What is homeowners insurance coverage for water damage?
A faulty water heater can cause a flood in your basement, which is not a pleasant experience. Is my homeowners insurance covered for water damage?
This scenario will see your homeowners insurance policy cover the cost of the damage. A representative can help you file a water damage claim. But not all water damage is covered.
Your homeowners insurance will typically cover water damage caused by accidental or sudden events within your home. Your standard policy won’t cover water that comes from outside your house. Flood insurance can provide additional protection against flood-related damage to your home.
Water damage not covered under homeowners insurance
Your homeowners insurance coverage for water damage is dependent on the source of the damage. These are three scenarios where your homeowners policy may not provide coverage.
You haven’t taken care of maintenance issues. Water damage that results from a leaking sink over several months will not be covered by homeowners insurance.
The repair or replacement of the original source of water damage. Your homeowner’s insurance will not pay for the cost of replacing or fixing the washing machine if it caused water damage to your laundry area floor. The cost to repair or replace your floors will be covered by most homeowners insurance.
Flood damage. Flood damage will not be covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
Preventing water damage
- Even if all the damage has been covered, it is still much easier to prevent any further water damage. Here are some tips to help prevent water damage at your home.
- Clean, replace, and inspect hoses connecting to or from washers, dishwashers, water heaters, refrigerators, and other appliances.
- Water supply lines must be clear and open. They should not be buried under any other objects.
- Water heaters should be drained twice a year in order to avoid sediment buildup.
- By keeping your pipes warm, and insulated, you can prevent frozen or burst pipes. A trickle of water should be poured through pipes that connect to the outdoors.
You might consider a Smarthome water sensor. You also have Wi-fi thermostats that can prevent your home from freezing, even when you’re not there.
You can find more winterizing tips and tricks here.
Water damage vs. flood damage: an important distinction
Water damage and flooding are two distinct things. It can be difficult for people to differentiate the two. That is why it’s important to review your insurance policy carefully or ask your agent for help. The main difference between floods and normal flooding is that the water comes from nature. Flood insurance might be an excellent idea if you live close to a large body water that could possibly overflow or your area is susceptible to very heavy rains.
What is a flood, exactly?
National Flood Insurance Program has created a legal definition of floods as follows: A flood refers to a temporary condition in which water or mudflow floods two or more acres or more properties.