Water damage to a home is common and costly. Do you think it cannot happen to you? Then you should know that it is the second-most frequently filed homeowners insurance claim, adding up to billions of dollars each year.
Statistically, homeowners are seven times more likely to have water damage than fire and six times more likely than a burglary. The list of possible causes for plumbing leaks alone is extensive. They include:
- Showers and tubs
- Washing machines
- Water heaters
Whenever homeowners are blindsided by water damage, one question typically comes to mind first:
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage?
As it is with so many insurance questions similar to this one, the answer is “It depends.” Different types of water damage require different types of insurance coverage.
For example, homeowners insurance typically covers water damage that is sudden and accidental, such as a burst pipe. It also usually covers damage from wind-driven rain or an icy dam on your roof. As a general rule of thumb, any water from the top down will be covered under a standard homeowners policy.
While some homeowners policies cover sewer and drain backups, most do not. Therefore, you will need to add a sewer backup rider (at an additional cost) to your homeowners coverage.
When does homeowners insurance not cover water damage?
Water that comes from the bottom up—overflowing or surging bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans–is typically covered by a separate flood insurance policy. These policies are available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers.
Damages resulting from unresolved maintenance issues (a plumbing fixture that has been continuously leaking, for instance) might not be covered. Also, remember that homeowners insurance may pay for the damage if an appliance leaks and causes water damage, but will not pay to repair the appliance.
What is seepage insurance?
Seepage means continuous and repeated leakage over a period specified in your policy. The damage usually occurs within the plumbing system, resulting in a gradual leak from a pipe inside the wall or other areas. These situations can go undetected until the damage is so severe that a ceiling collapses or a wall buckles.
If this coverage is not included in your standard homeowners policy, consider adding it.
Do I need foundation water damage insurance?
Foundation coverage will not solve all your potential water damage problems. It usually pays the policyholder only for damage to the foundation caused by plumbing issues. For example, a leaking pipe within the foundation causes it to sink, resulting in expensive repairs.
Prevent seepage with a few relatively inexpensive moves
- Ensure that any water drains away from your home: Seepage is more common when the soil has settled, allowing water to flow toward the house. The rainwater can travel down the outside of the foundation wall and through any existing cracks.
- Seal your basement: Water in the basement can be caused by cracks in the foundation or floor. Painting the basement walls and floor with water sealant could prevent seepage.
- Install a backwater valve: Sewer backups are nasty. By installing a backwater valve, you will allow sewage to go out but not return.
Maintain the plumbing systems
Here are a few more practical tips to help you protect your home from water damage:
- Get in the habit of checking the hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerator ice makers regularly. Replace any with cracks immediately, and replace them every five years as a matter of course.
- Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to ensure they are watertight. Reseal if necessary.
- Shut off the water supply to the washing machine when you go on vacation, and never leave the house with the washer or dishwasher running.
- Locate the main water shut-off valve in your home so you can close it quickly after a pipe bursts or a hose leaks.
- Install an emergency pressure release valve to protect against the pressure and bursting caused by freezing pipes.
- Check plumbing and heating pipes for cracks and leaks and repair them immediately.
Get a homeowners insurance checkup
Protecting your home from water damage begins with having it appropriately insured. For over 60 years, the White Cloud Insurance has been delivering the most competitive personal insurance options. And we will provide the specialized coverage you need to help protect your home from water damage.
Use our convenient contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.. At NSI Insurance Group, you are always our priority.