does home insurance cover water damage

Does Your Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Water damage can cause immense damage to your home and your belongings. To ensure that your home and belongings are adequately protected against water damage, you must know the types of damages that are included in a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Water Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover all types of water damage inside your home. Only accidental and unexpected water damages are covered by your homeowners insurance.

  • Burst frozen pipes
    A sharp dip in temperature may cause the pipes to freeze and burst suddenly resulting in flooding and damage to property. However, if it happens due to your negligence in not keeping your home adequately heated, your claim may be denied by your insurance provider.
  • Leaking pipes
    A sudden leak in the house’s plumbing leading to damage may be covered.
  • Appliance overflows
    A malfunctioning appliance may lead to an overflow of water causing damage to the home structure and the assets. If the problem is not due to a lack of maintenance of the appliance, it may be covered.
  • Extinguishing fire
    While trying to douse flames, the water from the sprinkler or the firemen’s hose may cause damage that may be covered.
  • Weather-related damage
    Severe storms and hailstorms may lead to a tree falling on the roof of the house, causing damage to the roof and the leaking water may cause damage that may be covered. The formation of ice dams during extreme cold weather conditions may cause extensive water damage. However, it must be sudden and not because of negligence on your part.

Water Damages Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

  • Damage due to lack of maintenance
    If the water damage in your home is due to the lack of maintenance of home appliances, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, it will not be covered.
  • Water backup from drains or sewers or sump pump failure
    Damage due to flooding inside the house due to water backup from drains and sewers and a malfunctioning sump pump is not covered. You may buy special coverage to cover costs caused by this type of water damage.
  • Flood
    Flood water from heavy rain and other natural elements can cause havoc to your personal property. However, this water damage is not covered and you need to buy a separate rider for added protection against flood.
  • Earth movements
    Damage to pipes caused by earthquakes, mudslides, or landslides is not covered. Instead, you need earthquake insurance to cover damage expenses.
  • Repair and replacement cost of the source of water damage
    The cost of replacing or repairing the faulty pipe or appliance is not covered.

What Must I Do to Protect My Home from Water Damage?

The key to avoiding water damage is by taking comprehensive preventive measures such as regular maintenance services and prompt repair and replacement of faulty components.

The other effective methods are:

  • Keep pipes insulated
    Freezing pipes bursting is a common occurrence that causes water damage. Regulating the temperature inside your home and wrapping pipes with insulation may help prevent the problem.
  • Check all hoses and pipes of appliances
    Check for wear and tear and other damages to the pipes and hoses leading to timely repairs.
  • Install smart leak detectors
    These devices alert you through notifications on your mobile about any leakages and also, in some cases, shut off the water supply to prevent damage.
  • De-silt water heaters
    Sediment build-up inside the heaters may damage the appliance and cause accidental leaks. It can be avoided with annual maintenance service.
  • Inspect the roof
    Check for missing or damaged shingles, unclog drains by removing leaves and other debris from the gutter, and clean snow that may otherwise form ice dams.

How Can I File an Insurance Claim for Water Damage?

The following steps will help in facilitating the process of filing a claim for covered water damages:

  • Identify the source of damage and make emergency repairs
  • Document the damages through photographs
  • Inform your insurance provider at the earliest and file a claim
  • Wait for the adjuster’s assessment that includes the extent of damage and the repair costs
  • Pay the fixed deductible and get compensated

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage by Floods?

Standard homeowners insurance does not cover water damage by floods. So, if you live in a flood-prone area, buying flood insurance from your insurance provider or a FEMA flood insurance policy can ensure added protection for your home.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage by Hurricanes?

Homeowners insurance covers water damages caused by rainwater through a damaged storm roof during a hurricane but damages due to flooding from excessive rain or storm surges are not covered.

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