There are several aspects of home insurance that are often misunderstood. Many homeowners go to file a claim after an accident and are surprised and frustrated to find out that the damage isn’t covered. One of the main misunderstood aspects of home insurance is damage caused by water.
As a rule, water damage isn’t covered by home insurance unless in certain circumstances or unless the homeowner has added certain additional coverages to their policy.
When Water Damage is Covered by Home Insurance
Seepage or explosions from pipes may be covered under your basic home insurance policy if the incident occurs suddenly and without warning. If a pipe suddenly bursts or a hose breaks, damage to the home and its contents may be covered. There are exceptions to this, however. Home insurance doesn’t cover damage that is caused by negligence. Damage due to poor maintenance will not be covered. Make sure to keep up regular maintenance and follow directions when it comes to preventing freezing or bursting pipes.
Additional Home Insurance Coverages that Cover Water Damage
Home insurance excludes a few disasters both natural and accidental. Thankfully, there are coverages that you can add to your policy in order to combat these dangers.
- Flood: Flood insurance covers damage caused by natural and unnatural flooding. It can help compensate for damages to the physical home and the policyholder’s personal belongings.
- Water and Sewage Backup: Water and sewage backup insurance covers damages due to sewer complications that lead to discharge or overflows from a sewer, drain, dump, sump pump or other equipment. Mechanical issues may also be covered, though negligence is still excluded.
These coverages are liable for the same exclusions as others when it comes to items that are covered. Items such as jewelry, furs and art may need to be covered beneath additional policy endorsements.
How Much is Water Damage Coverage for Home Insurance?
The cost of flood or water and sewage backup coverage depend on your location, age of the home, claims history and more. For flood insurance, most homes pay around $600 a year (around $50 a month). Water backup and sewage coverage may cost anywhere between $50 and $250 a year (about $4.16 to $20.83 a month). Before signing a home insurance policy, make sure that it has the correct coverage you need to protect against all possible incidents.
FAQ’s About Does My Homeowners Coverage Cover Seepage from Pipes?
Does homeowners insurance typically cover seepage from pipes?
Homeowners insurance policies generally do not cover gradual damage like seepage from pipes. They are designed to protect against sudden and accidental events, not wear and tear or maintenance issues.
What kind of water damage is covered by homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance usually covers water damage that is sudden and accidental, such as damage from a burst pipe or an appliance overflow. It’s important to check your policy for specific coverage details.
Can I get additional coverage for seepage or slow leaks?
Some insurers offer endorsements or separate policies that provide additional coverage for problems like seepage or slow leaks. You may need to specifically request this coverage.
What should I do if I notice seepage in my home?
If you notice seepage, you should immediately address the source of the leak to prevent further damage. Contact a professional for repairs and review your insurance policy to understand your coverage.
Will homeowners insurance cover mold resulting from seepage?
Mold resulting from seepage is typically not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, as the seepage is considered a maintenance issue. However, if mold is a result of a covered peril, it may be included.
What is the difference between seepage and a burst pipe in terms of insurance coverage?
Insurance coverage differs in that seepage, a gradual process, is usually not covered, while a burst pipe, being sudden and accidental, is likely to be covered under a standard homeowners policy.
How can I prove that water damage is sudden and not due to seepage?
To prove water damage is sudden, you may need to provide evidence such as time-stamped photos, repair records, or a professional assessment to distinguish it from gradual seepage.
Are there any preventative measures I can take to avoid seepage from pipes?
Regular maintenance, such as inspecting pipes for corrosion or damage, using water leak sensors, and ensuring good insulation, can help prevent seepage from pipes.
Is seepage from external sources, like the ground, covered by homeowners insurance?
Seepage from external sources, such as groundwater, is typically not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. This type of water intrusion is often classified as a flood, which requires separate flood insurance.
What steps should I take to file a claim if I have damage from a pipe leak?
If you have damage from a pipe leak, you should document the damage with photos and videos, shut off the water to prevent further damage, make temporary repairs if necessary, and contact your insurance company to file a claim promptly.