Do you want to protect your home against water damage? Maybe you already face a flooding issue?
Burst pipes in your laundry room or a flooded bathroom is a serious problem. As a homeowner, you want to take every precaution in order not to face these situations. But accidents do happen and it's better to be financially prepared.
Standard home insurance policies have similar rules regarding water damage claims. The particular types of damage and the extent of coverage depend on your insurer's specifications.
Bigham & Associates takes a closer look at ordinary water damage cases. We’ll also see how these might be received by your insurance provider. For further information about your particular situation, contact your insurer.
What kind of water damage is covered by homeowner's insurance?
Whether your insurance policy covers water damage depends on the policy's fine print in relation to your circumstances. Standard policies usually cover water damage cases that are immediate and not due to external factors.
Let's take a practical example. A suddenly burst pipe and its consequences should be covered by most standard policies. The unforeseen and accidental damage should enable you to get money.
But if you face the same outcome because the pipe had been slowly leaking for weeks, it's more than likely that the insurer will deny your claim. Long-term issues, negligence, and slow deterioration won't provide the basis for a qualifying claim.
Most insurers won't reimburse the expenses related to replacing or repairing the component behind the water damage. When your washing machine malfunction leads to flooring damage, the insurer won't fix your washing machine nor buy you a new one.
Does homeowner's insurance cover ensuing mold growth?
The risk of mold growth skyrockets after extensive water damage. A sudden spike in moisture could create favorable conditions for the mold spores and result in widespread mold issues.
It's likely that your insurance provider pays for fixing the mold problems that result from water damage. Of course, the requirement is that you have a qualifying water damage claim.
Some standard homeowner's insurance plans come with additional mold coverage. This means that you have to pay a premium if you want to receive coverage for potential mold issues after a water emergency.
Keep in mind that mold problems resulting from negligence will fail to receive insurance coverage. The same is likely to apply for mold growth that takes place in a high-moisture environment such as a wet room.
Does standard homeowner's insurance cover flooding?
Standard homeowner's insurance plans provide no coverage for flooding. There is a separate insurance policy for flood-related damages. You should definitely consider this option if you live in a flood-prone area.
The term “flooding” refers to the source of the water intrusion. The water entering your home should be from a natural source in order for the damage to be considered flood-related. For instance, the source could be an overflowing river or a serious rainstorm.
What else does homeowner's insurance fail to cover?
Water damage that results from a lack of proper maintenance won't be covered by your standard policy. Similarly, there is no coverage for sewer pipe backups and ground seepage. You may receive additional coverage by paying a premium.
How to file a claim for water damage?
If you are sure that you have a valid claim on your hands, then follow these instructions:
1. Contact your insurer as early as possible after seeing the first signs of water damage.
2. Collect visual evidence. Show both the damage and the source of the water, if applicable.
3. Check if you have photos of the area before the water damage. Attach these photos to the claim.
4. Your insurer will ask you plenty of questions. Answer these truthfully and in-depth.
5. Wait for the adjuster to arrive. Keep any receipts. Take photos of any temporary repairs.
In a nutshell: Homeowner's Insurance and Water Damage
Homeowners insurance offers peace of mind over many types of property damage. However, the topic of water damage isn't that straightforward. You really have to check the terms of your standard homeowner's insurance policy.
In most cases, standard policies cover water damage due to immediate and internal causes. For instance, a sudden burst pipe fits the criteria, but flooding due to a rainstorm does not.
Mold issues are common after extensive water damage. Most homeowner's insurance policies should cover the ensuing mold problems if the water damage case already qualifies by itself.
The main steps of filing a claim for water damage include quickly contacting your insurer, collecting plenty of visual evidence, and waiting for the adjuster's report.