If you’re a homeowner, the type of water damage covered by your homeowner’s insurance may be an important consideration in deciding what level of coverage to purchase. It might not seem like it at first glance, but many different types of water damage can happen, and each type comes with its own set of problems. So before you sign up for that new policy, make sure you understand what type of water damage your homeowner’s insurance covers.
This blog post will discuss the water damage types typically covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
What Is Water Damage?
Water damage is the term used to describe any damage caused by water, and it can include everything from a small leak to a significant flood. Water damage can occur almost anywhere in your home, but some of the most common places are in the basement, attic, or crawl space.
There are three main types of water damage:
• Category 1: This is the minor, severe water damage caused by clean freshwater. Examples of category one water damage include a leaky faucet or pipe, a burst pipe, or rainwater that has entered your home.
• Category 2: This is more serious than category one and is caused by slightly contaminated water. Examples of category two water damage include water from a storm or flood, water sitting in a stagnant pool, or water backing up in a drain.
• Category 3: This is the most severe water damage caused by heavily contaminated water. Examples of category three water damage include sewage, floodwater, or water that has been in contact with hazardous materials.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Homeowner’s insurance typically covers water damage caused by burst pipes, leaks, and other sudden events. However, coverage may be limited for certain types of damage, such as gradual leaks or sewer backups. It’s essential to read your policy carefully to understand what isn’t covered, and you may also need to purchase additional coverage for more extensive water damage.
What Is Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Typically, most homeowners insurance policies will cover all three types of water damage. However, there may be some limits on the coverage you can receive. For example, many policies limit the amount they will pay for category three water damage.
Water damage that is “sudden and inadvertent” (such as a broken pipe) is usually covered, while gradual damage, such as a leaking bathroom sink, is not. Flooding is also excluded, as is damage caused by storm surges during a hurricane.
Homeowners insurance often covers the following types of water damage:
- Broken pipes- If a pipe bursts in your home, causing water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
- Leaky roofs- If your roof leaks and causes water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
- Sewer backups- If your sewer line backs up and causes water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
- Water heater leaks- If your water heater leaks and causes water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
- Overflowing toilets- If your toilet overflows and causes water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
- Gradual leaks- If a pipe gradually leaks over time and causes water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the cost of repairs.
- Sump pump failures- If your sump pump fails and causes water damage, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the cost of repairs.
What Type of Water Damage Is Not Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
Homeowners’ insurance does not typically cover some types of water damage. These include:
• Sewage backup: This is considered category three water damage and is rarely covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. If you have a sewage backup, you will likely need to file a separate claim with your insurance company.
• Water damage caused by a storm or flood is considered category two and is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, some policies may offer limited coverage for this type of damage.
• Damage caused by a leaky pipe is considered category one water damage and is typically covered by homeowner’s insurance.
• Damage caused by a broken pipe is considered category two water damage and is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance. However, some policies may offer limited coverage for this type of damage.
• Damage caused by rainwater is considered category one water damage and is typically covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Water damage can be a severe problem and can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It is essential to understand what type of water damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy to be prepared for a leak or flood.
How Can I Protect My Home From Water Damage?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent water damage in your home. Following are the ways to protect your home from water damage:
• Install a sump pump: A sump pump is a device that helps remove water from your basement or crawlspace. If you live in an area prone to flooding, installing a sump pump is a good idea.
• Repair any leaks: If you notice any leaks in your home, repair them as soon as possible. Leaks can cause a lot of damage if they are not repaired.
• Inspect your roof: Be sure to inspect your roof regularly for any leaks or damage. If you live in an area prone to severe weather, it is essential to inspect your roof for any damage.
• Check your gutters: Make sure your gutters are free of debris so that water can flow freely. If the gutters are clogged, the water can overflow and cause damage to your home.
• Install a water alarm: A water alarm is a device that will sound an alarm if it detects water in your home. It can help alert you to a potential leak so that you can take action to prevent water damage.
Water damage is a severe problem that can cause a lot of damage to your home. By taking some simple steps, you can help prevent water damage. If you experience water damage, contact a professional right away to help repair the damage.
How Do I File an Insurance Claim for Water Damage?
If you experience water damage, the first thing you should do is contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage and determine if your policy covers it. If the damage is covered, your insurance company will provide you with a claim form. Once you have completed the form, you must submit it to your insurance company and any supporting documentation. Your insurance company will then review your claim and decide whether or not to approve it. If your claim is approved, you will be reimbursed for the cost of the repairs.
Water damage is often covered by homeowners insurance, but it can vary depending on the type of water. If your home has been flooded with stormwater or sewage from a broken pipe, this would be considered an “Act Of God,” and you may have coverage for that. However, if there were a break in your pipes where you live, and water damage occurred, this would not be covered. Some companies will not cover any water damage, so it is essential to check with your insurance company to see their policy.