A plumbing emergency has the potential to cost thousands of dollars and make life quite difficult. Aside from water damage, there is also a good chance mold will form and restoration will be necessary. Furthermore, if your plumbing in Florida has one or several burst pipes, your water bill will increase and you will temporarily have to shut off the flow of water, creating quite the inconvenience. This is precisely why those who experience problems with plumbing in Florida commonly ask if such issues are covered by their homeowners insurance. We have the answers.
The Restrictions of Homeowners Insurance for Plumbing Problems in Florida
Rewind time back to the 1990s and you would find minor leaks spurred by cracks in pipes or hoses were not excluded from homeowners insurance coverage. However, plenty of insurance providers have since put significant restrictions as well as limitations on homeowners insurance coverage for plumbing in Florida. In particular, if the problem has been caused over time, there are extensive limits and restrictions.
Plumbing issues that developed more than 14 days prior to the claim are likely to be only partially covered or not covered at all. However, the specific language used in your unique homeowners insurance policy might not be the same as that in your neighbor’s policy and so on. Take a close look at the details of your homeowners insurance policy to determine if any restrictions or limits apply. When in doubt, reach out to your insurance agent for a plain English explanation of the policy’s restrictions and exclusions.
The language pertaining to homeowners insurance coverage for plumbing in Florida is dynamic as opposed to static. This means the language gradually changes in accordance with the number of plumbing incidents, claims and other factors. In general, if the leak or mold has been present for 14 days or longer, the damage will not be covered by the insurance policy. However, the language of your particular homeowners insurance coverage might state differently. Some such insurance providers have comparably broad water damage coverage.
The Different Types of Water Damage
The type and timespan of the water damage both play a part in determining whether the homeowners insurance coverage will prove applicable. Homeowners insurance policies define covered water damage as that which is sudden and accidental. As an example, if the toilet overflows while away from home during the workday, the loss will likely be covered. Furthermore, if a water pipe breaks and the floor buckles a week later, the homeowners insurance policy will also likely kick in. In general, this policy is applicable for damage caused by water damage that is an accident and occurs in a rapid manner. Even an event such as rain pouring through a broken window will prove applicable as long as that hole in the window was caused by a storm.
However, other types of water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance policies. As an example, if water gradually seeps into the home as time progresses, resulting from a maintenance issue that was neglected, coverage will not apply. Furthermore, if the damage results from a backup of water from a sewer or drain, the homeowners insurance probably won’t apply if that water moves indoors. Water or sewer backup coverage is necessary for such cases.
Finally, flood damage of all types, regardless of the water source, is not covered through homeowners insurance coverage in Florida. Flooding can result from surging water stemming from a lake, pond, river or even the ocean. Insurance specific to floods will be necessary for coverage to prove applicable.
Do not let Water Gradually Become a Problem
Too many homeowners make the mistake of letting plumbing in Florida gradually worsen to the point that it causes significant problems. If such a gradual worsening occurs, be it a leak, broken pipe or other plumbing malfunction, the homeowner will likely have to cover the full cost of repairs. The moral of this story is homeowners insurance coverage is unlikely to prove applicable unless the plumbing problem occurred in a rapid manner rather than over the course of time.
What About Plumbing Breaks Below Slabs and Re-piping?
Florida homeowners often ask whether re-piping is covered through homeowners insurance. In most cases, this coverage will not apply as repiping a home is generally considered to be a preventative measure the homeowner is to pay for out of pocket. However, plenty of homeowner insurance policies will cover damage resulting from failed or corroded pipes if it can be proven the damage was accidental and sudden. Furthermore, if there is a slab leak, the homeowners insurance might apply. If insurance is applicable, it is likely to cover some or all of the cost of repairs two times. However, if a third claim is made, the insurer is likely to deny coverage, insisting the homeowner pay for the repairs on his or her own.
Understanding insurance policies can be tricky and homeowners’ insurance is no different. Each policy may be different, but it helps to pay attention to the language used. The specific language used in your policy might be vastly different from that of your neighbor. Your policy may cover certain plumbing issues that your neighbor's wouldn’t and vice versa. It is, therefore, advisable to always examine the details of your homeowners insurance policy and check for specific limits and/or restrictions. If that doesn’t work, contact your insurance agent to gain a better understanding of the inclusions and exclusions of your particular policy.
Need help in Plumbing in Florida? Call Erica’s Plumbing & Restoration Today
If you have plumbing problems of any sort, reach out to us right away. Our plumbing crew will analyze the problem and determine the best course of action. Give us a call at (561) 245-7435 to learn more about our plumbing services and schedule a service appointment.