Is Water Damage Covered By Insurance?
When you wake up to a flooding basement because of a faulty water pipe, it can be worrying--especially when you realize that the floor is damaged. Among the first questions that you will probably ask yourself is if you have water damage insurance coverage. Water damage insurance is a protection that is provided to most homeowners against accidental and sudden water damage. Insurance does not cover water damage resulting from negligence or lack of maintenance.
Under most standard home insurance policies, water damage that occurs suddenly or by accident from an uncontrollable cause (like a busted pipe) is likely to be covered by insurance. If the water damage is from outside your home, it won't be covered by your standard plan, though you can inquire about special coverage from flood-related costs with flood insurance. This is a separate plan that can be added to your existing coverage.
There are several types of water damage which might be covered or not covered by insurance:
- Accidental or Sudden Discharge
- Water Backup or Sewer Backup
WHEN DOES INSURANCE COVER YOU?
Insurance will cover water damage in these cases:
- Plumbing issues such as faulty plumbing, burst pipes, frozen plumbing, or accidental overflow
- Snow or rainstorm
- Water damage that can result from extinguishing a fire
- A leaking roof (this coverage might extend just to the interior of the home, excluding the roof)
- An unintended overflow of a piece of equipment (like the toilet, bathtub, or washing machine)
- Mold (only if it is the result of water damage)
WHEN DOES INSURANCE FAIL TO COVER WATER DAMAGE?
Water damage is not covered by your insurance if it has not resulted from an accident or a sudden, unanticipated incident. Water damage from lack of maintenance and neglect will mean that you are personally responsible for meeting the cost of repairs. Some of the situations where insurance doesn't cover water damage include:
- Water or sewer pipe backups
- Ground leakage
- Poorly-maintained pipes that may leak
- Gradual water damage, which happens gradually overtime causing damage to your property.
Water damage insurance coverage will not cover water damage that results from a flood. For that, you will need to buy additional flood insurance, mainly if you live in a high-risk region susceptible to flooding.
MOLD FROM WATER DAMAGE
Mold is prevalent, and is not always covered by insurance. It is costly to get rid of a mold invasion; your insurance may assist in covering the removal of the mold, but this will depend on what caused it in the first place.
WHEN DOES INSURANCE COVER MOLD?
Mold is only covered if it has resulted from water damage. If mold grows as a result of situations beyond your control, such as an AC system overflow or burst pipes, your insurance will cover all or some of the mold removal fee since the mold is regarded as an extension of water damage. Otherwise, mold infestations are not covered if they have resulted from neglect or lack of maintenance.
Before purchasing water damage insurance coverage, ensure that you understand your insurance policy coverage, the exclusions, and your responsibilities as a property owner.