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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

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April-S***-WeatherCreative Commons License Per Gosche via Compfight

 

Rain rain rain. That’s all it ever does anymore in the Northeast. This winter has been more gray (or is it grey) than any I can recall in the last few years. The last couple winters have at least been white. I would take that over the constant overcast skies. Then when it finally does clear up the temperature drops to 20 degrees! Oh how I miss you Florida.

There are certain types of water damage that are typically covered. Keep in mind some policies are different. You should make sure that your Homeowners Policy at least provides coverage for the following…

  • Wind driven rain that leaks in through a roof or through siding.
  • If you have the correct endorsement, water that overflows of backs up from a sump pump or drain.
  • Water that overflows or leaks from a washing machine, dishwasher or other appliance.
  • Water that leaks from a shower pan or toilet.

 

These are the most common types of weather related water damage. And water damage is the most common type of Homeowners claim.

  • Ground water that seeps through the foundation.
  • Water below the surface of the ground that seeps or leaks through a building or any other structure.

 

Basically, water above the ground that causes damage is covered. Surface water or water underground that causes damage is NOT covered. Exception-if you have an endorsement that provides coverage for sump pump or drain discharge or overflow.

Get that endorsement. You can select the limit that you want. If your basement cost $10,000 to finish, then get $15,000. The first Five Thousand will be spent just drying the basement out. Water remediation is very expensive!

 

How do you determine the source of water damage?

This can be very easy or extremely difficult depending on the factors. If your living room has a giant water stain in the middle of the ceiling than you most likely have a leak from the upstairs bathroom. Coming from either the toilet or shower pan.

Suppose it’s your shower pan. The insurance company will pay to remove and replace whatever is necessary to get to that shower pan. They will pay to repair the drywall or plaster ceiling in the living room and also repaint the room. They WILL NOT pay for the shower pan as wear and tear is EXCLUDED in the policy.

Other common interior water claims include washing machine hoses that break. The ensuing water damage is covered, no coverage for the hose. Water heaters-damage is covered, water heater is not.

 

It’s an insurance policy, not a maintenance policy.

Common covered exterior water damage claims.

  1. High winds that lift shingles and allow wind-driven rain to enter the house.
  2. High winds blow siding off the house and allow rain to enter the house.
  3. Trees that fall onto a house which allows water to enter and cause damage.
  4. Sump pump overflow or discharge whether it be because the pump malfunctioned or just simply became overwhelmed. If you have the endorsement, you have coverage.

 

What to Discuss with your Agent…

  • Does my policy provide coverage for damage sustained from interior plumbing?
  • Does my policy provide coverage for damage sustained from an appliance?
  • Do I have the sump pump endorsement and what are my limits of coverage?

 

My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

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