Some of the most frequent insurance claims made by homeowners are related to water damage (1 in every 50 insured homes). While insurance coverage related to fire or smoke damage is usually straight-forward, coverage for water damage claims isn’t quite so simple.
The most important element to consider is the source of water. For example, a sump pump failure or a backed-up sewer (and damage from it) isn’t always covered by insurance. Here, we’ll consider different sources of water and how they can determine whether insurance will cover the damage or not.
- Water damage due to flooding. Flooding is one of the most common reasons for water damage restoration calls and insurance claims. The Insurance Information Institution considers an area to be flooded if it remains dry normally, and the water ingress is caused by natural tides, mudflow, or erosion of land along a body of water. Normally, this IS NOT covered by homeowner’s insurance unless you specifically ask for it to be included. You may need to consider a flood insurance policy for this type of coverage.
- Water damage from subsurface water. This is when water starts seeping into houses and commercial properties from the soil beneath them. One of the most common reasons for subsurface water seepage is melting snow. You will need to ask for this to be included in your insurance since it is not normally part of typical homeowner’s insurance policies.
- Clogged/blocked water. Backflow of water due to clogs or an overwhelmed city sewage system can lead water and debris to discharge and stand in your home, consequently causing water damage.
- Sump Pump Failures. The sump pump not working may also lead to water overflowing in your basement. This is usually covered by homeowner’s insurance if you made the decision to purchase the Backup of Sewer, Drain, & Sump Pump endorsement offered by most insurance companies.
- Domestic water sources. Typically, sources of water damage from inside the home are the easiest for insurance companies to grant coverage. The most common causes of water damage from domestic sources are burst supply lines to washing machines, dishwashers, sinks and toilets. Another common source of damage is from water heaters. Water heaters tend to last 8 to 12 years. As they near the end of their life, their tanks begin to erode and leak.
These are the basics of the intricacies involved with water damage insurance coverage; however, there is a lot more to consider. If you’re looking for advice on water damage restoration insurance, we always recommend reaching out to your local insurance agent. If you need someone to help you with damage from water, smoke, fire, or mold, Major Restoration is at your beck and call around the clock. Just give us a call, and we’ll be right over!