Does Insurance Cover Water Damage

If you are trying to find out if your home insurance policy covers water damage, then it’s really important to be clear about what type of damage has actually occurred. Once you have a clear understanding of what exactly your policy covers, it’s easy to take the correct steps to make a claim and get the money that you want to get back on your feet again.

Does Insurance Cover Water Damage?

 

There is often confusion as to whether you are able to make a claim or not and many people feel like they are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. If you purchased your insurance policy and did not read it when you took it out, now would be a good time to take a look to discover what exactly you are covered for. While this can be a tedious process, as reading an insurance policy is not exactly light reading, it will definitely be worthwhile.

It’s quite common for policies to be taken out based on the cost of the premium, or in other words, the cheapest one. I must admit, I used to do the same thing myself a few years ago! We all want to feel we’re getting a bargain and home insurance is no different. However, not taking out enough cover can be a costly decision if you are not able to use it when you need it most. It can insult to injury if you are unable to claim the money you need to get your life back in order.

What is Water Damage Insurance?

The thing is, any type of insurance cover including home or flood insurance can be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with the terminology contained in the documents that you receive after taking  out the policy. It’s happened to many people, and you are not alone in getting frustrated with your insurance company if you’ve tried to make a claim and they’ve refused to pay out.

There are two separate types of insurance policies to understand, one called a flood insurance policy and the other a homeowners insurance policy. If you make a claim on one, it will usually not be covered by the other. It’s a good idea to consider the specific risks that your home may be exposed to. In the U.S., water damage is the second most frequently filed insurance claim and has accounted for more than $5 billion of reported claims each year from 1999 to 2003.

In a nutshell, basic home insurance policies do not usually cover flood. If you decide that you may be at risk from a flooding event then you must take out separate and appropriate level of cover. The best way to consider what each of them provide you with is to think of them as complementing each other. If you have both, you will be covering all bases and you can sleep easy!

Homeowners Water Damage Insurance Explained:

Unfortunately, if you’ve had a flash flood that has caused damage, normal homeowners insurance will not cover this. However, what it does cover are such things as a water pipe leaking from an appliance into your kitchen, bathroom or indeed any other room in your house. However, be careful though some companies can decide not to pay out if they deem that the appliance was not well maintained.

Another common claim is when rain has entered through the roof of the house and drips through the ceiling into a room. This type of insurance will cover damage to any items that have been damaged by the water, but would not cover repair of the roof as this is classed as a maintenance issue. However, taking another similar example, if a very heavy rain storm causes a tree to fall on the roof, then this is covered as it would be an exceptional circumstance (sometime called an act of God) and hence claiming for the roof repair in this situation would be possible.  Thank God!

Flood Damage Insurance Explained:

In the simplest terms, flood damage to your home is only covered with a flood insurance policy and no other insurance will cover flood damage.

As the name suggests, flood insurance will cover damage up to the policy limit due to a specific flooding event. This means that if a river or overflowing body of water rises onto the ground in any way, it is classed a flood. “Normal” water damage in a home due to a leaking tap or appliance is not classed as rising water and therefore is not covered by this type of policy.

If you’ve had heavy rain in your local area and a river overflows into your home, this is covered by flood insurance. This is also the case if flash flooding causing mud or soil to slide down into your home. If the rain has entered your basement due to the ground not being able to absorb enough water, this again is also covered by flood insurance. It can be a good idea to contact your local environmental body in order to find out if you live on a flood plain if you are concerned about this.

Conclusion:

When you take out your home insurance policy it would be wise to perform some due diligence and read it carefully to make sure it covers what you need in the unfortunate event of having to make a claim. Even better, before taking it out consider your own personal situation. Make sure you get enough cover. Don’t be satisfied with basic or a minimum coverage home insurance contract.

If you live near a river or other flowing water, you may want to consider paying a little extra for some flood insurance to cover yourself for flood damage if it does occur. Don’t be afraid to ask when you take the policy out and check specifically what you’re getting for your money. You want the right cover for you and your family.

I hope the advice above has provided you with a better knowledge of whether you may be covered and what steps to take to learn more if you’re thinking about making a claim. If you have any comments, please feel free to add them below.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

waterdamageexpert December 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

Thanks for the reply Matt. Great advice.

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Jonathan gazzy July 16, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Hello author, the post you have shared with us, is really informative for all those people who have faced the problem of water damage and looking for the compensation of this damage from the insurance companies. Most of the insurance companies provide this facility that if there is any water damage then they will pay the home owners a little bit amount.

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