When it comes to water damage, your homeowners’ insurance policy can be a little inconsistent about what it covers and what it doesn’t. You will have to read your policy document carefully to understand what is excluded and what is not. The main practice when covering water damage normally has to do with what could have possibly been prevented and what could not. This is not always easy to determine. Some insurance companies offer special types of gap insurance that may cover these discrepancies.
Here’s a detailed look at the types of water damage that your home can face and whether your home insurance policy covers them or not.
Sudden Plumbing Issues
Many basic homeowners’ insurance policies often cover sudden plumbing issues or leaks. An unexpected leak can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home and possessions. Since you had no prior warning that your pipes were damaged or your washer hose was going to malfunction, most of the damage to your property will be covered, aside from the deductible, of course.
Water Damage from Storms
One type of water damage that is covered by most basic homeowners’ insurance policies is that caused by storms. This does not include hurricane or flood damage. Those two types of storms require a separate policy. Most basic homeowners insurance policies often cover storms with heavy rains that damage your roof and create leaks. Similarly, damage resulting from ice and hail storms is also generally covered.
Your homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover any damage that is caused by poorly maintained plumbing. If you know your plumbing is old and maybe wearing out in spots, you need to take the time to make repairs while you can before they fail you completely. Having your plumbing inspected regularly will ensure that it is in good working order. It also allows you to make any necessary repairs while the problems are still small. If your pipes break while they are in poor condition, your insurance policy may not cover your claim.
Covering the Problem Source
In most cases, your homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage that water causes, but it may not pay to cover the cost of repairing what caused the damage. If your dishwasher breaks and floods your kitchen, your insurance policy may cover the water damage that is caused by the leak. However, it will be up to you to fix your dishwasher or replace it so that it doesn’t leak in the future. Your homeowner’s insurance will not pay for either of these options.
A flood can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into your home through drain pipes. Damage caused by sewer backups is expensive and difficult to repair and can also create health hazards. Even though your basic homeowners’ insurance won’t pay for damage due to a sewer backup, you can purchase water/sewer backup coverage to protect your home and possessions.
If you live in a flood plain, you will need to purchase a flood insurance policy to cover any water damage. Basic homeowners’ policies look at flood damage the same way they do earthquake or hurricane damage, i.e., they do not provide coverage for it. A separate policy may be needed to cover each type of natural disaster adequately. If you are unsure of what type of policies you need, you should schedule an appointment with your insurance provider to review and update your policy.
Dealing with water damage can be frustrating. It’s important to know what types of damages are excluded and what types of policies are needed in your area. Call our homeowners’ insurance experts at Pierce Insurance Group to learn more about water damage and what you need to do to protect yourself. We are a renowned home insurance agency in McKinney, TX. We can answer all your questions about getting water damage coverage and update your insurance plan to ensure that you are sufficiently covered.