Water disasters due to failed plumbing or storms are a threat to your home. They can damage your home’s structure and foundation, and often lead to costly repairs or replacements when not fixed or restored in a timely manner. Water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims.
Knowing what’s covered and what’s not covered in your homeowners insurance is important to avoid costly repairs. It lets you take preventive measures to avoid plumbing disasters. For example: Neglecting plumbing maintenance or repairs can lead to a denied homeowners insurance claim. To avoid this, you would want to always fix issues right away.
What’s Covered in Your Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance may cover “sudden and accidental” water problems. For example, damage from burst pipes or a leak from your washing machine or dishwasher may or may be partially covered. Your insurance company may help take care of the damages but not replace what caused the water damage. You will have to shoulder the cost for replacing your pipes.
Water damage from the following events may be covered by homeowners insurance. It depends on the type of policy you purchased and the source of the damage.
Burst pipes usually happen during winter when the water freezes, causing the pipes to burst. However, your homeowners insurance claim may be denied if you did not properly protect your pipes or if you turned off the heat. As a precaution, it’s best to insulate any unexposed pipes during cold months.
Water damage from fire may be covered by your homeowners insurance, especially when the water comes from a sprinkler system.
Accidental leaks can result from your washing machine pipes, dishwasher, or other appliance. You can prevent leaks from your washing machine by replacing rubber hoses with stainless steel hoses.
Roof leaks from a storm or falling tree
What Is Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Damages incurred as a result of neglected maintenance or other policy exceptions may not be covered. To avoid water issues, never neglect plumbing maintenance or minor plumbing problems that may turn into costly plumbing emergencies.
Gradual damage that started out small and led to a plumber emergency is not covered by your homeowners insurance. Your claim may likely be denied if you failed to do something about pipe corrosion, cracks in your foundation or even when you hired a handyman (instead of a licensed plumber) to do plumbing repairs for your home.
Failure to Perform Maintenance or Repairs
Some homeowners do not perform regular maintenance with their plumbing systems. This can lead to major leaks, clogs and other plumbing problems requiring repair. If water damage is caused by neglected plumbing maintenance or minor plumbing problems that you have willfully ignored, do not expect the homeowner’s insurance to help you cover damages.
Water Backup from a Drain or Outside Sewer
This may not be covered by homeowners insurance. What you can do is purchase an optional add-on to your insurance policy called water backup coverage.
If water damage is caused by either your dishwasher or washing machine, your homeowners insurance may help cover the cost of fixing or replacing your damaged walls or floors. Replacement of the malfunctioning appliance is not covered, however, isn’t included.
Flooding may not be covered by your standard homeowners insurance, although you may be able to add a supplemental coverage for it. To avoid water damage from floods, homeowners should consult with a plumber for solutions to vulnerable areas. It’s your responsibility to take precautions when there are storms coming.
What You Can Do When a Claim Is Denied
It can be disappointing when your water damage claim is denied by the insurance company. If this happens, consider asking them for an explanation and clarification. Water damage is a serious problem and a costly one too. You have the right to know why your claim was denied.
How to avoid getting your claims denied:
You should always know and understand what your homeowners insurance policy covers. Before filing a water damage claim, it’s advisable to review your policy. If you have questions, contact your agent.
For plumbing repairs or installations, always hire qualified and licensed plumbers. Your insurance company may deny your claim simply because you did not hire the right person to get the job done correctly. It also helps to keep records of all plumbing maintenance and repairs.
Most importantly, hire the right insurance company for your specific needs. There are eight types of homeowners insurance policies for condo owners, single-family homes, mobile homes, co-ops and older homes. Getting a comprehensive policy is ideal as it covers water damage from your plumbing or water heater malfunctions. However, the exact coverage depends on the insurance company. It is best to speak with an agent to find out the best policy that covers water damage restoration.
Contact PureOne Services
There are things you can do to save your home from water damage. That’s where PureOne Services comes in. We pride ourselves on providing top-notch services to all our clients. Get in touch with us today for an appointment.