Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage? Facts & FAQ
Just the thought that unwanted water could find its way into your home either slowly or suddenly could cause the average person to have a minor panic attack. What’s going to happen to all your stuff? Where are you going to stay? You think, “I have homeowners’ insurance! Yes! That’s the answer! They’ll help take care of all of that for me. Won’t they?” Well, it depends. Let’s take a look at your policy first.
Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Most home insurance policies generally cover water damages where the water enters from above. This includes water from your roof, through windows, eaves, pipe bursts inside the house, etc. On a standard HO3 Special Form policy, water from below is not covered. However, there is an endorsement that can be added to your policy known as water and sewer backup coverage. The fees for this are generally on the lower end.
Is Flood Damage the Same as Water Damage?
No. If you try to make a claim on your homeowners’ insurance for water damage due to a flood, natural disaster, or anything else originating outside your home, expect the claim to be denied. You need to get flood insurance in order to be covered for flooding and natural disasters.
What Is Sudden and Accidental Water Damage?
Some examples of sudden and accidental damage are caused by a burst pipe, unintentional leaks, ice dams, and storm damage. These are all typically covered by your standard homeowners’ insurance policy. On the other hand, Gradual damage is often not covered by your insurance because it can be prevented in many cases. Claims for damages that result from not tending to your home or making proper repairs will almost certainly be refused.
What Is an Escape of Water Claim?
An escape of water claim is a specific type of claim that falls under the category of sudden and accidental water damage. A burst pipe is an example. Water has “escaped” from somewhere inside your home and caused damage. Usually, this type of claim only refers to water appliances and piping within the walls of your home. Damages caused by leaks from dishwashers, refrigerators, and washing machines can all be claimed as an escape of water under your homeowners’ insurance. Damage not typically covered as an escape of water are leaky spigots, septic tanks, and generally any water that comes from below.
When purchasing your homeowners’ insurance policy, it might be tempting to forego the endorsement for water from below. You might think, “I take care of my stuff. Surely that won’t happen to ME!” However, the reality is that accidents happen, and water damage in your home is far more expensive to repair than the few dollars you spend for extra peace of mind.
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