Homeowners insurance includes several coverages that protect you, your home, and personal property from a variety of common hazards. This includes everything from theft and vandalism to disasters like fires and windstorms.
But when it comes to water damage, knowing what is and is not covered can be confusing. While homeowners insurance does not protect against flood damage, there are certain types of water damage that it does cover.
To help you better understand your policy and coverages, here is when homeowners insurance does and does not cover water damage.
Contact us today to speak to a KSA Insurance specialist, or request a quote to find out how easy it can be to protect your home and your family from any eventuality.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage that is internal and occurs suddenly or accidentally. If the water comes from outside of your home, though, then the damage will typically not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.
Homeowners insurance typically covers water damage resulting from:
- Burst pipes
- Frozen plumbing
- Water damage after extinguishing a fire
- Overflow of a household appliance (e.g. toilet or bath)
- Faulty plumbing
Homeowners insurance may also cover the removal of mold as long as it is a result of covered water damage. For example, if a pipe bursts and the resulting water damage leads to mold growth, your insurance policy may cover the cost of removal.
When is Water Damage Not Covered?
There are several circumstances in which water damage would not be covered by a standard home insurance policy. This includes water damage resulting from outside sources as well as water damage resulting from neglect or a lack of home maintenance.
Homeowners insurance typically does not cover water damage caused by:
- Outside drain or sewer backups
- Ground seepage
- Poor maintenance (e.g. neglecting a leaky pipe for months)
As mold removal is often only covered when it results from covered water damage, mold caused by water damage from the above sources is usually not covered by homeowners insurance.
Homeowners should also keep in mind that while their policy may cover damage caused by water damage, it will typically not cover the costs to replace or repair the source of the water damage. For example, if your broken dishwasher causes water damage, your policy may pay to repair the water damage but will not pay to fix the dishwasher.
Filing a Water Damage Claim
After identifying water damage in your home, it’s important to act as quickly as possible to record proof and file a claim with your insurer. Be sure to take pictures of the damage and the source of the water. If you have pictures of the area from before it was damaged, use these to support your claim. You should also be sure to keep the pictures of the damaged area in case mold grows there in the future. In this case, the before pictures will serve as proof that the mold resulted from the water damage and not from neglect.
You may also consider hiring an independent contractor to assess the damage and give an estimate for repairs. This quote may help you negotiate with your insurance provider in the event that the insurance adjuster’s quote is lower than the contractor’s.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Your home’s location is the primary factor when determining whether or not you need flood insurance. If your home is in a high-risk flood zone, flood insurance can offer invaluable protection against potential water damage. Check FEMA’s flood map tool to learn more about whether or not your home is at risk of flood damage.
Flood insurance is typically recommended for homeowners in moderate to high-risk flood zones, and it may even be worth considering if you live in a low-risk zone to minimize your risk of uncovered damages.
Most flood insurance policies are sold through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is available to homeowners in one of the 23,000 participating communities. These policies offer up to $250,000 of coverage for your home’s structure and up to $100,000 for the contents of your home. Private flood insurance may offer higher coverage limits but is less widely available.
Request a Quote
Homeowners insurance can be complicated, but understanding when homeowners insurance covers water damage will help you prepare for potential future damages.
At KSA Insurance, we work with homeowners in South Carolina and across the southeastern United States to help them find affordable home insurance policies that protect their homes, personal property, and families from a variety of risks.
Contact us today to request a quote and learn more about our offerings.