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 homeowner's 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 in Florida
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 in Florida?
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.
How to Get the Best Plan for Plumbing Issues in Florida
One proven way to get the best of your home insurance is to combine a home warranty and home insurance. This will help you cover a vast majority of plumbing issues.
Many people use home warranty and home insurance interchangeably, but they are different. Home insurance or hazard insurance covers repairing and replacing damaged or stolen property. The cause of the hazard must be theft, fire, accident, or damage. Most times, it comes with a home mortgage.
A home warranty, on the other hand, is a protection plan. It doesn't necessarily protect properties from damage but covers the cost and repair of appliances and properties in the home when they break down due to natural wear and tear. You just have to show that you provide regular maintenance for your appliances or property to claim this.
So, where home insurance will require an immediate cause and effect to cover repair or replacement in plumbing issues, a home warranty will cover a gradual and natural degradation of the property, as long as it's not due to negligence. So, if your home is old and comes with a mortgage plan, you will have insurance for when a pipe suddenly bursts and causes water damage. Likewise, adding a home warranty will ensure you also have a sufficient claim when the septic tank deteriorates and causes an accumulation of water in your home.
Easy Home Maintenance to Avoid Plumbing Hassles in Florida
Even home insurance combined with a home warranty cannot protect you if you are not providing regular maintenance for your plumbing appliances. Therefore, you need to take proper steps to avoid spending exorbitant sums for repair despite having an insurance plan.
Metallic Taste of Tap Water
When your tap water starts to taste metallic, the chances are that your pipes are eroding. You should contact a plumbing service in Florida when you notice your copper pipes are rusty.
Tinted Water Color
If the water from your faucet has a light or dark brown tint, it may signify water heater wear. This may just require calling a professional to have it flushed, but you should call in for a replacement if you have used it for close to fifteen years.
Slower Water Flow
One good sign that your pipe is getting frozen is a slower water flow combined with a weird smell.
You can avoid frozen pipes by intermittently running water in your home in winter and raising the temperature in your home by a few degrees.
An unoccupied home will have little to no claim in insurance or warranty; you are unlikely to notice damage as soon as they occur, nor have been providing necessary maintenance. So, it's best to look up separate insurance coverage plans for unoccupied homes to protect yourself from unforeseen costs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about plumbing coverage among homeowners.
How soon after purchase can I use my plumbing warranty?
Providers give a grace period between when you take up a homeowner's insurance plan and when you can make your first claim. The grace period typically lasts about 30 days.
However, they may waive the grace period if you are a previous client looking to switch from a previous plan to another. Once you show that your coverage has never had any gap, you can start to enjoy your plan immediately.
Does homeowners insurance main cover a broken water main?
If a water main break occurs within your home's foundation with no foreboding, it is covered by your insurance plan. However, other water main breaks outside of this description are not likely to be covered.
Does a home warranty cover plumbing leaks?
Yes, home warranties cover plumbing leaks as long as a natural wear progression causes it. However, if your leaks occur due to neglect or storm damage, your home warranty will not cover them.
Which home warranty offers the best coverage?
Choice Home warranty appears to be more popular among homeowners for plumbing issues. With a claim of about $3,000 per item annually, you can get coverage for leaky pipes and appliances, and help with stoppages and other critical plumbing systems. It also has a low service call fee.
Should I get a separate plan for flood?
Yes, you should. As a resident of Florida, floods are a common occurrence, and you can't plan for them enough. As damaging as floods are, they are not covered by home insurance or warranties, so you need to keep your home protected with a separate plan.
Homeowners Insurance in Florida
The Insurance Information Institute put the cost of home insurance in Florida at $1,968 as of 2019. Currently, the average Floridian homeowners insurance has escalated by about 55% at $3,585 annually, according to Insurify. This is the most expensive in the country.
Of course, these statistics may vary based on location, your house's square footage, etc. But at least you want to ensure you are getting the best plan for your plumbing issues in Florida. Here are the most popular Florida-based providers with great plumbing coverage to get the best out of your premiums
- ChoiceHome- best for plumbing issues.
- Security First- free perks and promotions.
- American Family- most experienced provider.
- Select Home warranty- most budget-friendly.
- AllState- great customer service and ratings.
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, Air Conditioning and 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.