Home insurance covers a wide range of common hazards, including fires, windstorms, theft, vandalism, and more. But when it comes to water damage, it can be a little confusing to determine what your home insurance policy does and does not cover.
Most home insurance policies cover some types of water damage, including water damage caused by overflowing appliances, but other types of water damage, like floods and sewage backups, are often not covered.
Here’s what you need to know about whether or not home insurance covers water damage.
Home Insurance Coverages
Home insurance policies include two main coverages that can help protect your home and personal belongings against certain types of water damage, including:
● Dwelling coverage: Dwelling coverage helps pay to repair or rebuild your home when it is damaged by a covered peril, which may include water damage from certain sources.
● Personal property coverage: Personal property coverage applies to all of your personal belongings, including appliances, electronics, furniture, clothing, etc. Depending on the source of the water damage, your home insurance policy may pay to replace your belongings if they are damaged or destroyed by water.
Keep in mind that your policy will only pay to repair your home and replace your belongings up to your coverage limits. To ensure your property and belongings are completely covered, you should consider choosing a replacement cost value policy over an actual cash value policy.
When Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Whether or not your home insurance policy covers water damage depends on the source of the water damage. The easiest way to know what types of water damage your home insurance policy covers is to review your declarations page. Your declarations page will tell you what perils are covered, or if it’s an open peril policy, it will list specific exclusions.
Overflow of appliances
Generally, home insurance will cover water damage caused by overflowing appliances if the water damage occurs suddenly, unexpectedly, and accidentally.
For example, if your washing machine suddenly overflows due to a blockage and causes water damage in your laundry room, your home insurance policy should pay to repair the damages. Your personal property coverage should also replace any belongings that suffered water damage.
If a pipe suddenly bursts or springs a leak, your dwelling coverage should cover any water damage that it causes, and your personal property coverage should pay to replace any damaged belongings.
However, if the pipe bursts or breaks due to neglect or improper maintenance, then home insurance will likely not cover the ensuing water damage.
Water damage after extinguishing a fire
As firefighters often use water to put out house fires, it’s common for water damage to be left behind after a fire. In addition to covering fire and smoke damage, home insurance policies will also typically cover water damage that results from extinguishing the fire.
What Types of Water Damage Are Not Covered?
While home insurance policies do cover water damage in certain instances, there are a few notable exclusions that you should be aware of.
Home insurance policies will usually not cover water damage caused by floods, sewer backups, and neglect.
Home insurance policies almost never cover damage caused by floods. Floods are nearly always one of the exclusions listed in home insurance policies, and as a result, you’ll need to purchase flood insurance separately if you live in a flood zone.
Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program — a program managed by FEMA that provides flood insurance to homeowners through private insurance companies.
Sewer and drain backups
Typical home insurance policies do not cover water damage that results from a backed-up outside sewer or drain. Sewage and water backup coverage can often be purchased separately or as an optional endorsement when shopping for home insurance.
Neglect and improper maintenance
Home insurance policies generally do not cover damages that result from neglect, unresolved maintenance issues, or improper maintenance.
For example, if you have a leaky faucet and neglect to fix it, then the leaky faucet causes water and mold damage over time, your home insurance policy will not cover the damages.
Repairing the source of the water damage
While your home insurance policy will cover certain types of water damage, it will rarely pay to repair the source of the water damage.
If your washing machine were to suddenly overflow and flood your laundry room, your home insurance policy may pay to repair the water damage, but you will likely have to cover the cost to repair or replace your washing machine.
Request a Home Insurance Quote
Depending on the source, your home insurance policy may or may not cover water damage. Understanding what your policy does and doesn’t cover can help you determine which supplemental insurance policies you need to ensure your home and personal belongings are covered against all types of water damage.
Contact FIB insurance today to request a custom quote and learn more about home insurance in Miami, FL.