Homeowners Water Damage Coverage: Determining Damage Not Caused by a Flood

Water damage coverage on your homeowners insurance policy can become a problem if you don’t understand the differences about what exactly causes water damage in your home. If you have a homeowners policy, you have to immediately understand that if you live in a flood-prone area, your policy won’t cover damage. You’ll need a separate flood insurance policy if you want to be thoroughly covered.

But this doesn’t mean your homeowners insurance is useless when it comes to water damage. When certain water damage occurs in your home, you’ll still have plenty of coverage. It just has to be something that isn’t due to your own neglect.

Bursting Water Pipes

This common water damage scenario will be covered, though only if it’s after you took prior precautions. Sometimes water pipes can burst even after being wrapped for the winter and during very severe deep freezes. However, if you failed to wrap your pipes for the winter, your homeowners policy may refuse to compensate you for any water damage incurred.

It might be worth your while to update your plumbing system if you have the funds. Particularly when building a new home, new water pipes will make your homeowners insurance premiums much lower.

Leaking Appliances

The same thing applies to your kitchen or utility room appliances leaking and causing water damage to your floor. If you’ve done everything to provide maintenance for your refrigerator, dishwasher or washing machine, then it’s not your fault when something happens to make them start leaking. Your homeowners insurance will scope out whether negligence was involved before they pay for water damage caused by either appliance.

Roof Leaks

Water damage from roof leaks can be very severe and costly. Your homeowners insurance will cover damages in this scenario, especially if it was worsened by hail or a falling tree on your house. Regardless, failing to provide sealant for your roof during the year will mean you were negligent in preventing the leak. In that scenario, you won’t be covered either.

Other Water Damage Not Covered

While not all policies are alike, damage from a leaking sewer line in your area might not be covered. This doesn’t mean that some policies won’t allow you to add coverage as an extra cost. The same applies to seepage from ground water. Particularly when that ground water affects your home’s foundation, homeowners insurance will consider this a personal maintenance issue. In fact, it’s a challenge to get any house foundation issues covered through your homeowners insurance due to the existing high risk.

Exceptions to Flood Damage

According to the Insurance Information Network of California, your homeowners insurance will cover any theft you might have in your home due to flood damage. While this might sound strange, the chances are always there of looters raiding your home after you leave your home during a flood. If you have a separate flood insurance policy, you’re already covered for the flood damage. The better news is your homeowners insurance can sometimes complement other insurance in ways that are unexpected. Being compensated for loss due to looting shows you the benefit of mixing and matching insurance policies.

While you’re going to find differing coverage details in every state, going through an independent insurance agency will help you be able to choose from a multitude of different homeowners insurance policies. Talk with them and they can tell you more about what water damage typically gets covered and what doesn’t. An astute insurance agency will also help you match up with other policies to give you the best comprehensive coverage your money can buy.

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