According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 85% of commercial buildings and residential properties experience excess moisture and water leaks. Precision Environmental can moisture map your property to identify water hazards and repair water damage, whether artificial or caused by a disaster.
Water is one of the biggest threats to your house and belongings, so it’s critical to know what home insurance covers if your home suffers water damage. Water damage can result in repair bills between $1,000 to $10,000 or higher, depending on the circumstances. A homeowners insurance policy can help fund cleanup, whether your property needs water extraction or complete restoration.
What Types of Water Damage Does Insurance Cover?
Generally, water damage that is considered “sudden and accidental” is covered (like a burst pipe) but not gradual damage, like a leaking bathroom sink. Water damage covered by insurance typically includes:
- Burst pipes. This might include a frozen pipe that bursts, but not if you neglected to keep the home properly heated.
- Accidental leaks, such as leaking plumbing or an appliance leak, like a broken washing machine or dishwasher.
- Water damage after a fire from water used to extinguish the flames, such as water from a sprinkler system or a hose from the fire department.
- Water damage from a roof leak, such as damage from a storm or a tree that falls on your roof.
- Water damage from storms, such as heavy rain or hail.
What Types of Water Damage Will Insurance Not Cover?
Here are some common problems that are typically not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy:
- Water damage due to lack of maintenance or negligence, such as not repairing a plumbing problem or failing to keep the heat on during freezing temperatures.
- Water damage from intentional acts, like setting a fire to your home or purposely turning off the heat during the winter.
- Water damage from “earth movement” like an earthquake, landslide or mudslide. For example, if your pipe burst because of an earthquake, the water damage most likely won’t be covered. If you want coverage for earthquake damage, you’ll need to buy a separate earthquake insurance policy.
- Water damage that backs up through a sewer or drain (unless you purchased special coverage for this problem.)
- Water damage from leaks from a swimming pool or other structures.
- Water damage from seepage or leaks through a foundation.
- The cost to repair or replace the source of the water damage, like fixing a broken dishwasher or washing machine.
Homeowners insurance policies can significantly reduce the financial burden of home repairs. If you need to file a water damage claim with your insurance company, there are a number of crucial steps to take:
- Mitigate the damage yourself, and be sure to contact the fire department and police if you have electrical concerns
- Call your insurance company to report the damage
- Photograph and video all damage
- Gather paperwork and electronic files related to damaged property (such as receipts and dates of purchase)
- Conduct an adjuster inspection. your insurer may recommend that Precision Environmental provides a detailed inspection to assess the damage
- Understand what your homeowners insurance policy covers, and how your deductible factors into your insurance claim. Ask questions if something is not clear.
Insurance generally covers mold caused by water damage if the water problem was covered by the policy, such as a burst pipe. Insurance won’t cover Mold caused by water damage from other issues, such as lack of maintenance, leaks from swimming pools, floods and earthquakes.
If your property starts to smell musty or you notice dark or wet spots on your floors, ceiling, or walls, you may have a problem on your hands. And when it comes to water damage, time is not on your side, so be quick to act:
- If the damage is due to plumbing issues, shut off the main supply line.
- Move your personal belongings away from the impacted areas of your home.
- If the damage is extensive and covered under your policy, report it to your insurance company immediately and file a claim.
- Document the damage with photos, videos, and create an inventory of any damaged possessions.