Will Insurance Cover Your Water Damage?
The scenario for discovering water damage is usually the same but with varying differences. Someone stumbles upon the water damage unexpectedly when they open a door, go down a staircase, step in a puddle, see it on the floor or hear it dripping. With the discovery there are immediate questions that are addressed and the most common is, “does homeowners insurance cover water damage?”
Water damage is one of the most common claims insurance companies are contacted about for property. The answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover water damage, is based upon the type of water, the source of water and the type of homeowners insurance you have.
Often when you make that first phone call to your insurance carrier to open a claim, a trained individual on the other end is trained to ask a number of questions. Your answers will determine if you are covered for water damage or not. This is why it is important to talk first to a flood restoration company that can help you make a compelling case for entitled coverage.
Cost of Water Damage
Experiencing water damage to your property is no small ordeal and often the damages are greater than initially thought. For instance water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances that can violate the integrity of a homes structure. Water has commonly been referred to as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more materials than any other liquid. The more water inevitably means the cost for water damage will be more, so it is important to find out does homeowners insurance cover water damage.
If your insurance company covers the expenses of repairing your home it is because you have purchased an adequate policy that covers certain types of water damage. This will be the silver lining to your water damage nightmare and with someone else footing the bill for getting your life back on track, you will not be in debt beyond your deductible.
Whether your home has been flooded by hammering rain or a plumbing issue like a sewer backup or broken water pipe, contacting your insurance company sooner than later is advisable. This should be your second call as we stated earlier a reputable water restoration company should be contacted first to inspect the damages and help you with explaining your damages to your insurance company.
Making an insurance claim for water damage
When you call have your policy number ready along with the answer to these questions. When did you discover the water damage? Knowing the date of loss is important, however if you have been away for several days you may only need to give the day of departure. Where did the water come from that created the water damage? Knowing the source of where the water came from is going to be essential to determine coverage.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will completely cover water damage if the cause is sudden and accidental. Several examples of covered water damage scenarios are as follows: Water from a broken pipe, water from a burst hot water heater, water from a toilet overflow or sink overflow, water from a malfunctioning appliance such as a washing machine or dish washer, water from any fresh water source in the home.
Less is more when making a homeowners water damage claim
Remember that although the types of water damage mentioned above are covered by insurance they have to be sudden and accidental. If you disclose to the insurance carrier that the problem has been occurring for weeks or that you allowed water to sit unabated for several weeks you will be denied. Homeowner’s insurance need to know you are responsible and you did not allow a water issue to languish for weeks and months creating expensive damages that could have been avoided if you responded promptly.
If your water damage is sudden and accidental than make sure you do not mention anything about water issues in the past. Bringing up a leaking faucet from a year ago or a puddle of water found by a toilet a month ago will only confuse the sudden and accidental requirement and give the insurance company an excuse to deny coverage. Your answers to all questions should be short, to the point and there is nothing wrong with yes, no and I don’t know. Once you have answered the question to, does homeowners insurance cover water damage, work should begin as soon as possible.
Dwelling coverage covers most water damage
If you residential water damage claim is a covered peril it is the “dwelling coverage” on your policy that will cover most of the cleaning and repairs. Any water damage resulting from municipal water that is paid for each month is generally covered. So, if a pipe suddenly bursts and damages a wall or a toilet overflows and damages laminate flooring then dwelling coverage may help pay for cleanup and repairs.
Conditional coverage for certain types of water damage.
The most common type of water damage in Southeast Michigan is basement flooding from a sewer or drain. Heavy rains, roots clogging drains and thawing snow are responsible for most flooded basements and ironically this is the one type of water damage many will be horrified to discover they are not covered for. Basements that flood from a failed sump pump, sewer backup or drain overflow are not covered under a normal insurance policy. This type of water is considered as waste water and requires a special insurance policy. The policies can be purchased by homeowners from their insurance carriers for an additional amount usually not very costly at all. The amounts of coverage vary from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00.
The policy is called, “backup of sewer or drain” and must be purchased in order for coverage to be afforded to property owners when basements flood. If you have purchased “backup of sewer and drain” coverage, than find out what limits you have as most policies are for either $5,000.00 or $10,000.00. Some companies offer limits as high as $20,000.00 which is still less than could be necessary if you have a large and ornately finished basement.
Personal Property Coverage helps replace water damaged contents
Personal property coverage helps pay for damage to your personnel belongings if they are damaged by water. An example of this would be if you have a burst pipe that results in water getting to your computer, bookcase and clothing there should be coverage to help pay to repair or replace the damaged items.
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from leaking plumbing?
Your homeowner’s policy should be capable of covering damages caused by leaky faucets, hot water heater leaks and refrigerator leaks. Water damage in a kitchen, laundry room or bathroom can cause extensive damage and require very costly repairs. Water damage from a toilet leak or broken or frozen water pipe is a covered loss as well under the dwelling coverage of a policy.
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from appliance malfunctions?
If a water using appliance fails and suddenly and accidentally floods property than the resulting water damage is covered. If your washing machine fails during the discharge cycle and floods your property there should be no denial of coverage. If your refrigerator supply line breaks and floods the kitchen there should be coverage for cleanup and repairs.
What types of water damage are not covered?
No one wants to hear they are not covered after asking, does homeowners insurance cover water damage? So what are some of the types of water damage that will not be covered by insurance? If your kitchens sink base cabinet has become rotted by continual water presence that is considered a pre-existing water damage issue that was neglected. If you have had water buildup or dripping around a rooms ceiling each time it rains for several years and finally get mold, there would be no coverage.
Water damage coverage for damages from a leaking dish washer would be covered, but the repairs or replacement of the broken dish washer would not be. If your washing machine breaks and floods the basement then the damages would be covered, but the repair or replacement of the washing machine would not.
Call Action Extraction today if you have any questions on water damage or want to learn tips on preventing water damage. We are a premiere water damage restoration company that serves Macomb county as well as all Southeast Michigan.