Know your insurance coverages for water damage


Water damage can impact a home in many different ways and leave the property owners with an expensive bill for remediation. Having insurance coverage for water damage can protect property owners from a large bill. However, policies are different and have a variety of protections and gaps depending on the plan. It is important for policy owners to know their coverages and exposures when it comes to water damage and floods. 

File a claim quickly – Water damage will get worse if it is left unattended. Filing a claim starts the process with an insurance company and they will determine if the water loss is covered by the policy. It is important to contact insurance right away as it may take time for them to send out an adjuster and make a determination. 

Sudden ruptures or failures – Homeowners insurance covers sudden ruptures and failures of plumbing. This often comes in the form of a burst pipe or broken water line. These occurrences can create a large claim in a short period of time.

Accidental water damage – Homeowners insurance will often cover accidental water damage. This can come from a sink or bath overflowing and damaging the property. 

Mechanical failures – A sudden failure of an appliance is often covered by a home insurance policy. 

Leaks – This is an area where coverage will depend on the specific policy. Slow leaks from a pipe, plumbing or water line will be covered by some policies and not covered by others.

Microbial growth – Microbial growth can often be outside of a homeowners insurance policy. Policies may also have a coverage limit when it comes to microbial growth. 

External water source – Water damage coming from outside the home is a common exclusion from policies. Water coming from a flood or through a foundation crack is a common out-of-pocket expense when it comes to water damage. Separate flood insurance may need to be purchased to have coverage from these sources.

Sewer backup – Sewer damage resulting from a backup is another common policy exclusion.

Roof damage – A water intrusion coming from roof damage is often covered under a home insurance policy. Damage from hail or ice dams can lead to water damage in the ceiling. 

Review your home insurance policy and find coverage gaps – It is important to know where gaps exist in a policy. This allows the policy holder to add additional coverage and avoid any surprises when dealing with water damage.

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