Is water damage covered by insurance?

Homeowners insurance can help cover damage caused by a pipe leak if the leak is sudden and accidental, such as if a washing machine's supply hose suddenly breaks or a pipe breaks. However, homeowners insurance does not cover damage resulting from poor maintenance. Coverage for water damage depends on the situation and source. If the damage is sudden, accidental, and comes from inside your home, you're usually protected with a standard homeowners insurance policy.

However, if water damage is due to outdoor flooding or careless repair, you won't have coverage. Although homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding caused by heavy rain, it does cover other water damage caused by rain, snow, or ice. Basically, if a risk covered in your policy causes a chain of events that result in water damage, homeowners insurance will likely help cover the loss. This means that if your roof collapses due to the weight of snow, or if a windstorm blows your windows and causes rain to fall on your home, your home insurance policy must cover the damage.

Water overflow damage to appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, HVAC units, and water heaters is typically covered. This means that if a misplaced spoon causes your dishwasher to malfunction, flooding your kitchen, your home coverage should pay for the damage. And if water damages carpets in the kitchen and dining table, personal property coverage should pay to replace those items. In addition to overflowing pipes and faulty appliances, most standard policies also cover water damage caused by frozen pipes.

Homeowners insurance generally pays for water damage as a result of putting out a fire. If the source of the damage comes from inside your home, such as a water leak from a broken pipe or an overflowing appliance, you're likely covered by your homeowners insurance. So, if that pipe broke because it was clearly rusting and no effort was made to repair it, then the water damage from that burst pipe would probably not be covered under the homeowners insurance policy. To mitigate water damage, have a licensed plumber inspect older homes every five years, replace older water heaters, use steel braided supply lines in washing machines, and turn off supply lines when the machine is not in use.

Remember, homeowners insurance covers water damage that is “sudden and accidental,” but not gradual problems or maintenance issues. Blown pipes are some of the most common covered water damage incidents because a pipe rupture can be a sudden and accidental event, even with proper maintenance. Many homeowners who suffer water damage find they don't want to put back the same bathroom tile or laminate countertops from the 70s. However, there are other specific hazards related to sudden and accidental water damage that homeowners insurance could cover.

It's essential that you know exactly what type of water damage your homeowner, condo, or renter's insurance policy covers. As such, replacement cost coverage is often the best option if you are concerned about how to maximize a water damage claim should one occur. Most standard homeowners insurance policies don't cover water damage caused by flooding from natural disasters. For example, if a water heater suddenly and accidentally breaks down, the homeowner would have to replace that water heater or pay the bill to repair it.

But if water or mold damage is hidden in floors, walls, or the top of the roof and it can't be proven that negligence caused the loss, homeowners insurance can cover it. Homeowners insurance doesn't cover mold caused by water damage from other problems, such as lack of maintenance, pool leaks, floods, and earthquakes. Keep in mind that water damage from certain types of events, such as tsunamis, floods, sewer accumulations, and pool leaks, is generally not covered. .