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Basement Leak Covered By Insurance
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Regardless of age or location, no home is immune to water damage. From frozen pipes to leaky appliances to faulty sprinkler systems and more, water can be destructive, and repairs are often expensive. The average water damage claim comes to $11, 098. What’s worse, this type of damage is common. U.S. property owners report approximately $20 billion in water-related damage each year.
Homeowners Insurance And Water Damage
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Fortunately, homeowners insurance helps cover a wide range of misfortunes, including some types of water damage. But it’s important to know which events are covered under your policy and which aren’t – before it’s too late. Here’s what you need to know.
So when does homeowners insurance cover water damage, exactly? It depends on what caused the water damage. Damage caused by a burst pipe is usually covered, as long as the damage is sudden and accidental, and the homeowner has taken proper precautions to prevent things from happening. For example, if your pipes freeze and burst, the water damage is likely covered under insurance (minus your deductible). However, if you leave your home for several days and turn off the heat due to frostbite, your insurer may have reason to reject your claim.
How coverage applies gets even more complicated, however. A major dishwasher leak may or may not be covered. It all depends on the maintenance you have done up to that point. If you knew there were issues with the dishwasher and didn’t deal with it, your insurer could argue that you were negligent and that the water damage could have been prevented, which means that your application would be rejected. It’s also important to review the “Responsibilities in the event of a loss” section of your homeowner’s insurance policy to understand what you can do to prevent further damage in the event of a claim.
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Note that flood damage is almost always excluded under a standard homeowners insurance policy. You usually need a separate flood insurance policy for this type of coverage.
HO-3 policies are the most common homeowners insurance policies on the market. They usually include open perils coverage for your home and detached structures, meaning that if your house or garage is damaged by water it may be covered – unless the policy you specifically exclude that risk. Under the HO-3 policy form, personal property coverage typically describes 16 specified perils. The risk must be listed in your policy to repair or replace your personal items.
Usually, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your homeowners policy will cover water damage, because in many cases it will. However, it is important to understand what situations are covered under your policy and what situations may result in your claim being denied.
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