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Does Insurance Cover Water Damage?

A homeowner’s insurance policy is intended to cover damage caused by disasters, like hail, windstorms and fires. Damage from certain calamities, like earthquakes and floods, however, are not covered by homeowner’s insurance.  Water damage, though, may be covered in specific scenarios.

Water damage that results from flooding is always excluded from a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. A separate policy from FEMAs National Flood Insurance Program must be purchased to cover damage from floodwaters. This is true no matter how the floodwaters originated.

Since standard homeowner’s insurance excludes damage that results from flooding, what types of water damages do policies cover? Insurance is designed to cover the cost of water damage that occurs suddenly and inside the property. Specific weather-related damage may also be covered.

Is gradual water damage excluded?

Painter-Staring-at-Water-Stain-on-CeilingAs mentioned, an insurance policy is intended to cover water damage that is unexpected and accidental. Even if the homeowner becomes suddenly aware of the water damage, if the cause of damage has been going on for a while, the insurance company will deny the claim.

For instance, a homeowner may fail to notice water leaking from a pipe behind a wall. Upon noticing the water stain, a claim is filed. However, this long-standing, undetected issue may produce an unfavorable result—the homeowner’s insurance will deny the claim.

Claims for gradual water damage typically end up being denied due to the fact that the damage resulted from a lack of home maintenance, neglect or poor repairs. A property is filled with hidden nooks, making it essential that the homeowner conduct frequent inspections and promptly fix issues.

What weather conditions do policies include?

Weather conditions, like rain, snow and ice dams, can be detrimental to a property. Ice dams that cause a roof to collapse are likely to cause interior water damage. Such instances may be covered by a policy if the damage is deemed to be caused by a covered weather event.

However, not all damage caused by weather are included in a policy. For example, interior water damage that results from roof rot is not covered by insurance. When water damage is due to gradual deterioration or neglect, insurance policies will not cover it.

Is indoor plumbing covered by insurance?

Pipe-LeakDamages caused by sudden ruptures to the plumbing systems are covered by insurance. For instance, malfunctions in the fire sprinkler, water tank, outdoor sprinkler and air conditioner may lead to interior water damage. Insurance is likely to cover water damage caused by such scenarios.

Water leaks that stem from a broken appliance, like a dishwasher, are also covered by insurance. To be covered, the leak in the dishwasher must have been unexpected. While insurance will cover the damage, homeowner’s policies will not provide compensation for the broken appliance itself.

Are fire disasters covered by policies?

A fire may erupt inside the property. As a result, the water sprinklers will go off or the fire department will extinguish the flames with a water hose. In such instances, the resulting water and mold damage will be covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy.

How do homeowners move claims forward?

While certain scenarios are covered by homeowner’s insurance, many times claims are denied. Property owners can improve their chances of having a water damage claim move forward. Homeowners can take steps to prevent unanticipated disasters through regular home maintenance and record keeping.

Keep records of home maintenance repairs. In the event of a loss, these records will be useful. Inspect the home at least twice annually, in the spring and fall, and make prompt repairs. Performing minor repairs before they balloon into major ones cuts down on expenses.

Homeowners should also understand the coverage details and exclusions in their policy. The wording in an insurance policy informs the policy owner about what is and is not covered. Any lingering doubts or questions about coverage should be resolved with the insurance agent or advisor.

Lastly, property owners should be sure to purchase an insurance policy that fully meets their needs. When necessary, ask the insurance broker or agent about extra coverages, especially if they will be useful. Consider purchasing separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.

What are water damage prevention tips?

Man-Cleaning-Gutters-Removing-LeavesSince damage caused by gradual plumbing leaks are not covered by homeowner’s insurance, it is critical that homeowners perform regular inspections. Check the bathroom plumbing, including sinks and under the sinks, and make sure the seal and caulking around fixtures are watertight.

Appliance hoses, like those attached to the washing machine, are notorious for breaking. Examine the hoses to the washing machine and dishwasher periodically for wear and tear. If cracks are visible, replace the hoses right away. Leak sensors that send mobile alerts are also helpful.

Exterior home maintenance is important to prevent indoor water damage. Roofs, windows and doors should remain tightly sealed. Clear the gutters of debris at least twice a year, and ensure the downspout directs water at least three feet away from the house.

Contact ServiceMaster EMT

Water Extraction ServicesWhen faced with a water damage disaster, contact your insurance company as a first step. Next, turn to a reputable water damage restoration company, like ServiceMaster EMT, for immediate attention. Our restoration crews promptly respond to water damage so that it has less chance to spread.

With proven water damage restoration techniques, ServiceMaster EMT will return your water-logged home or business to its pre-loss condition quickly. We use the latest equipment to diagnose the issue, clean up the moisture, repair goods and fully restore the premises.

ServiceMaster EMT is highly qualified to serve residential homes and local businesses with water damage restoration, including medical facilities, government buildings, industrial buildings and educational institutions. Our experienced crews utilize IICRC-certified restoration techniques to eliminate excess water from the property fast.

Available 24/7

Home and business owners in Los Angeles, California, depend on ServiceMaster EMT when a water damage emergency strikes. With experienced crews who follow industry standards, our water mitigation company is prepared to get you out of a water damage crises 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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