Water Damage: What’s Covered?
So, does your home insurance policy cover water damage? Do I need flood insurance? What does flood insurance cover that my homeowner policy won’t? Have you ever asked yourself any of these questions, or should you be? Let’s explore the difference.
Depending what caused the water to enter can be a determining factor as to what the coverage there will be. There are two different policies that cover water damage to a dwelling (a house, apartment, or another place of residence. (Dictionary.com). Those include a Homeowners Insurance policy and then a separate Flood Insurance policy.
Typical water damage that can be covered by your Home Insurance provider is most often defined as water that didn’t start from the ground and move in. We are looking at water that started in and moved out or from above and came down- A little confusing? Here are some examples:
- Busted water heater leaks into the bedroom causing damage
- Broken pipes or hoses from your washing machine
- Burst pipes as a result of freezing (unless you left your house and forgot it was going to be below freezing and failed to prepare)
- A leaky roof causing water to come in through your attic or ceiling. Some policies cover water damage that results from rain or storm (although this can vary policy to policy).
- A hailstorm smashes your window, allowing hail and rain to gain access to your home.
When does home insurance not offer water damage coverage? If it is not sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging of steam, heating, AC, or automatic fire protection system, you may be looking at a whole new ordeal. Example include:
- Backed up sewer or septic
- Ground seepage
- Poorly backed up pipes
Water damage coming from the outside in or from the ground up is going to be covered by flood insurance. Flood is a rising and overflow of water onto normally dry land. For flood insurance, “rising” is the keyword. Don’t worry here are some examples:
- A storm lingers over an area for a few days dumping abnormal amounts of rainfall causing overflowing retention to flood surrounding areas causing damage to property from rising water.
- Your pool collapses and floods your home
- Water main break under your house causing the ground to be fully saturated and cause cracks in your foundation.
Knowing your exposure to risk will help you to determine whether the extra Flood insurance policy may be needed.
It’s important to understand that flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance do not duplicate coverage. They work together and complement each other. Additional coverages can be added to your home owner’s policy that outlines specific water damages that you might want to consider. Talk to your agent about flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance, and then decide which coverage you need to protect your home, its contents, and your family.