When is water damage covered by insurance?

Most standard homeowners policies help cover Water Damage if the cause is sudden and accidental, but there may be situations that your policy doesn't cover. 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.

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. 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. If your water damage claim is covered, household insurance will likely reimburse you for temporary living expenses. This means that water damage must be the result of one of the 16 hazards covered by homeowners insurance, such as sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging of an automatic fire protection system, steam, heating, or air conditioning.

It's essential that you know exactly what type of water damage your homeowner, condo, or renter's insurance policy covers. Even in cases where water damage is covered, you still have to pay the deductible from your out-of-pocket policy before your homeowners insurance goes into effect. Some home warranties may require additional coverage purchases to cover major systems that cause water damage, such as water heaters or plumbing fixtures. 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.

Insurance companies may not be willing to recommend a specific water damage company, but they should be able to help you identify several local options to choose from. You can also choose to hire a contractor to assess water damage and give you an estimate of the cost of your repair. For example, if your bathroom sink has been leaking for several months, your homeowners insurance will not cover any resulting water damage or plumbing costs. Roof leaks are usually also covered by your homeowners insurance policy, but you won't be protected from water damage from external sources, such as flooding.

If that same pipe breaks in a finished basement, personal property coverage would cover the cost of items such as televisions, computers, furniture, or stored items that suffer water damage. However, homeowners insurance doesn't cover water damage caused by flooding, torrential rains, or poor maintenance on your part. .