If you’re a homeowner, chances are that you will experience some type of water damage while you live in your home. Water can cause serious damage to your roof, walls, floors and foundation, so it’s important to make sure your homeowner’s insurance will cover your damages.
Most homeowner’s insurance is defined as type HO-2 or HO-3 which covers various kinds of water damage that can occur in your home, with the exception of floods. It most states, homeowner’s insurance doesn’t protect your home against flood damage since most insurance providers require a separate flood policy. However, your basic policy may cover other types of disasters that can result in water damage to various areas of your home. If your specific disaster is covered under your policy, your homeowner’s insurance will reimburse you up to the maximum coverage, minus your deductible.
Typical homeowner insurance policies cover accidental water and steam discharges and overflows from plumbing leaks and broken pipes in the walls and under sinks; heating and air conditioning equipment like hot water heaters; appliances like washing machines and dishwashers; and automatic fire sprinklers. In general, your homeowner’s policy will typically pay for unexpected and accidental damages from interior water sources, but it usually doesn’t pay for damage caused by outdoor water sources that find their way into your home. The place where the water originates may determine whether your loss is or is not covered.
Although claims for damages can be small, insurance providers are concerned about more serious problems with mold and mildew that can occur. If damages aren’t quickly and properly repaired, mold and mildew growth can lead to health issues like allergies, asthma and respiratory problems. Hidden leaks inside walls or in a basement or attic can go undetected for years. Insurance providers are specific about the types of damages they cover due to the expense of potential repairs and health risks.
Water damages can be minor or major, but even minor damages can result in costly repairs. If you have a claim, it’s important to note that it’s the damage to your home that’s covered, not the repair of the failed item. If you have a broken pipe that results in water damage, your insurance will pay for the costs to open up and repair the wall to access the pipe, but it will not pay to repair the broken pipe itself.
When you own a home, good homeowner’s insurance is essential, but it’s important to know what your policy covers. Shop around to find good homeowner’s insurance in your area. Look for a policy with coverage, deductibles and monthly premiums that meet your needs and your budget.