Water damage is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims. Typically water damage claims can be weather-related or non-weather-related.
According to the Insurance Journal water damage claims result in 30% of homeowner insurance claims. Non-Weather-Related water damage claims result in 19% of claims whereas weather-related claims result in 11%.
When a pipe burst, washing machines fails or your roof leaks, does your home insurance cover the damages? Here is what you need to know about water damage:
Frozen Pipe Burst
If a pipe is old or unprotected, and as water freezes it can put a lot of stress on stiff metal and plastic pipes and pipe joints. The frozen water causes blockages between the water source and the closed faucets, causing a buildup in water pressure. If more ice forms between the blockage and closed faucet, it will have no where to go and the pipe will burst. Most homeowner insurance policies DO COVER the resulting water damage unless it was caused by negligence.
Water Leak from Backyard Pool Ruins Your Lawn and Basement
Water leaks from your backyard pool that cause damage to your lawn and basement are typically not covered by your homeowners policy. The coverage that will apply will be determined by the cause of loss. The damage to your basement and personal property may be covered but likely not the damage to your lawn (unless the leak was caused by a covered peril).
Washing Machine Overflows
Most often claims resulting from broken appliances are covered as long as it was sudden or accidental. Questions to ask yourself: Did I fail to maintain the washer properly? Did sudden or accidental damage cause the water damage?
Your standard home insurance policy does not cover sewer backup. In fact, many polices have specific exclusions for damage resulting from sewer backup. You can purchase extra endorsements for this exposure.
Flooding from Natural Disaster
Flood damage is not covered by a standard homeowners policy. You must purchase flood insurance for that. Flood Insurance protecting building and property contents from flood loss, usually pays out regardless of any federal disaster declaration, and assures your eligibility for flood disaster aid. If you are interested in a quote for flood insurance click here.
Water Beneath the Home Foundation Seeps into the Basement
Homeowners policies do not cover this type of water damage. Seepage is not sudden or accidental and is typically excluded from home insurance coverage.
Water Leaks Through the Roof During Rainstorm
If the roof was poorly maintained before the leak, it’s unlikely that it will be covered. If the roof damage was caused by a covered peril, there may be coverage. Also, water damage to your personal items may also be covered, depending on the type of policy you have.
As always it is important to talk with your home insurance agent to review your policy and coverage's annually. If you are in the market for home owners insurance please give our office a call or click here!
*This is not an insurance policy. It is intended only to provide a general description of Insurance and/or product lines and services. An actual policy contains the specific details of the coverages, conditions and exclusions.*
Insure.com. “Water Damage: Seven Home Insurance Scenarios.” Insure.com, 22 July 2016, www.insure.com/home-insurance/water.html.