Does home insurance cover plumbing

Does Home Insurance Cover Plumbing? A Complete Guide

Plumbing problems can cause a lot of headaches and expenses for homeowners. Whether it’s a burst pipe, an appliance leak, an overflowing toilet, a sump pump failure or a flood, water damage can ruin your floors, walls, furniture and belongings. That’s why it’s important to know what plumbing issues are covered by your home insurance and what are not.

In this article, we will explore the common scenarios of plumbing damage and how home insurance can help or not. We will also give you some tips on how to prevent plumbing problems and what to do if they happen.

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are one of the most common causes of water damage in homes. They can happen due to freezing temperatures, high water pressure, corrosion, tree roots or other factors. When a pipe bursts, it can release a large amount of water that can flood your home and damage your property.

Home insurance covers damage from sudden and accidental burst pipes, but not from negligence or lack of maintenance. For example, if you leave the heat off in winter and your pipes freeze and burst, your home insurance will not cover the damage. However, if your pipes burst due to a sudden drop in temperature that you could not have anticipated or prevented, your home insurance will cover the damage.

Some examples of covered and excluded scenarios are:

  • Covered: A pipe bursts due to a faulty valve and floods your kitchen.
  • Excluded: A pipe bursts due to old age and poor condition and floods your basement.
  • Covered: A pipe bursts due to a power outage that affects your heating system and freezes your pipes.
  • Excluded: A pipe bursts due to your failure to drain and insulate your pipes before winter.

To prevent burst pipes, you should:

  • Inspect your pipes regularly and replace any worn or damaged ones.
  • Keep your home at a reasonable temperature during winter and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Install pipe insulation or heat tape on exposed pipes in cold areas such as attics, basements or crawlspaces.
  • Turn off the main water supply and drain the pipes if you are leaving your home for an extended period of time.

If you have a burst pipe, you should:

  • Turn off the main water supply and electricity to the affected area.
  • Call a plumber to repair the pipe as soon as possible.
  • Document the damage with photos and videos and contact your home insurance company to file a claim.
  • Remove any excess water and dry out the affected area with fans, dehumidifiers or professional services.

Read: Does home insurance cover Airbnb?

Appliance Leaks

Appliance leaks are another common cause of water damage in homes. They can happen due to faulty hoses, valves, seals or pumps. When an appliance leaks, it can cause water to seep into your floors, walls or cabinets and cause mold, rot or corrosion.

Home insurance covers damage from sudden and accidental appliance leaks, but not from wear and tear or faulty installation. For example, if your dishwasher leaks due to a broken hose that you did not notice or replace, your home insurance will cover the damage. However, if your dishwasher leaks due to an improper installation that you did yourself or hired someone else to do, your home insurance will not cover the damage.

Some examples of covered and excluded appliances are:

  • Covered: Dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, refrigerators and air-conditioning units.
  • Excluded: Toilets, bathtubs, sinks, faucets and showers.

To prevent appliance leaks, you should:

  • Inspect your appliances regularly and replace any worn or damaged parts.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, use and maintenance of your appliances.
  • Use high-quality hoses and fittings for your appliances and avoid overloading them.
  • Turn off the water supply to your appliances when you are not using them or leaving your home for an extended period of time.

If you have an appliance leak, you should:

  • Turn off the water supply and electricity to the affected appliance.
  • Call a repair service to fix the appliance as soon as possible.
  • Document the damage with photos and videos and contact your home insurance company to file a claim.
  • Remove any excess water and dry out the affected area with fans, dehumidifiers or professional services.

Overflowing Toilets, Bathtubs and Sinks

Overflowing toilets, bathtubs and sinks are another common cause of water damage in homes. They can happen due to clogged drains, faulty fixtures or human error. When a toilet, bathtub or sink overflows, it can cause water to spill over onto your floors, walls or ceilings and cause stains, odors or structural damage.

Home insurance covers damage from accidental overflows, but not from intentional or repeated acts. For example, if your toilet overflows due to a one-time blockage that you could not have prevented or cleared, your home insurance will cover the damage. However, if your toilet overflows due to your habit of flushing foreign objects such as diapers, wipes or toys, your home insurance will not cover the damage.

Some examples of covered and excluded scenarios are:

  • Covered: A toilet overflows due to a tree root that invades your sewer line and blocks the drain.
  • Excluded: A toilet overflows due to your child flushing a toy car down the drain.
  • Covered: A bathtub overflows due to a faulty drain stopper that does not seal properly.
  • Excluded: A bathtub overflows due to your negligence of leaving the faucet running while you are on the phone.

To prevent overflowing toilets, bathtubs and sinks, you should:

  • Inspect your drains and fixtures regularly and clear any clogs or leaks.
  • Use a plunger, snake or professional service to unclog your drains if they are slow or backed up.
  • Avoid flushing or pouring anything down your drains that can cause blockages, such as grease, hair, food scraps, paper towels, sanitary products or chemicals.
  • Turn off the water supply to your toilets, bathtubs and sinks if you notice any signs of overflow or leakage.

If you have an overflowing toilet, bathtub or sink, you should:

  • Turn off the water supply and electricity to the affected area.
  • Call a plumber to fix the problem as soon as possible.
  • Document the damage with photos and videos and contact your home insurance company to file a claim.
  • Remove any excess water and dry out the affected area with fans, dehumidifiers or professional services.

Read: Does home insurance cover roof leaks

Sump Pump Failures

Sump pumps are devices that pump water out of your basement or crawlspace if it accumulates due to rain, snowmelt or groundwater. They are designed to prevent flooding and water damage in your lower level. However, sump pumps can fail due to power outages, mechanical issues or improper installation. When a sump pump fails, it can cause water to back up into your basement or crawlspace and damage your foundation, walls, floors and belongings.

Home insurance does not cover damage from sump pump failures, unless you have added water backup coverage to your policy. Water backup coverage is an optional endorsement that you can purchase for an additional premium. It covers damage from water that backs up through sewers, drains or sump pumps. It also covers the cost of repairing or replacing your sump pump if it fails.

Some examples of how sump pump failures can cause water damage are:

  • A power outage during a storm causes your sump pump to stop working and water floods your basement.
  • A broken switch or float causes your sump pump to run continuously and burn out and water backs up into your crawlspace.
  • A faulty installation causes your sump pump to discharge water outside your home and erode the soil around your foundation and water seeps into your basement.

To maintain your sump pump, you should:

  • Inspect your sump pump regularly and test it by pouring water into the pit and making sure it turns on and pumps out the water.
  • Clean the pit, screen and discharge line of any debris or sediment that can clog or damage the sump pump.
  • Install a battery backup system or a generator to keep your sump pump running in case of a power outage.
  • Hire a licensed plumber or contractor to install, repair or replace your sump pump if needed.

If you have a sump pump failure, you should:

  • Turn off the electricity to the affected area.
  • Call a plumber or contractor to fix the sump pump as soon as possible.
  • Document the damage with photos and videos and contact your home insurance company to file a claim if you have water backup coverage.
  • Remove any excess water and dry out the affected area with fans, dehumidifiers or professional services.

Floods

Floods are natural disasters that can cause widespread water damage in homes. They can happen due to heavy rain, storm surge, melting snow or overflowing rivers. When a flood occurs, it can cause water to enter your home through windows, doors, cracks or vents and damage your structure, systems, furniture and belongings. Floods can also cause mold growth, electrical hazards and health risks.

Home insurance does not cover damage from floods, regardless of the source of water. Floods are considered an excluded peril in standard home insurance policies. The only way to get coverage for flood damage is to buy a separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer. Flood insurance covers damage from surface water that affects two or more properties or at least two acres of land.

Some examples of how floods can cause water damage are:

  • A heavy rainstorm causes a nearby river to overflow its banks and flood your neighborhood.
  • A hurricane causes a storm surge that pushes seawater into your coastal home.
  • A rapid snowmelt causes a flash flood that sweeps away your mountain home.
  • A broken dam causes a massive flood that submerges your entire town.

To protect your home from floods, you should:

  • Check your flood risk and buy flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area. You can use the Flood Map Service Center to find your flood zone and the FloodSmart website to get a quote for flood insurance.
  • Elevate your home, appliances, electrical systems and heating systems above the expected flood level in your area.
  • Install flood vents, sump pumps, backflow valves and waterproofing materials to prevent water from entering or accumulating in your home.
  • Move your valuables, documents and hazardous materials to higher floors or secure locations.
  • Create an emergency plan and kit for your family and pets in case of a flood.

If you have a flood, you should:

  • Evacuate your home if it is unsafe or instructed by authorities.
  • Call your flood insurance company to file a claim as soon as possible.
  • Document the damage with photos and videos and keep receipts of any expenses related to the flood.
  • Remove any excess water and dry out the affected area with fans, dehumidifiers or professional services.
  • Dispose of any contaminated or damaged items and materials.

Final takeaway!

As you can see, plumbing problems can cause a lot of water damage in your home. However, not all plumbing issues are covered by your home insurance. That’s why it’s important to know what plumbing issues are covered by your home insurance and what are not.

You should review your policy carefully and talk to your agent if you have any questions or concerns. You should also take preventive measures to avoid plumbing problems and act quickly if they occur. By doing so, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and money in the long run.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top