Your home is valuable, and homeowners insurance is a great way to protect that asset. But not all homeowners insurance is created equal and even the top-shelf policies might not cover all types of water damage.
Read on to learn more about what types of water damage homeowners insurance typically does and does not cover and how you can best protect your home and possessions.
What Damage Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
When it comes to insurance coverage for the structure of your home, there’s a simple rule of thumb: sudden or accidental damage is probably covered; gradual damage probably isn’t. Water damage from external sources like sewer backups or floods probably isn’t covered, but damage from a burst pipe in your home probably is.
Remember that if the damage is gradual (particularly if it was preventable), you will probably not have coverage.
Here are some examples of common water damage scenarios:
- Your dishwasher breaks and leaks a lot of water. Because this is sudden and you couldn’t have prevented it, this will likely be covered.
- Snow or rain causes your roof to cave in. Damage to your roof could be covered. However, if the insurance company finds preexisting gradual damage, you will probably not get coverage for the water damage.
- The fire sprinkler system activates in your apartment building. If the sprinkler ruins part of your apartment, the damage will likely be covered.
- Your area floods from a major storm. Flood damage is not covered by typical homeowners insurance policies.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Leaking Roof?
If your roof is leaking, insurance coverage for interior water damage will depend on the nature of the leak. Sudden leaks caused by covered damage will probably be covered. However, a gradual leak that could have been prevented by good maintenance will probably not be covered.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From a Broken Pipe?
Water damage from a pipe suddenly breaking in your home will probably be covered. However, gradual leaks probably won’t. Always check your bathroom and kitchen plumbing for gradual leaks and turn your water off before going on long trips. To prevent burst pipes during the winter, always keep your thermostat set to at least 50°F if you leave on an extended trip.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips
Since you’re paying hard-earned money for homeowners insurance, it’s important to get the most out of your insurance policy.
Check out our top water damage insurance claim tips:
- Understand your policy.
Every policy puts a limit on how much money the insurance company will pay toward a claim. Learn that limit so you can plan accordingly. Some policies have deductibles you must pay before you can claim any money. Overall, it’s important to know what kinds of damage are covered by your policy.
- Build a relationship with your insurance agent.
Your insurance agent is your best resource in the event of an accident. Learn who you should contact and when – preferably long before you need their help.
- Explore supplemental insurance, like flood insurance.
If you live in an area with a lot of floods, remember that flooding damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. Investigate supplemental flooding insurance.
- Keep a home inventory.
Store your possessions carefully, especially in areas that would be damaged by burst pipes or roof leaks. Keep an inventory of your possessions so you know what you have and how much it’s worth.
Choose Rainbow International for Water Damage Remediation and Restoration
Discovered water damage in your home? Whether or not it’s covered by insurance, Rainbow International’s IICRC-certified service professionals are ready to help you to recover from any household damage or disaster. Call (855) 724-6269 now or request an appointment online to get started.
Dishwashers are common causes of household leaks. Learn what may be causing your dishwasher woes with these troubleshooting tips from Mr. Rooter® Plumbing. Like Rainbow International, Mr. Rooter is a member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.