The Causes Behind Basement Leaks
Many homeowners believe that its a single rainstorm or natural disaster that can cause a home to start leaking. Admittedly, this can be the case. However, its far more likely that the leak you may have found in your basement formed as a result of long-term, excessive stress.
Think of it this way: if your basement hasnt been waterproofed, rainwater and snow run-off will be able to come into contact with your building materials at any point. As a result, your basements building blocks will both have more opportunity to erode and to physically react to that runoffs cooler temperature. See, rainwater makes it more difficult for you to heat or cool your basement, regardless of whether its inside or outside your home. When rainwater starts to come into contact with your structural supports, it changes the temperature of those supports molecules. As a result, those supports molecules will rapidly constrict or expand, depending on their initial temperature.
When a materials expanding and contracting more frequently than it should, it can start to crack. A crack means more potential for a leak, which means more exposure to water, and that means a greater risk of damage in your home.
This type of stress is known as hydrostatic stress. It isnt, however, the only reason your basement may start to leak. Other reasons may include:
- Unstable foundation
- Clogged drains
Filing A Homeowners Insurance Claim For Mold
The next step would be to review your homeowners insurance policy to see if it covers mold damage. You can also contact your insurance company about the coverage.
If you file a home insurance claim, your insurance agent or an adjuster will contact you and inspect the damage as part of the insurance claims process.
Don’t forget to be your own advocate. If your mold damage claim is allowed, make sure only the applicable charges go toward the mold remediation limit. For example, if your laminate floor costs $2 per square foot to replace without mold and $2.50 per square foot to remove with mold, only $.50 per square foot should be charged to your mold limit. This will allow your mold remediation dollars to go further.
Don’t be intimidated by the home insurance company, either. Most times, mold remediation companies have the expertise to assist in filing your claim.
“If the mold damage is covered, can handle all the aspects of the remediation and submit billing to the carrier on behalf of the policyholder, Ragsdale says. We can help a policyholder through the claims process but have no authority over what is covered or not.”
Lack Of Proper Home Maintenance
You have a responsibility to keep your home and property maintained. This means you must take consistent action to ensure that it cannot come into your home because of clogged eaves troughs or downspouts, a faulty septic system or pipes in your home. It also means that it wont cover you for this kind of damage if it is a result of an unresolved maintenance issue.
Don’t Miss: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Homeowners Insurance Generally Does Not Cover Maintenance Issues Or Wear And Tear
6) damage from a wash or river that overflows. Dwelling and personal property coverage. Simply put, it covers the cost to repair damage done by a water leak you can’t see within the walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets, beneath the floors or behind or under a home appliance. Basement leaks not covered by insurance include: Mold endorsements will cost you more if you live in humid areas and your home is made with materials more prone to mold. If the flooding is a result of river overflow, high rains, or other natural events, insurance also will not cover the repairs. Water damage can be caused by a number of scenarios, including frozen pipes, storm damage and faulty plumbing systems. It’s all about what caused the damage to your foundation. Roughly one in 50 homes will have a water damage claim every year, according to the insurance information institute. 25% of losses suffered by homeowner’s have to do with flood. Are basement leaks covered by home insurance?. Please note that even when the damages are covered, the source is probably not. Note that dwelling insurance doesn’t cover other structures.
When And How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Leaks
Heres the deal. There are very specific scenarios in which homeowners insurance will cover foundation leaks, and when they wont. Well take a closer look each side for a better understanding.
Homeowners insurance covers foundation leaks under the following conditions:
- A plumbing leak occurs in the soil around the home, eventually eroding it and causing a crack in the homes foundation. This crack eventually begins leaking through the foundation into the home. Many homeowners policies will cover this kind of foundation leak because it happens due to water damage.
- A pipe bursts due to freezing, but you had already attempted to prevent this from happening by running the heat. Homeowners insurance usually will provide coverage for foundation leaks that arise due to busted frozen pipes, after a failed attempt on your part to prevent them from freezing in the first place.
- Homeowners insurance will only cover the actual water damage from the foundation leak and whatever it costs to fix that aspect along with the leak itself, but it will generally NOT pay to replace the actual pipe.
Homeowners insurance also wont provide coverage for foundation leaks that occur because of busted pipes that were installed in clay soil that expands and contracts with changing temperatures. This type of foundation leak is due to whats known as earth movement, which is not a covered peril under homeowners polices.
Recommended Reading: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From A Leaking Roof
Similar to other water damage incidents, if your roof leak was caused by something sudden and accidental youd be covered. So if your roof leaks because of a fallen tree, windstorm, hail damage, vandalism, or weight of ice, sleet or snow, youre covered.Lets say a gust of wind knocks over a tree, falling on your roof, causing major damage and the opportunity for leaks. Your homeowners insurance would cover you, since this is a sudden, unexpected occurrence, and is named in your policys list of named perils.
BTW, by covered, we mean your homeowners insurance will help reimburse you for damages to your roof itself, as well as any damages to your stuff etc. that were caused as a result of the roof leak .
Do I Have To Pay A Deductible When My Home Insurance Covers Water Damage
Usually, yes. If you have a home insurance deductible of $1,000 for example, you would have to pay $1,000 toward the repairs before the insurance company shelled out for the rest of the job. In some cases, if your insurance company is able to find the source of the problem , they may be able to recover damages on your behalf. In these instances, some homeowners get their deductibles returned to them .
Don’t Miss: Is American Income Life Insurance Legitimate
Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover A Basement Leak
As mentioned, insurance providers will work to determine what caused the leak in your home before letting you know whether or not theyll honor your claim. Most insurance providers will work to fulfill claims that cite an internal leak as the source of a homeowners woes.
The leaks that insurance providers most often respond to include:
- Leaking water heaters
- Piping problems
- Large appliance malfunctions
Filing a claim for an internal leak doesnt always end in an insurance payout, though. If your leak was caused by an appliance thats still under warranty, your insurance provider will direct you toward the manufacturer in question. The manufacturer will then be responsible for both providing you with a replacement appliance and for compensating you for the damage done to your home.
If the warranty for the appliance in question has expired, your insurance provider should step in to provide you with a replacement and repair funds.
When Doesnt Homeowners Insurance Cover Basement Water Damage
Insurance doesnt cover damages sustained from DIY failures. This means that your insurance company will likely cover damages caused by a broken pipe. However, if you try to replace a pipe yourself and fail to do so properly, your insurance wont cover any resulting damages. Unsuccessful DIY projects may be seen as neglect, as improperly repairing appliances and parts may qualify as poor maintenance.
Read Also: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Tips On Filing A Claim For A Flooded Basement
If you’re filing a claim for water damage from flooding in your basement, use the term “water damage” rather than “flood” when talking with your insurer. Insurance providers have strict rules on what a flood is much stricter than the word’s everyday usage. If you call your homeowners insurance company to file a claim for a flood, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you you’re out of luck. By using the term “water damage”, you have a better chance of advancing your claim assuming it’s due to a covered peril.
When filing a claim for basement water damage, first look over your homeowners insurance policy. Be as clear as you can on what your homeowners insurance coverage and exclusions are before you pick up the phone. Your provider will be able to help with everything else required to complete the filing.
QuoteWizard.com LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions.All content and services provided on or through this site are provided “as is” and “as available” for use.QuoteWizard.com LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site.You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Water In Basement
- Asked March 14, 2014 in
Contact Ken Boncela Contact Ken Boncela by filling out the form below
Ken BoncelaAgeny Owner, Farmers Insurance, Ken Boncela Insurance & Financial Services, Oswego, lllinoisPossibly yes and possibly no! The question that needs to be answered is how the water got there. If the water is ground water entering the home thru doors and windows, only flood insurance, NOT homeowners insurance, covers the resultant damage. And even with flood insurance the coverage is very limited in areas of the home below grade. If the source of the water is seepage thru cracks in the foundation there is no coverage. If the source of the water is sump pump failure, whether by power outage, mechanical failure or simply being overwhelmed, you will need to have optional coverage available from many insurers. The same for the source of the water being a back up of the sewer system. If the source of the water is overflow from above, such a burst washer hose or clogged commode, there would likely be coverage. You will want to consult your insurance professional for a detailed review of the coverage you have and/or need.Answered on March 20, 2014+2
Don’t Miss: How To Obtain A Life Insurance License
Slow Leaks Can Cause Just As Much Damage
As a homeowner, you may be totally unaware of the leak until there is evidence, such as the growth of mold, appearance of rot or a bulging ceiling where water is pooling. Or, you may only learn of the water damage after calling in a repair specialist who discovers it while dealing with a different issue.
At this point, some insurance companies will deny the claim based on the fact that regular home maintenance was not performed, and because it was a slow, ongoing leak .
Other insurance companies may cover the claim only because the slow leak and the damage it caused was hidden in walls, beneath floors or above the ceilingin other words, in areas that are not visible to the eye.
To determine whether you have coverage, check your policys seepage exclusion or call your independent broker for some guidance.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold
Home insurance covers mold damage, but only if it was caused by a “covered peril.” Learn what mold damage is covered and what will be left up to you to repair.
Homeowners insurance provides protection against a lot of different things and mold is one of them.
Mold can be found almost everywhere and will grow indoors where there is moisture. But your insurance policy will cover it only when the mold damage is the result of a covered peril.
Therefore, it is always best to contact your insurance company and ask them what they cover. Also, read your home insurance policy carefully and make sure that there are no surprises waiting for you at the end.
Here’s everything to help you decide what kind of coverage you need and whether your homeowners insurance covers mold damage.
- Home insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a “covered peril”. Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage.
- Your home insurance wont cover you for mold damage if mold forms in your shower or a burst pipe in your basement goes unnoticed and results in mold.
- Mold endorsements will cost you more if you live in humid areas and your home is made with materials more prone to mold.
Read Also: Health And Life Insurance Licenses
Sewer & Drain Are Not Included
If your basement floods because the sewer or basement drain fails, this is not covered by regular insurance policies, nor is it covered by flood insurance. Sewer & Drain is an additional endorsement that can be purchased separately. Flooding caused by a failing sump pump also falls into this category. Similar to a pipe bursting, insurance will cover the water damage, but the homeowner will be responsible for the sump pump repairs.
Why Is Your Basement Leaking
Many insurance providers determine whether or not to consider a leak claim based on where the leak is coming from. With this in mind, youll want to make an effort to determine what the source of your basement leak is.
There are several reasons that may explain why your basement is leaking. One of the most common includes the build-up of hydrostatic pressure around your home. When water encounters concrete and other materials, it forces those materials to rapidly expand and contract in response to changes in the temperature around them. While trying to keep up with those temperature changes, the aforementioned materials may crack, letting water into your home.
Other reasons your basement may begin to leak include:
- An unstable foundation
- Poor grading around your home
- Leaking pipes inside of your home
- Clogged drains
Read Also: State Insurance License Exam
What Leaks Are Covered By Your Home Insurance
The good news is that homeowners insurance will protect you, financially, from some of the leaks that form in your home. Insurance providers, however, have drawn boundaries when it comes to the kinds of leaks theyll help you treat.
Even so, you shouldnt hesitate to reach out to your provider if you want financial assistance covering a leaks repair. Do note, though, that most home insurance providers will only cover the following leaks:
What Are Signs Of Water Damage
Prevention also involves knowing the common signs of water damage. Here is what you can look for :
- Mold : This is a telltale sign that water damage may be present in your home. If you see mould, have a professional take a look. Its also is a sign you should start looking for the source of the issue, if it is not apparent.
- Damp Smell : If you can smell dampness, you likely have water getting into your home somewhere. Identify the area where the smell is the strongest this is likely the source of the damage.
- Dripping Sounds : If you commonly hear the sound of dripping or flowing, especially behind or below the walls of the bathroom or in the basement, there is a good chance you have a plumbing issue, such as a leaky pipe. Also listen for other uncommon sounds, especially after running water.
- Growing Water Bill : If you notice your bill going up without an increase in usage, there is likely an issue to get inspected.
- Peeling and Cracking : Cracks and peeling paint are a sign of moisture build-up. If you notice a brownish colour or stain, it could be pooling in the ceiling or wall.
- Swelling : Have you noticed baseboards or flooring starting to swell or warp? Its a sign that water is getting in.
Also Check: Do Parking Tickets Affect Car Insurance
Damage Caused By A Separate Peril
If your basement floods due to a separate covered peril, your homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs. For example, if your house catches fire and firefighters have to extinguish the fire using water hoses, your homeowners insurance can cover both the fire and water damage that was incurred. Or, say a hail or windstorm shatters a few windows in your basement and rainwater gets in, your homeowners insurance will pay for repairs that the hailstorm caused.
What About Floods
You cant always predict storms, but you can prevent floods from wreaking havoc on your basement in the first place. If you need coverage against external forces, purchase a separate flood insurance policy from The National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurance company. Few homeowners do because its an additional expense, but it may cover your damaged foundation and other structural components. To ensure you receive the most coverage, you should purchase both build and contents coverage. Build insurance covers any additional costs to repair your home up to code after a protected mishap. Home contents insuranceor personal property insurancehelps you replace damaged or stolen items.
Recommended Reading: Does My Car Insurance Cover Broken Windows