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Discovering damage from a hidden or sudden leak is a homeowner’s nightmare. Whether the cause is a leaky dishwasher or a burst pipe, you need to know if you’re covered by your insurance policy. After all, around 1 in 60 insured homes claim water or freezing damage per year, according to estimates from the Insurance Information Institute. Today, we look at the question of does homeowners insurance cover water damage?
Most standard homeowners’ insurance policies will not cover all types of water damage. Some types of damage, like flooding, will need a specific policy. In this guide, we’ll explain what’s covered, what isn’t, and how you can ensure you’re fully covered in case the worst happens.
Under standard homeowner insurance policies, you’re usually covered for “sudden and accidental water damage,” such as burst pipes or failing appliances. Water damage from flooding or lack of maintenance isn’t typically covered.
Your dwelling coverage will pay for damage to your home’s structure (e.g., walls, roof, and floor), while personal property coverage pays for repairing or replacing your home’s contents.
Here are the main types of water damage covered by homeowners’ insurance:
Most homeowners are less concerned about what is covered than what isn’t. That’s where they can take action to increase their coverage or perform building maintenance or alterations to ensure damage never occurs.
Here are some common causes of water damage not covered by homeowners’ insurance:
After water damage begins – particularly cryptic water damage – mold will begin to form in a day or two, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That’s why you need to act fast. Mold is likely to be covered if the cause of the water damage is covered – so burst pipe, yes; flooding, no.
Preventing water damage is relatively simple. Following some easy annual checks, performing routine maintenance, and installing a few devices will prevent most cases of water damage and ensure water damage is always “sudden and accidental.”
Consider these steps:
In addition, you should also learn about your home’s water system, including where the main water shutoff valve is – so you can close it in case of an emergency.
Filing a water damage claim may seem like a daunting prospect. You should consider the likelihood of a payout when filing a claim. If the damage is minor, the payout may not be worth the hassle and raised premiums.
Too many claims may also lead your insurance company to refuse to renew your policy. So, for minor damage, paying for repairs yourself is often the best solution – especially if you’ve already filed a claim in the past five years.
If you file a claim, you will need to:
If your home has undergone water damage, contact United Restoration immediately. We deal with all forms of water and mold damage – call us at (844) 979-8500.