Sunday, May 29th, 2022

Repairs and Insurance: What Qualifies as Water Damage?

Water is one of the most serious threats to your property and personal items if you are a homeowner. Your home’s plumbing system is intricate, and a broken pipe may cause considerable difficulties as well as costly repair bills – not to forget other water problems like rain, sewage problem or a dishwasher with a broken hose. It appears that your house is always just a few moments away from being flooded.

Waking up to a flooded basement is not a pleasant experience, especially when you discover your floor has been ruined. One of the first things you’ll probably wonder is, “Does my home’s insurance cover water damage?” Your basic house insurance policy will cover the cost of the damage in this situation.

Water damage is not, however, covered in all cases. Many home insurance companies offer various policies to choose from based on threat-level and anticipated damage. Basic insurance often doesn’t cover water that comes from outside your home.

Types of Water Damage Homeowners Insurance Cover

Water damage that is “sudden and accidental” (such as a broken pipe) is usually covered, while gradual damage, such as a leaking bathroom sink, is not. Flooding, such as that caused by a storm surge during a hurricane, is not covered. If your home or property has been harmed, you will require the assistance of qualified professionals. The Water Damage Advisor network connects you with the leading property damage specialists in the country and provides important information.

Insurance usually covers the following types of water damage:

  1. Burst or Leaking Pipes

When pipe bursts or leaks due to an accident, for example, if you reach for a heavy iron skillet under your sink and break a pipe while taking it out of the shelf, you should have a covered loss, and your claim should be accepted. If your cabinets are destroyed in the same way, your homeowner’s insurance should repair or replace them.

  1. Accidental Leaks in Electric Appliances

In some situations, your homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs of repairing damage caused by a water overflow from an appliance, but only if the overflow was accidental and unexpected. For example, if socks stuck in the water outflow hose of your washing machine flood the kitchen, basement or designated laundry area, your dwelling coverage will cover the damage. If other things in the laundry room, like a dryer or cabinetry, are damaged by the water, your property policy should cover the losses. However, if the incident was caused by your fault, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover it. 

  1. Water Damage as a Result of a Fire

Extinguishing a fire might result in water damage, usually covered by your house and property insurance policies. Your policy should cover the damages if your kitchen was affected by grease fire or firefighters’ water ruined the floor and furniture. 

However, if the fire was started as a result of negligence, the insurance company may refuse to pay for the damage. For example, if your cooking range or heaters had worn-out fittings and needed to be changed, and you forgot to fix it, it’d fall under negligence and you won’t receive insurance money.

  1. Rain Water

This is the most often asked question. Is rain-related water damage covered under house insurance? Yes, if the damage is caused by a storm. But it does not cover floods? 

If rain breaks a window in your living room and damages the furniture and carpeting, your dwelling coverage will normally pay for the repairs. 

Your insurance claim to repair or replace your furniture would most likely be denied if you showed negligence and didn’t close the windows. Flood losses are also not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance plans. Floods and earthquakes are often excluded from homeowners’ insurance policies. As a result, if the heavy rains cause water to pool in your home, your regular policy will not cover the damage. Homeowners in this situation can acquire flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

  1. Sewage Overflow

Is rain-related water damage covered under house insurance? We’ve previously mentioned some of the direct effects, but there’s one more thing to think about: sewage water can easily back up into your property and cause irreparable damage after the rain. In most cases, if the backup happened somewhere other than your property, such as on the street, your insurer may cover the resulting damage. 

Water damage caused by backed-up water on your property, on the other hand, is often not covered by standard home insurance plans. You have to add additional sewer backup coverage to your home insurance to cover you if you ever run into this problem.

Conclusion

Preventative measures are one of the most effective strategies to keep a property safe from water damage. The importance of routine maintenance and timely repairs cannot be overstated. Keep in mind that homeowners’ insurance only covers “unexpected and accidental” water damage, not recurrent or maintenance issues.