Does Home Insurance Cover Water Pipe Leaks – There are several different types of insurance policies for homeowners (both residential and rental properties) as well as for commercial properties. Today we will discuss what is typically covered by the most common homeowners insurance policy in Florida, an HO-3 policy, also referred to as an “all risk” policy.
An HO-3 policy is often referred to as an “all risk” policy because it starts out describing the coverage as all damage, or “direct physical loss to property,” or “sudden and accidental loss” and then works backwards from there to limit That coverage with exclusions. As always, you should review the terms of your insurance policy with a public adjuster at VIP Adjusting if you are making a claim in Fort Pierce, or anywhere along the Treasure Coast.
Does Home Insurance Cover Water Pipe Leaks
Some homeowners insurance policies only cover a small list of “named perils” and have limited coverage while some HO-3 homeowners policies do not cover plumbing leaks. With aging homes throughout Florida including aging plumbing, and poor materials and workmanship becoming the norm for new construction and renovation, hopefully you’ve checked with your insurance agent before the time comes to make a claim.
Pipe Dreams How Homeowners Insurance Handles Plumbing Problems
There are two types of plumbing systems in most Florida homes. Supply plumbing includes pressurized pipes that carry water into your home and to your fixtures and appliances. Sanitary pipes, or “waste lines” carry used water from your toilets, showers, bathtubs, sinks, washing machines and dishwashers to your septic tank or to the sewer.
If water accidentally escapes from one of the plumbing systems, either because the pipes burst, or a cast iron drain pipe is rusted, all damage caused by the water is covered (if your policy has a water damage exclusion, but I’ll continue (to work on the assumption that we are discussing a standard HO-3 policy from here on).
Be water damage in order for the loss to be covered. If you spill clean water onto a tile floor from a broken sink faucet and it causes no damage, there is likely no coverage and no viable insurance claim.
If the water has caused damage, however, your claim is viable. Water leaks can very easily damage laminate floors or lower quality cabinets and vanities. More substantial supply line leaks can cause tiles to de-bond or crack after swelling and contracting the mortar underneath. Water can also easily damage drywall and baseboards.
Does Home Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?
If your leak is from a broken waste line or collapsed cast iron drain, the damage is even more serious. Water in sanitary pipes often contains contaminants from your sink or dishwasher (usually referred to as Category 2 water or “grey water”) or actual sewage from toilets (usually referred to as Category 3 water). If these types of water come into contact with any porous building material, it requires special types of repairs, most of which are outlined in publications produced by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, which is the industry standard.
If you have discovered water on the floor in your home and it is causing damage, the investigation to determine the source of the water is often covered. Homeowners insurance policies require you to protect the property from further damage and this activity may be one of the most important undertakings in stemming the losses in your home. It also requires that you document damages. A leak detection satisfies your needs and post-loss obligations under your insurance policy.
Sometimes this is a simple undertaking, while other times it is a more significant investigation. VIP Adjusting can assist you with this portion of your claim and make sure all steps are documented to show your insurance company when the time comes.
In addition to the water damage coverage trigger, your homeowners insurance policy typically covers access to the broken plumbing to allow for repair. Plumbing access isn’t often a homeowner’s first thought, but it can be the most expensive portion of a claim.
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If a supply pipe bursts inside the wall of your bathroom, the water cleanup and repair of water damage may be minimal, but in order to get to the leaking pipe to fix it, you may have to demolish an expensive shower, including removing and likely . Damaging the tile.
If a supply pipe is leaking inside the slab of a home carrying water to the kitchen, you may have to remove tile or wood flooring to dig through the slab. This is not always the case, though.
If a cast iron waste line is collapsed inside the slab, there is definitely access required through the floor and the slab. A significant trench may need to be dug across the home to lay a significant portion of new pipe, as waste lines often rely on gravity to carry dirty water out of your home. These repairs can run across multiple rooms and may require significant repairs and renovation.
You may also have continuous flooring running throughout your entire home, or significant portions of it. These are important factors that need to be taken into consideration as part of your claim, and why it is best to rely on your public adjuster, instead of the insurance company’s adjuster.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Covers Water Damage?
Your insurance policy does not typically cover “loss to the system or appliance” that is the origin of the water leak and damage. This means if your pipes burst, the insurance covers the water damage and the access, but you pay to replace the pipe. Alternatively, if a valve on your dishwasher or washing machine breaks and leaks, the water damage is covered, but you have to repair or replace the leaking dishwasher or washing machine. This is the most common situation, but it is not always the case.
If you have a supply line inside the slab that is leaking, instead of making an expensive repair damaging the flooring and slab, you may be able to make a type of temporary repair known as a re-route. This type of repair has new supply lines run to the location through walls and ceilings (access through drywall and paint is often significantly less expensive than flooring and slab work).
A plumbing re-route is often determined to be temporary because it does not make you whole and return your property to pre-loss condition. It may or may not be a permanent solution. Sometimes, a re-route reduces your cold water supply by exposing it to heat in exterior walls or attic spaces. Other times, it’s just not feasible, like if the supply line runs to a kitchen island.
There are a lot of different scenarios that come into play when evaluating damage as a result of a plumbing leak. These scenarios have big implications when it comes to the amount of money you will ultimately receive to repair your home. It is important to get in touch with a public adjuster as early in the process as possible so that you are protected.
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If you have a plumbing leak in your home, contact VIP Adjusting today for a free claim evaluation.
If your plumbing is unusable for a period of time, you may also need to make a claim for additional living expenses. A plumbing issue can be stressful, especially if it causes major damage to your home. On top of that, repairs can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, a standard home insurance policy generally covers sudden and accidental plumbing damage and leaks.
But home insurance does not cover plumbing issues that occur as a result of normal wear and tear. And what types of damages are covered can vary by insurance company.
Here’s a look at what plumbing incidents home insurance may cover, what additional coverages you can buy to protect yourself against plumbing damage, and how to deal with plumbing issues.
Are Water Main Leaks Covered By Insurance?
A standard homeowners insurance policy generally covers accidental and sudden plumbing damage and leaks. For example, if a pipe suddenly breaks and causes water damage to your home, your home insurance policy should pay for repairs.
Although a home warranty can be beneficial, it is not the same thing as a home insurance policy. A home warranty does not protect your home against any unfortunate event, such as a fire or a windstorm. This is a service agreement that can help you pay for the cost to repair or replace certain appliances or systems, such as a washer, dryer or plumbing system.
Plumbing incidents involve damage to your home that happens as a result of a problem with your plumbing system, such as a leaking pipe or clogged drain. Although these incidents may cause water damage, they are not the same as flood damage – which standard home insurance does not cover.
Flood insurance covers flooding that occurs as a result of water entering your home from outside due to a storm surge, flash flood, hurricane, or other similar event.
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Flood insurance is separate from your home insurance. This type of insurance protects your home and personal belongings if they are damaged as a result of a flood. But it does not cover water damage to your home caused by plumbing issues, such as a burst pipe or sewer backup.
You may think you only need flood insurance if you live near water or in a high-risk area.
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