Water damage can cost thousands of dollars and it is the most commonly claimed home insurance offer. It is the most frequent insurance claim and impacts 1 of 50 homeowners every year. Water damage is usually caused by storms, floods, or even frozen pipes.
Most insurance companies cover water damage but with exceptions like gradual water leaks which are not included in insurance policies. So if you do have a water damage claim, it's best to know if your insurance company covers said problem.
Valid types of water damage
Water damage may be the most common insurance claim out there but that does not mean all types of water damage are covered. There are only a handful of valid water damage types and these are:
- Storm-related water damages
- Flood-related water damages
- Accidental water discharge
- Sudden sewer overflowing
Certain leaks will also be covered only if the root of the problem is entirely accidental. One example are burst pipes. These will most likely be covered by homeowners insurance. But gradual leaks that happen over a period of time, won't.
Some homeowners insurance policies may also cover the damages that results from burst pipes. For example, a burst pipe may cause a wall to collapse. This will be covered by insurance.
Invalid types of water damage
The thing to remember about invalid water damages are the ones caused by gradual leaks. These leaks are there for a period of time and are not accidents. The homeowner is responsible for spotting it and repairing it. Insurance will not cover this.
There are many commonly occurring gradual damages which are not covered by insurance such as:
- Lack of maintenance - This is the homeowner's responsibility. If he/she fails to do it and it results in a massive house damage, then insurance will not cover it.
- Broken pipes - Pipes broken through gradual damage is not covered by insurance.
- Mold and rot - These are results of poor maintenance and as such will not be covered by homeowners insurance.
- Roof damage - If your roof falls over and lets water inside your home, that WILL be covered by insurance. But the resulting rot and molds (which will come in a few months if not properly taken care of) probably won't.