Following wind and hail damage, water damage is the second largest frequent home insurance claim … and claims are increasing while other claims have stayed constant or are decreasing. Most homeowners insurance policies cover emergency water damage if the cause is accidental and sudden but not gradual water damage such as if you ignore a slow leaking faucet or neglect plumbing inspections that would have detected a crack and leak in your plumbing pipes. Depending on what is damaged, there are two types of homeowners insurance coverage that are applicable:
Dwelling Coverage – This helps to pay for damage to the home’s structure in the event of damage by a covered peril. For example, if a pipe suddenly bursts and damages a wall or ceiling, dwelling coverage may help pay for repairs.
Personal Property Coverage – This helps to pay for damage to your personal belongings if they are damaged by a covered risk. For example, if a burst pipe drenches a computer or bookcase, personal property coverage may help pay to repair or replace the damaged items.
It is important to understand that coverage limits may apply and also that you will likely have to meet the deductible before your coverage kicks in. It is a great idea to read your policy to check how much coverage your policy provides. Your insurance agent can help you to adjust your coverage to fit your needs or answer questions about your policy.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage from a Broken Pipe?
Shanon Lebel from Allstate tells us that homeowners insurance may help cover the costs of damage caused by a broken pipe and other leaking plumbing instances if the leak is accidental and sudden. On the other hand, he warns that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water damage resulting from poor plumbing maintenance. Let us explore this further. Though we can’t see them, our homes are full of plumbing pipes in the walls and ceilings. Without proper maintenance and regular verification of the key plumbing components in your residence, a pipe could easily break under the surface, and you would never know until the water damage causes some physical evidence such as staining, damp drywall or even structural changes. This is often when people try to file a claim but if the water damage isn’t sudden or accidental, but rather the result of a long-standing problem that went undetected; you will likely have that claim denied. This is why it is important to call Simon Plumbing for routine inspections to catch plumbing problems early before they escalate.
What Types of Water Damage are Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Water Damage from Unchecked Plumbing Maintenance Problems – Coverage will not generally kick in if the water damage results from an unresolved maintenance issue such as continuous leaking of a faucet or other plumbing fixture.
Repairing or Replacing the Source of the Water Damage – Most homeowners insurance policies will not cover the source of the water damage. Even though your policy may cover the cost of tearing out and replacing your damaged floor in the event of a sudden and accidental water damage emergency, it won’t cover the cost of replacing your washing machine, dishwasher or water heater for example.
Water Backup from Outside Sewer or Drain – If water backs into your home via an outside sewer or drain, the typical homeowners policy will not cover it. But you may be able to purchase additional sewer or water backup coverage that will.
Flood Water Damage – Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage from storms, over-saturated ground, overflowing or surging bodies of water such as lakes, ponds, oceans and rivers. You may however be able to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Plumbing Inspections, Repairs, Maintenance & More in North Tonawanda, Amherst, Buffalo, Williamsville | Erie & Niagara County | Western New York
Maintaining records of repairs and the professionals you have hired over the years to do plumbing maintenance is advisable. While Simon Plumbing can’t stress the importance of keeping up with home plumbing inspections and maintenance to help prevent damage from water, it is also a great idea to check with your insurance agent about what is and isn’t covered in your homeowners insurance policy. When our customers ask us about potential water damage, we recommend they call Shanon Lebel at Allstate Insurance. He can assist you in explaining the best homeowners insurance policy and coverage to meet your needs. After all, when it comes to protecting your home and your loved ones that reside there, quality insurance coverage makes all the difference. Shanon and Allstate Home Insurance can help take care of what matters to you!