Many people believe that any damage to their home for almost any reason is covered through their home owner’s insurance policy, thereby providing them with a false sense of security. This is not to say that all types of water damage are not covered; however, many water damage claims may not be covered at all or to the extent expected. Furthermore, some water damage claims may require a specific rider to be purchased in order to be covered under your home owner’s policy. Each policy is different, and each state and even municipalities are zoned differently as well, allowing for different coverage options. However, below are some basic tips to help you determine whether your water damage is covered by your insurance policy.

The Basics

Water damage is a complex issue in the insurance world. There are certain stipulations that help determine whether the damage is covered or not. The number one stipulation regarding water damage is whether the damage was the result of an accident or odd occurrence, or whether it was the result of neglect or normal wear and tear. The second stipulation is whether the damage was caused by a flood, and if so, whether or not you have flood coverage. The answer to both questions can determine whether you will receive any coverage from your insurance, and if so, what the extent of coverage received will be.

The Break Down

To truly understand what is and is not covered, it is important to understand what insurance companies deem to be issues that could be prevented by regular maintenance. However, before that is even addressed, floods must be considered. Depending on your state or even your municipality, you may only be offered flood insurance as an add-on rider if you are in a flood zone. Whether you have the rider or not, floods are typically not covered if they occur from a river overflowing or a flash flood due to weather conditions.

Moving onto other causes of water damage, sudden and accidental causes of water damage are almost always covered. Defining “sudden and accidental” is key in determining if your issue will be covered. Items such as a burst water heater or pipe, an overflow of water due to a tub, toilet, or sink leak, and even a dishwasher explosion would typically be covered. Even the overflow from a backyard pool due to a weather related incident, such as a fallen tree or rainstorm, may potentially be covered, providing coverage for both the interior of your home and your lawn and landscaping. Some other issues that would likely be covered would include in-home fire sprinkler damage and water damage due to a fish tank leak or overflow.

Several items are never covered unless a rider is included on the policy. These items include the previously discussed flood issues and any water damage resulting from sewer backups from drains and pumps. In addition, items like pin hole leaks that eventually show through and cause water damage are not typically covered due to the belief that these could be prevented by way of regular maintenance to your property.

Finally, there is the issue of a roof leak.  A roof leak may go either way.  Typically, a roof leak caused by a faulty roof would be preventable through routine maintenance to your home, and therefore damage to your roof and home would not be covered. However, if a storm caused damage to your roof by ripping off shingles or causing a tree to fall through it, this would likely be covered by your policy.

Water damage is a complex issue with any insurance policy and should be addressed with the help of a qualified public adjuster. People Insurance Claim Center, Inc. is available to answer any of your concerns and help you deal with the insurance company to obtain your maximum benefit. Contact them today at (305) 956-3666.

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