Does Homeowners Cover Water Damage?

Homeowners insurance is a must have to protect yourself and your belongings from a catastrophic loss. But most homeowners have never filed a claim, nor do they know what is even covered. Generally, if the cause is sudden and accidental — if an appliance or bathroom fixture springs a leak or a storm blows a tree through your roof and rain pours in — the typical homeowners insurance policy covers resulting water damage. It will not fix the root cause, only the damage sustained from the loss. Example: If your roof leaks and you’re covered for such a loss, it’ll cover the ensuing damage but it won’t cover a new roof or a roof repair. Otherwise no one would ever get a new roof, they would just wait for their old roof to leak.

If the cause is gradual (over a long period of time, or what the insurance company deems as a long period of time), and preventable, including wear and tear or a lack of maintenance, then water damage is generally not covered by home insurance. For example, damage caused by a leak from a rusty old pipe or a roof with missing shingles that’s past its replacement age likely isn’t covered.  

Flooding and sewage backups are usually not covered, unless you have a separate flood and/or backup policy added to your insurance. Sump pumps need to have backup coverage and also need to be noted in your policy to have a claim covered if you have a sump pump failure. There are also coverage limits you’ll need to check as some backup policies can be as little as $5,000. The extra fees in monthly charges may be worth it as most water damage claims for sump pump backups with reconstruction can easily reach $10,000 and even higher for sewer loses.

Regular maintenance of your plumbing and appliances can help eliminate or decrease your chances for a flood. But in the event of water damage in your home or business, it is always better to know what you’ll be covered for and what is not covered. Consult with your agent about your coverage limits. In the event of a water loss, our 24 hour emergency service team at Mold Solutions & Inspections is at the ready and we can work directly with your insurance company if the event of a claim.