning of “a wild brook”. This is quite often caused by poor drainage, wrong rounding off, insufficient pipelines/trenches for the overflow of water, black frost etc.

The flow of water must be extra ordinary large in order for the conditions to qualify as flooding caused by a natural disaster.

The distinctive feature with a flooding is that the water, either is or has been moving. Collection of water in hollows of the ground, does not fall within the definition of a flooding.

When a water course floods its normal cross section, this might create wild brooks in sloping ground. 

Extraordinary flooding, which the insurance shall compensate, causes normally 2 types of damages:

1.

Flooding from water course causing damage to built-up areas. At the same time, damage to land property, communication, electricity supply etc. also occurs, so more than one part of the community is affected.
2.

Excavation/erosion of the riverbeds leading to landslides or the creation of new water courses often causing lots of damage to residential areas, etc. (e.g. Moksa at Tretten during the flooding in 1995)

If the water level in a water course becomes higher than the lowest level in a building, and the water flows into the building, the damage done by this water will be compensated under the cover with The Pool if the water comes into the building through a pipeline or over ground.

Damages directly caused by breaking-up of the ice are excepted. However, if the ice leads to an increase in the water level because of the creation of an “ice plug” and this leads to a flooding, the damage will be compensated as being caused by a natural disaster. The same applies to a landslide/avalanche stopping the water course and this leads to a flooding.

Road drains and culverts quite often become clogged , wholly or partly due to twigs and overgrow, and because of the fact that gratings over grain holes are not cleaned on a regular basis.  When these courses overflow after heavy precipitation due to such stoppage or undersizing, the damage caused by the water, is not caused by a direct natural disaster.  These drenches are not water courses but suddenly created wild brooks, which may arise under certain (extraordinary) circumstances.  This is one of several determinations of boundaries which make the task of the survey so important – the damage has to be traced back to the source of the occurrence.

The same problems also arise in water courses at blocked or too poorly dimensioned pipelines, brook closures, gratings, culverts etc.

The reason why many of these situations end up in damages, is not the large flow of water, but human  “stupidity” causing defects at the dimensions, the maintenance, cleaning etc.  Such damages are outside the definition of “damage caused by flooding”

If a flooding would have arisen irrespective of the circumstances mentioned in the paragraph above, this will be accepted as damage caused by flooding. Likewise, a sudden bunging-up of drains caused by masses/objects transported by the flood water, can not be blamed on the claimant.

Be in particular aware of wild brooks created by culverts owned by other than the claimant.  When the claimant is not to be blamed, the damage must be compensated, when the other criteria are present. The consideration of recourse is a natural part of the claims handling.  

“Kjøving”  is a problem in certain water ways during the winter season.  It is caused by the fact that the water in the water course freezes and blocks the profile of the river, causing the water not  following the profile, but floods  and covers surrounding areas with ice. “Kjøving” has been excluded from the cover.

Many companies covers now damage caused by water intrusion in buildings through pipelines or over the ground.  It is therefore unlikely that the claimant will end up with no cover, even if the cover according to Naturskadeforsikringsloven is limited..

Damages caused by precipitation and the climate are not included in the cover.  

Examples of damages falling outside the definition of flooding:

Precipitation: Hailstorm doing damage to roof covering.
Water being blown upwards on the roof and forced under the roof covering.
Water/snow being forced into a building due to a storm
Heavy precipitation/overflow – water into a building through drain pipe.
Heavy precipitation/overflow – water into a building over ground.
Ground water forced into building
Water gathered in hollows in the ground

Others: Breaking up of the ice.
Water from culverts (brooks in pipelines) where the culvert has been the cause of the damage.
Water from service pipes/road drain
“Kjøving” (i.e freezing up of  river- or brook courses over time)
“Kickback” from public or private pipelines.
Breach of a dam.

Appeal cases:
08/02 Culvert (Brook in pipeline)
05/03 Surface water.
10/06 Brook in culvert.
20/06 River in culvert
21/06 River in culvert.

Furthermore also refer to the items about claims caused by the climate and recommended appeal cases.