does homeowners insurance cover water damage

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?


Water damage can be absolutely devastating for a homeowner. Not only does it often strike suddenly and catch you by surprise, but it leaves vast swathes of devastation in its wake. Often water damage destroys things homeowner’s insurance can’t cover, like family photo albums, or your kid’s prized certificates.

These things cannot be replaced by homeowner’s insurance – but, despite popular opinion, it isn’t true that when water damage strikes, all hope is lost for claiming anything back. In fact, there are many different types of water damage that are covered by home insurance – meaning that you don’t have to puzzle over how you’re going to restore your family home to glory.

Although in an instance of bad water damage, you may lose some items with sentimental value, there’s a good chance your home and belongings will be protected by a robust home insurance policy.

When Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?

In general, most insurance policies stipulate that for water damage to be covered by home insurance, it has to be sudden, accidental, and have never touched the ground outside. What this immediately means is that all water damage caused by flooding is not covered.

Flooding is one of the most common accidents that can befall a home that isn’t covered by home insurance. This is perhaps because it is costly to repair, and also because water damage it is the second most frequent home insurance claim. However, some insurance does cover flood damage, but only if you add the coverage onto your home insurance policy. In an area that is at a high-risk of flooding, it is definitely worth the additional cost.

In general, home insurance policies cover these instances of water damage:

  • Weather Events, Like Rain or Snow Storms. Although flooding isn’t covered, damage from rain is, because unlike water damage, which may affect a whole neighborhood, damage from rain or a snow storm is often the cause of a structural issue with an individual roof.
  • Plumbing Accidents. If you’ve got properly maintained pipes that suddenly go around the twist, then you will be covered by your home insurance policy. These include the common seasonal malady of frozen plumbing, and also extend to cover the damage that can occur at any time throughout the year, like burst pipes and accidental overflow.

If you’ve had plumbing installed recently that turns out to be faulty and causes an instance of water damage in your home, have no fear – that will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

  • Water Damage from Extinguishing a Fire. Have no worries about calling the fire brigade if there is a fire in your home – your lounge getting a good hose down to defeat a fire will have no impact on your home insurance policy.
  • A Roof Leak. This might be surprising – and counterintuitive – but only the interior damage that a roof leak causes is covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. So, you can get the carpet fixed, but not the leak in the roof that’s causing the water damage in the first place!
    To bridge that disconnect, make sure that if you’re in an ageing property, you supplement your standard home insurance package with roof insurance, so that a roof leak doesn’t catch you out.
  • Accidental Overflows of Appliances and Fixtures. Although it isn’t cool just to leave the tap on when you leave the house, if you do and it causes a flood or spillage, it is covered by home insurance!
  • Mold. Instances of mold are covered, but only if they are the consequence of water damage. If you are living in a damp area and mold just slowly grows around windows or in the restroom, that type of mold isn’t covered by home insurance.

The golden rules as to whether particular instances of water damage are covered is dependent on if they are sudden, fast, and have not touched the ground first.

What to Do When Water Damage Strikes?

When water damage strikes, you will not be able to renovate your home yourself, unless you have years of specialist experience. Renovations after water damage require a specialist touch – and that’s where All Dry USA  come in. Our years of expertise make us the perfect candidates for fixing up a home after crisis – and as long as it’s sudden, accidental, and not groundwater, your standard home insurance policy should foot the bill.

Ben Suiskind
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