Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Rain
Standard homeowners insurance policies will cover water damage from rain when it is the direct result of “wind-driven rain.” This means that if wind from a storm damages your roof, causing water to flood a floor of your home, insurance covers that water damage.
However, homeowners insurance will not cover water damage caused by a rain-driven flood. So, if a flash flood damages your home during that same storm, you would need a separate flood insurance policy to cover that damage.
Gradual Damage In Your Home
A house is a complex structure. There are wires, pipes, and heating and cooling systems behind the walls and beneath the floors. But we don’t see them. We just see the walls, the carpet, and our belongings.
If you don’t check and maintain those systems in your home, there could be trouble under the surface. If things go wrong, you might not know until you see the effects of the damage. Often, that’s when people try to make a claim.
If the damage is not sudden, but was instead caused by neglect over a long time frame, you’ll have trouble getting a claim to pay out.
Water Damage Caused By A Separate Event
If a separate covered peril causes the water damage, your insurance company will likely consider it a covered loss. For example, say your house catches fire and the fire department extinguishes it with water hoses, your homeowners insurance will cover the water damage, as well as the damage that the fire caused.
Recommended Reading: Is Metlife Dental Insurance Good
Whats Involved With A Water Heater Damage Insurance Claim
So lets say your water heater burst, completely by accident, and it wasnt old enough to be faulty yet whats covered? You may be wondering is a leaking hot water tank claimable on insurance?
Depending on the specific nature of your homeowners insurance policy, the following expenses may be covered as a result of your water heater bursting in your house:
- Extracting or cleaning up the standing water left behind by the water heater.
- The extraction of any debris or machinery left behind by your water heater.
- The replacement or repair of any furnishings or foundational elements of your home damaged as a result of the burst water heater.
In many cases, you can expect the water damage caused by an exploding or leaking water heater to be covered by your homeowners insurance as long as they deem the incident within the bounds of your policy.
Its imperative to be mindful of the age and status of larger appliances to avoid the uncomfortable and expensive situation of water damage without the necessary coverage.
When Is Gradual Damage Covered
This is where things get tricky. You can figure out what an insurance company will and will not cover based on the wording in the policy. Your agent or broker is the best person to go over the details with you. Ask them to review the exclusions in your policy as well as the type of coverage you have.
All insurance policies exclude wear and tear and gradual damage. But there may be some exceptions.
Don’t Miss: Full Coverage Car Insurance Cost Calculator
Are Well Pumps Covered Under Homeowners Insurance
- Backup generators
- Fans and other ventilation equipment
- Heaters, including furnaces, heat pumps, heaters, and solar heaters
- Spa and pool equipment
- Water heaters and boilers
- Support structures, including compartments or cabinets
- Any material used to insulate the equipment
- Water piping not associated with a boiler or AC system
Why Do Water Heaters Leak Or Flood
Water heaters dont last forever, unfortunately. In fact, they should typically be replaced every 7-12 years. The period of time varies based on:
- the manufacturing guidelines and
- maintenance of the unit.
Water heaters can leak or explode when they fail. This is usually the result of poor maintenance.
Flooding follows when the leaks youre ignoring become stronger and steadier over time.
Thermostat errors can also cause hot water units to build up pressure and burst. Once this happens, the water will flow out until the water supply is cut off.
You May Like: Do Parking Tickets Affect Car Insurance
When Damage & Repairs From Plumbing Is Covered
Much of your homes plumbing system is located in hard-to-reach places, such as inside the walls of your home, so it can be a time-consuming and costly project to repair everything that goes wrong.
Thankfully for homeowners, there are often more scenarios of plumbing damage that are covered by homeowners insurance than arent covered. Lets take a look at some of the most commonly covered plumbing insurance claims.
If your plumbing system unexpectedly goes kaput, leaving a trail of water spewing through the walls and floors of your home, the cost of repairs should be covered. The dwelling portion of your homeowners policy is designed to repair or replace many structures that make up your home if they were damaged or destroyed by a covered peril.
Water damage from plumbing units may be covered if the issue was unexpected and didnt occur over a longer period of time. This coverage could extend to replacing your homes plumbing pipes, anything that sustained water damage like your walls, ceilings, floors and mold removal and remediation.
While the issue of plumbing causing damage to other structures on your property, such as a guest home or shed, is relatively rare in comparison with home damage, it too can be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
The same situations that occur and are covered in your home may also be covered in the other structures located on your property.
Loss of Use
What Is A Flood
National Flood Insurance Program has established a legal definition for a flood as follows: A flood is a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.
To learn more about homeowners insurance to protect your house and your belongings, take a look at our homeowners coverage page.
Recommended Reading: Is Disability Insurance For Self Employed Tax Deductible
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pipes That Burst
Whether or not you’re covered for burst pipes depends on your home insurance policy. Accidental water damage that occurs because of a burst pipe is usually covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Your home insurance will also cover cleaning, repairs and replacement of flooring that result from burst pipes. Insurers won’t cover repairs if the pipe burst due to poor maintenance or neglect.
Leaks From Your Dishwasher
If its not maintained or if something breaks, your dishwasher can also be a source of water damage. Like leaks from the refrigerator, water leaks from a dishwasher can often go unnoticed for years. Thats because the tile usually provides a lip in front of the dishwasher that prevents water from spilling out onto the kitchen floor, where its visible.
Underneath the dishwasher, though, a slow leak can rot the floor or cabinet. It can also cause mold or odors.
There are two areas where dishwashers tend to leak, and each problem needs a different solution. The first area is directly in front of the dishwasher. This is usually caused by damage to the seal around the door. The seal around the door is usually made of soft rubber, which can also get dry and brittle as it ages. If your dishwasher door seal is leaking, it will need to be replaced.
The second, and harder to spot, source of water leaks is from the components inside the dishwasher. The pump is one of the most likely suspects for under-dishwasher leaks, but hoses and the connectors to the inlet and drain valves can also be the cause. Finally, damage to the spray arm or float switch can cause the dishwasher to overflow.
How to prevent it:
- Look behind the kick plate for water leaks every six months or so
- Check in the cabinet under the kitchen sink for leaks from the dishwasher
- Inspect the dishwasher seal for damage or brittleness
You May Like: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Tree Causing Roof Damage
Say a tree fell onto a roof, making a hole that let water pour into the home. A water damage claim was made, and the hole and roof were fixed by the insurance company.
Several months later, the owners of the home noticed a funny smell and chipping paint near where the repairs had been done. They called their insurer, who told them to check for dampness or even mold where the damage had been, and they found new water damage.
Because this gradual water damage was a result of a claim that was covered before, the company can decide to cover it.
State Farm’s Plumbing Coverage Has Limits
One of the most common types of water damage occurs after indoor pipes freeze and burst. When this happens, it can damage your flooring, walls, furniture, computers and anything and everything else in the water’s path. You will have to pay the deductible on your policy, but State Farm has a good reputation in the industry for paying for water damage caused by frozen pipe bursts as long as “reasonable care is used to maintain heat in the home,” the company says. In other words, if the temperature in a home is found to be a contributing factor in why the pipes froze and burst in the first place, the claim may be denied.
Video of the Day
The company draws a similar distinction with roof leaks, so you’ll want to consult the specifics of your State Farm home insurance water damage coverage. As a general rule, water damage that ensues because a homeowner has neglected to maintain his home is not covered by the company. So if your roof leaks after a storm and the water entered your home through a skylight crack that has clearly and slowly deteriorated over time, the damage will not be covered.
Read Also: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
How Do I File A Claim For Water Damage
If a severe storm sweeps through or a sink overflows, don’t fret. Filing a claim for water damage is very similar to filing other insurance claims.
First, call your insurer as soon as possible. Many companies have a deadline or window after something is damaged to file a claim. Call your insurer’s claims number, which you can find on your policy, to have your water damage claim recorded on file.
After you’ve filed a claim, take inventory and make a carefully detailed list of any damaged property. If possible, record or photograph any of the damage. Though it may be tempting, don’t throw anything away until the insurance adjuster has seen the extent of the damage.
Make only temporary repairs if needed before your insurance adjuster comes. For example, put cardboard over a broken window or a bucket below a leaking roof. Be sure not to make any permanent repairs until after your insurer has had a chance to review the damage.
Be present and prepared during your insurance adjuster’s tour of the damage. Have your itemized list of damages handy, as well as any receipts for items needing to be replaced or bought for temporary repairs.
After damage is repaired, have an inspector certify the damage is fixed. Especially if a broken or faulty appliance was at fault for the water damage, get ahead of any more possible damage and ensure your repair has been done accurately.
If My Water Heater Leaked Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover The Cost Of The Damages
As a homeowner, youve probably dealt with your homeowners insurance provider on several occasions. Even if youve never filed a claim, its likely that youve interacted with its customer service department or looked to a member of its management team for clarification on a pricing issue. Since many homeowners insurance companies raise their rates without warning, its possible that these interactions havent been particularly pleasant. Many providers customer service departments are notorious for providing misleading or unsatisfactory answers to billing-related questions.
Also Check: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Flood Damage Caused By New Heater Heaters
Again, this is going to depend on your policy.
Some insurance policies exclude water damage altogether. In that case, your water heater might be repaired under warranty. But you would need to pay for any damage to your property out of your pocket.
For other policies, the damage could still be deemed avoidable if it relates to a maintenance issue.
Mold And Water Damage From Bathtub And Shower Leaks
Another common home insurance claim is for bathtub and shower leaks. This problem brings additional complications for homeowners, though. Its harder to get a claim paid for this type of water damage than it is for water damage from a broken hose.
There are several reasons why these claims are more complicated. For instance, if the bathtub or shower was improperly installed, the insurance company many try to deny coverage because of faulty workmanship. If theres mold present or the risk of mold in the future, they might not cover the damage, either. Additionally, if they can prove that the homeowner knew about the damage and ignored it, they might not do anything as well.
So what can you do to stay on top of these problems?
How to prevent it
Water damage from showers and tubs usually have just a few sources. Almost all of these leaks are due to leaks in the sealant or grout, or a simple lack of sealant. There are several places where these issues show up. These are:
- The grout in the tile surrounding the tub
- Leaks in the corners of the tile surround
- The connection where the tile meets the tub or shower pan
- Leaks in the seal around the drain or drain overflow
- The valve in the wall
- Leaks in the hot or cold water feeds
- Around the shower head or bathtub faucet
If you suspect that the leak is behind the wall, you may want to consult a plumbing professional. We can help you find and fix these leaks. Well also help you figure out what type of damage has already been done.
Recommended Reading: 4-40 Insurance License
Dangers Of A Hot Water Heater Overflowing
The most common risks associated with a hot water heater that has flooded your home are:
- Damage to the structural features of your home
- Your insurer not covering you for damage.
Thats right. Your insurer may only cover you for flood damage caused by a malfunctioning water heater in certain circumstances.
Other Methods To Cover A Well Pump
- Home warranty: More expensive than a standard home insurance policy, a home warranty should cover replacement of certain parts, though it doesnât cover all parts and generally does not pay to fix a breakdown associated with an error in installation or failure to perform the proper maintenance. Check to see if home warranties available to you cover well pumps.
- Service contracts: Many companies that sell home equipment also offer service contracts. With a service contract, the company takes care of the maintenance and servicing of equipment over a certain amount of time.
Recommended Reading: Does Home Insurance Cover Broken Windows
What Is Gradual Damage
Gradual damage occurs when something causes damage to your home slowly over time. Gradual water damage is a common problem when it comes to making insurance claims.
For instance, suppose the faucet handles on your sink are leaking and you neglect to repair them. That leaking water will one day cause damage to your home. If you try to make an insurance claim when that happens, you could be denied. Your insurer would see that the problem had been going on for a long time and you didn’t make the needed repairs.
So I Need To Buy Sewer Backup Coverage Specifically
Yes. We always recommend it. Adding sewer/water backup coverage to your MA home insurance only costs somewhere around $50 per year. With that added coverage, youre protected against a clog in the city main, cracks or breaks to sewer pipes, tree roots that penetrate or block underground pipes, and backup that occurs in your homes drainage systems.
Don’t Miss: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Maintenance Issues And Neglect
Your home policy doesnt cover water damage caused by maintenance issues or neglect.
Your home policy doesn’t cover water damage caused by maintenance issues or neglect. Under each insurance contract, carriers require homeowners to repair minor plumbing problems as these issues arise. For instance, if a slow-leaking pipe causes your bathroom’s drywall to bulge, your home insurance won’t cover the damage because you failed to repair the leak immediately.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Plumbing Units & Repairs
Yes and no. Damage and repairs to plumbing units, such as your hot water heater and pipes, are covered by homeowners insurance if the units unexpectedly break or burst and theres an accidental discharge of water spewing through your home.
So things like a burst hot water heater, frozen pipes that break open and a faulty connection caused by the plumber are typically covered if they occur unexpectedly.
However, if the damage was prolonged and occurred over time, it may not be covered due to negligence on the homeowners behalf. These instances can be putting things down your drains that arent supposed to be there, not conducting a regular plumbing inspection and trying to fix a plumbing issue yourself when a professional shouldve been called.
We partner with the nations top homeowners insurance companies so you can get a custom policy at an affordable price.
Recommended Reading: Life Insurance State License