How To – Water Damage Scenarios
One of the most common homeowner’s insurance claims is water damage. Burst pipes, leaking appliances, and flooded basements lead people to discover the “fine print” in their homeowner’s insurance policy. Although your insurance company may pay to replace damaged carpet caused by a leaking dishwasher, you will have to pay to replace or repair the hose. Below we’ve listed a few scenarios, what you should be doing, and what will be covered.
-Temperatures drop to 10 below zero, causing water pipes to freeze and burst. The floor is now covered in water that is six inches deep.
You should be covered for water damage occurring from bursting pipes, but they will deny the claim if your home is unoccupied or not properly heated. This is because the insurance company expects you to maintain a reasonable upkeep inside your home, to prevent accidents.
-Your backyard pool floods, ruining your basement.
Swimming pool leaks are sometimes covered, but not often. You can assure universal coverage if a tree fell on your pool and caused the incident, but you may run into trouble if it just happened without any outside stimulus.
-Washing machine overflows, flooding the surrounding area.
If your insurance company perceives the situation to be that you haven’t maintained your washer, they won’t pay. If it seems accidental, you may be covered, sometimes even having to buy the replacement parts on your own while they take care of water damaged property.
-Sewers back up, flooding the basement.
Many times homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover sewer backups. Many specifically exclude damage from sewer back-ups. You can add special endorsements to your policy, which cover sewers and drains, at added cost to you.
-Water leaks through roof, damaging it and furniture.
You’re unlikely to be reimbursed for roof damages, because this is a maintenance issue. The water damage to your property is covered however. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your roof, every bit of damage to you will be covered, and the insurance company will even pay to have the tree removed.
-Nearby bodies of water overflow, causing flash floods in and around your home.
Flood damage isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance. You must purchase separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.