After water damage, you may be wondering, does homeowners' insurance cover water damage due to leaky pipes? We also look at the intricate parts of home insurance policies and how these can affect your claim. Water damage can create numerous costs for a homeowner. These include fees for repair and replacement. But while an insurance policy may cover many of these, the coverage of some problems such as those a faulty pipe suffers, are in doubt.
How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage Due to Leaky Pipes?
Nationwide, water damage has proven expensive in terms of insurance payouts. Statistics say that the insurance industry remits over two billion dollars per year to homeowners who have suffered damage. Yet, massive as the sum sounds, it hardly covers all homeowners’ needs.
In particular, water damage due to leaky pipes is difficult to claim. Insurance companies classify damage of this sort into those that occurred gradually and others that occurred suddenly.
Water damage due to leaky pipes falls into the class of damage that occurs gradually. Insurance terms do not usually cover this as you are expected to observe it and maintain it yourself. However, if it occurred suddenly or accidentally, you are likely to win your claim.
Water damage claims are denied due to the fact that they are often gradual. While it is thought by many to have occurred suddenly, the damage will mostly have built over time. For instance, you may not notice a leak in your pipe until it becomes a huge problem. This can be due to the spread of pipes into different parts of the house, making it hard to spot a leaky one.
Also, your claim may be denied because your policy does not cover that particular damage. In some cases, you need to have an extra of some sort that will cater to the problem. If you would like to have something like this, ask your insurance company if there is any such policy. If they don't have one, it may be time to look for others who do.
What Type of Water Damage is Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
There are scenarios where you can make a successful claim for water damage. Does homeowners insurance cover water damage due to leaky pipes? It depends on the damage and how it happened.
Damage Caused by Accidental Leaks
Homeowners insurance covers water damage due to leaks that occurred unintentionally. These leaks include those from a malfunctioning washing machine, those caused by a dishwasher, and leaks from other home appliances.
Weather-induced Water Damage
This can occur due to bad weather. Your insurance policy includes water damage from stormy weather and hails.
You will likely experience this if you live in the colder parts of the US. Winter can cause your pipe to freeze and burst. This is sudden and falls under the terms. However, you may not succeed in your claim if you deliberately leave your heater off, causing the pipe to freeze.
Water Damage after a Fire Accident
Also, you can get insurance for water damage an extinguisher or your sprinkler caused. Damage from water sprayed by the fire service will also make for a successful claim.
What Type of Water Damage is Not Covered by Homeowners' Insurance?
Below are reasons why your claim for water damage insurance may be denied:
Earthquake or 'earth movement' is one of the exceptions to an insurance claim. If your pipe is broken due to the occurrence of an earthquake, you will not be eligible for coverage under homeowners insurance. This also extends to landslides and mudslides. But if you wish to insure your property against these, you can obtain a specific insurance policy for earthquakes.
Natural Water Disasters
Disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes and floods will not earn you coverage under a homeowners insurance policy. They are not normally included. However, as with earthquakes, you can get a policy specifically for that purpose.
Additionally, if your sewer or drain backs up and causes water damage, you may not be able to file. This is except your policy provides for this.
Foundation and Pump Failure
If the damage occurred either due to leaks through your foundation or from a pump failure, making a successful claim may be difficult.
Where you have been negligent in preventing such damage, your insurance claim can prove unsuccessful. Negligence will basically be cited in situations where you turned off your heater, didn't maintain or fix plumbing.
Finally, if you deliberately set fire to your property or created water damage, you may not be able to file a successful claim.
In addition to the circumstances we listed above, your homeowners' policy does not cover the resulting damage. This refers to things such as moisture which may appear due to the main damage. For instance, in a situation where your roof was damaged, and water seeps in, you can be covered for repairs, but not the mold that has collected in your living room.
Steps to Take After a Water Damage
How different homeowners insurance cover water damage due to leaky pipes depends on the damage and how it happened. If you are armed with proof of your damage and the possible causes, you have a better chance of having your claim approved.
Make a Recording
Making a recording of the state of things will help strengthen your position with your provider. Before you do a cleanup, capture as many images or videos as you may need to cover it all. These should include all objects within your space. If proof is not available, you may have fewer chances of winning your claim.
Stop the Flow
When you find water pooling in your house or part of it, try to determine the source and stop the water. Do this only if it appears safe. Sometimes, such as when it is the main valve, you might need a wrench to shut the water. In other cases, you only need to do it by hand, like when it is the stop to your toilet's water supply.
One way to quickly be aware of a water leak is to invest in a detection system. This can help you prevent serious damage to your property.
Your Insurance Policy
This is the next place to go after you have ceased the flow. It is also very vital. Understanding your insurance policy will help you determine whether the damage is provided for or not. You will also save yourself the hassle of filing when the policy does not include the damage.
Against future issues, you should examine your policy to understand the terms and the specific words it uses. You can also go for insurance add-ons to extend protection to other water damage. Finally, to have more robust insurance options, you can seek the aid of an expert.
Report the Claim
The earlier you report your claim, the better for your position. Does homeowners insurance cover water damage due to leaky pipes? You have to report it to know if you'll be covered. Usually, it takes between a day and two for mold to start collecting in your home. Your provider should be able to advise you on cleanup if you are unable to do it yourself.
At this point, you already have a restoration company to help with cleaning. What they do is remove water and clean wet spots before mold spreads. However, where this has happened, the restriction company may need to clean using special methods to eliminate the mold.
Confirm that the company you are employing has a license for the job. Also, look through online reviews to ascertain their credibility. Contract details, as well as collecting an estimate before service, are important parts of this step, too.
Water damage should not be taken lightly. Even when the restoration company has removed the water, you must also consider the health implications. For example, the damage may have caused a release of waste and household chemicals, heightened the risk of electrocution from still damp surfaces, or left mold spores lying around.
If you're wondering does insurance cover water damage due to leaky pipes, you also may need to expand your definition of coverage. An insurance policy will usually bear your accommodation costs if you need to move out. During your time at a hotel or other living space, be sure to gather receipts along the way. These will help you in getting a reimbursement.
The Insurance Adjuster
Adjusters play a two-pronged role. First, they evaluate the damage and determine the cost. Second, they try to see if the faults came from you. Your adjuster will take photographic and documentary evidence of the scene. He will ask questions and make measurements.
The insurance company will also observe whether fault came from someone else. For instance, where a plumber improperly installed your pipes or did something that made the damage likely. If the adjuster finds that it was your fault, your bills will be on you. But if it is the plumber's fault, they may try to obtain damages from the insurers of the plumber's company.
Sometime after the adjuster has done the assessment, the company will send an estimate of costs. This will include expenses for labor and materials. However, the size of your settlement can be determined by the current worth, not the price you bought damaged property. The insurance provider pays you for the present price of your property unless your terms stipulate otherwise.
Meet Different Contractors
Finally, as you prepare to restore your home to the way it was, make sure you talk to several contractors. Asides from the fact that it helps you to pick the best, you will also be able to argue if your settlement is small. If your provider pays you less than you really need, contractor prices can help them realize this.
Reach Out to Erica’s Experts
This article has examined when and why homeowners insurance cover water damage due to leaky pipes. We have also looked at the situations in which your day insurance will and will not cover water damage.
We must conclude that water damage caused by leaky pipes can be avoided entirely through proper maintenance of plumbing. You can run regular checks and upgrade facilities when you need to. If you're searching for a reliable company in Florida to do these for you, contact Erica's Plumbing and Restoration Services. Our experts will help in no time.