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Water Damage Coverage by Homeowners Insurance

THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017

f you're a home owner, you probably have a homeowner's insurance policy. If you don't have one, we're pretty sure it's a good idea you have one. The homeowner's insurance is your best coverage from potential damages, from various causes and factors. Imagine losing your hard earned home to damage you don't have the money to recover from. Big heartache, isn't it?

Make Sure You are Covered

Every insurance company offers a different policy and different terms for coverage. When you purchase your homeowners insurance, you should pay attention to what coverage you're receiving, and compare different policies. If you're not sure, maybe you should consult with an insurance agent who may explain the terms and conditions of the full policy.

Homeowners insurance's main goal is to make sure you're covered from sudden damage or catastrophe, damaging your home, decreasing its value and in bad cases - making it uninhabitable. To help you understand better, here is some basic information about what water related damage is covered in your insurance policy and what water related damage is not covered by your insurance policy. One caveat though - as stated above, each policy should be inspected individually, as coverage varies from policy to policy.

Here are a few common questions about water damage coverage:

Is a water leak covered by homeowners insurance?
There are several answers to this question, but in most cases - a water leak is covered by homeowners insurance, unless it is an ongoing leak which was not taken care of on time and now caused damages. Most policies will cover water damage from leaks (either from pipes or appliances) but not floods or long term leaks related to poor maintenance of the property.

Is mold damage covered by homeowners insurance?
Depending on the source of the mold growth, and although rumors are that insurance companies will reject your claim for mold damage, some mold growth is covered by the insurance policy. If the mold is a result of a sudden and accidental water damage, the mold is probably covered by the insurance since it's not a claim of its own, and related to a damage covered by the insurance policy. The reason most insurance companies do not cover mold claims is that mold takes time to grow, meaning it is interpreted as ongoing negligence.

Is a flooded basement covered by homeowners insurance?
If you haven't purchased the additional flood insurance, the answer is "No, the flooded basement is not covered". However, if the flooding is related to a water leak or burst that is covered, it might be included in the claim for that damage as collateral damage. Consult with your water damage expert, your insurance agent and check your insurance policy to understand exactly what is covered, and how is it covered. And if you live in a flood-prone area, do yourself a favor and purchase the extra coverage. It's worth it.

Are leaky pipes covered by homeowners insurance?
Nowadays, all home insurance policies cover plumbing leaks, as long as they are sudden and accidental, and not related to negligence. If a pipe burst suddenly, or a hose running to one of your appliance tore up for some reason - you're covered and should be fine. If you left a water trickle running for days, weeks or months - the insurance company will probably reject your claim.

Is a broken water main covered by homeowners insurance?
This is a tricky question, and depends on who owns the water line and where exactly it broke. In most high density populated areas today the water main belongs to the municipality, and as such it is also covered by their insurance and not yours. As such, the damage done to your property would be considered the municipality's responsibility. However, it's always good to inquire with your insurance provider, to be sure who will help you recover from your loss.

Is storm related water damage covered by homeowners insurance?
Yes. And no. It depends. Storm damage, rain damage, wind damage and hail damage are mostly covered by today's insurance policies, but not every damage is covered. A flood or water damage caused by an earthquake may not be covered, as these usually require additional coverage (which also costs more money).

Many types of water damage, many types of insurance coverage

As we explained above and in other articles about water damage, the insurance coverage varies widely. Insurance companies offer different policies for each person, and you should check your terms and conditions thoroughly before choosing your homeowners insurance so you'll know you're well covered.

In addition, every water damage and cause of water damage is different, so the coverage by the insurance is also different. Be sure to make sure the company you hire to restore your property know what they're doing, and work in accordance with the insurance policy and the insurance company's requirements. You don't want to be stuck with the water damage restoration costs by yourself after you paid so much to the insurance company, do you?



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