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Insurance Article

Does Your Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?

August 22 2017

Read the policy wordings carefully to know the types of water damage not covered by your home insurance policy.

Water is a major cause of damage to your home, making water damage one of the most common reasons to claim home insurance. As per recent statistics, the percentage of water damage claims has been on the rise compared to other components of homeowners insurance.

Most standard home insurance policies only cover sudden or accidental damage. This holds true for water related damage as well. So, while burst pipes and water damage caused by natural disasters would probably be covered under your policy, gradual water damage may not be.

What is Not Covered?

There are some water-related damages that will not be covered by a standard home insurance policy. They include:

1. Gradual Water Damage:

Gradual damage is any damage that happens over a period of time, usually caused by a lack of proper maintenance of the various systems of your house. When it comes to water damage, gradual damage is the damage caused by leaking pipes, seepage from cracks in the foundation or outside, and so on. These usually occur due to a lack of proper maintenance of your plumbing.

2. Replacing or Repairing Source of Water Damage:

The source of water damage – like the washing machine or dishwasher that may have burst pipes – will not be replaced or repaired by your policy claim. The damage caused due to the bursting of the pipes, however, will be covered.

3. Water Backup From an Outside Sewer or Drain:

Any damage caused by water backing up from a sewer or drain outside your home, will not be typically covered by a standard home insurance policy.

How to Prevent Damage?

It is easier to just take a few measures to prevent the damage instead of going through all the mess and having to clean it up. Here are some methods to prevent sudden water damage.

1. Be sure to regularly inspect all your electrical appliances that use water, like washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, icemakers etc. for wear and replace them as necessary.

2. While shifting washing machines and dishwashers around, be careful not to crimp the water hose as this could lead to problems later.

3. Prevent sediment build-up in water heaters by draining them every six months.

4. Make it a point to inspect the water shut-off valve regularly and replace it if necessary.

In case you are denied a claim, be sure to ask for reasons. You can also read home insurance policy wordings to know the exceptions and specifics of your policy, and consult an insurance expert for any further clarifications.

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