So you come home and discover a burst pipe and Fido practicing the doggy paddle in the kitchen. After the shock wears off, you’re wondering if it’s going to be covered by your insurance. Water damage can be extensive, and it can ultimately occur out of the blue. It is also one of the most common causes of home insurance claims. However, when it comes to home insurance, all water damage isn’t cut from the same cloth. Flood damage, sudden or accidental discharges, sewer backups, and overflows, gradual water damage, and weather-related water damage are all treated differently.
Generally, homeowners insurance covers your home itself, replacement costs, personal possessions, living expenses if your home is unlivable, and other liabilities that result from covered damages. Anything additional is usually at the discretion of your policy. At Charlotte Insurance, we offer supplemental policies that go beyond the basics, like Flood Insurance. One policy doesn’t fit all, that’s why it’s essential to speak to one of our dedicated agents who can talk you through options that meet your needs.
What Type of Water Damage is Covered?
This generally refers to rain, snow, or ice, causing damage to your home. If your floors or other parts of your home have suffered damage, a local contractor or hardwood floor company will often be able to help you determine the cause of the problem. Water damage as a result of these conditions, as well as collapsed roofs, is generally covered. However, the damage must have been caused by the weather event. If it is determined that your roof was in poor condition allowing the water to rush in and damaged your home, your insurance may deny coverage.
Plumbing problems are a bit tricky when it comes to insurance coverage. Generally, if a burst pipe results in a sudden or accidental discharge, it will be covered. These include air conditioners, water heaters, fire sprinklers, and any other active piping in your home. Appliances like washing machines and dishwashers are typically covered as well, but a replacement may not always be provided. Gradual plumbing leaks are a different issue.
If someone breaks into your house and turns all of your faucets on and then leaves, that’s considered vandalism, and damage is covered. Similarly, if someone else intentionally destroys a plumbing system and the result is water damage, you will not be responsible for costs.
What Type of Water Damage isn’t Covered?
Damage Resulting from Lack of Maintenance or Gradual Damage
If you have a leaky pipe that has been causing slow, progressive damage and you only discover it when the ceiling collapses, you’re likely out of luck. This includes mold, rot, deteriorating electrical wire, and other corrosion. You should periodically inspect your plumbing to prevent leaks and keep extensive records of any repairs and maintenance in the event a problem arises. Be sure to clean gutters and ensure your roof, windows, and doors are properly sealed.
Overflowing bodies of water, extensive storms, and other flood damages are not covered under any standard homeowners’ insurance. That’s why it’s important to purchase flood insurance as a supplemental policy.
Sewer or Drain Backups
If water or sewage backs up into your home through an outside sewer or drains and damages your floors, it is not traditionally covered by homeowners’ insurance, but additional coverages are available for these instances, as well.
Our team of dedicated agents is ready to help you protect your home and ensure that you’ve got the right coverages in place at the best possible price. Contact us today for a policy review or a free quote.