Coming back to a flooded home can be heartbreaking, more so if the damage has extended to your personal belongings. And it’s common than you think. As a matter of fact, water is among the top causes of damage to American homes.
It’s no wonder then why many homeowners often ask – does homeowner’s insurance cover water damage? The answer is never straightforward. It’s a yes and a no!
Whether your homeowner’s insurance policy will or will not cover you depends on the specific circumstances.
In today’s article, you are going to learn everything you need to know about what is and isn’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy in regards to water damage.
Instances That Your Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Will Cover You for Water Damage
Broadly speaking, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy does cover water damage. That said, not all events are covered. Your policy will only cover water damage if it resulted from a ‘sudden and accidental’ event, as explained by haasproperties.com.
For example, if the water damage is caused by the sudden breaking of a pipe or if a washing machine supply hose suddenly breaks. Another example is when your water heater raptures and drenches your drywall.
The following are other events that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will usually cover.
- Damage resulting from snow or rainstorm.
- In case of plumbing issues. These issues may include burst water pipes, frozen plumbing, accidental overflow, and faulty plumbing.
- When damage to your personal belongings results from fire extinguishing.
- If the damage is from a leaky roof. Here, your policy will cover not only the damage to the roof itself but also to the interior of your home as well.
- If an appliance or a fixture accidentally overflows.
- When mold grows as a result of water damage.
- When your home gets vandalized.
Instances That Your Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Will Not Cover You for Water Damage
Don’t expect your standard homeowner’s insurance to cover the following types of water damage.
- Flood: Your standard homeowner’s policy doesn’t provide flood coverage, no matter the source of the water. Some of the common causes of flood damage include rainstorms, over-saturated ground, and water surges from rivers, lakes, oceans, or other water bodies. Typically, flood insurance is sold as a separate insurance policy that you will need to purchase to supplement your existing home insurance.
- Maintenance issues: Are you keeping up with the maintenance of your home? If you are not, then your standard homeowner’s insurance won’t cover you in case of water damage.
- Water backup: Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover water backup damage. It’s an optional add-on to a homeowner’s insurance policy. It helps cover the cost of removing water or replacing furniture after an unexpected backup.
- Source of water damage: Your standard insurance policy will not provide cover for the source of water damage. As such, while you can expect your homeowner’s insurance to cover is the cost of tearing out and replacing that damaged floor. Don’t expect it to cover the cost of replacing your washing machine or broken dishwasher.
Is Mold Covered?
Generally, coverage for mold damage depends on your specific policy and location. A majority of insurance companies exclude mold from a standard homeowner’s insurance but provide an option to add it through an endorsement.
Some insurance companies will help cover mold remediation of the mold resulted from a peril that your policy already covers.
So, what constitutes a covered peril? Well, while it varies from policy to policy, with an open peril policy, you will be covered for anything that your policy doesn’t specifically exclude.
And usually, they will cover the remediation to a certain cost. In most cases, a typical mold endorsement covers damages anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000.
Mold remediation may involve doing things like:
- Physically removing the mold
- Controlling all humidity
- Sealing off the mold
- Cleaning up afterward
Take note, however, that your standard homeowner’s insurance will not cover mold damage resulting from your negligence. That is, the negligence when it comes to performing your maintenance responsibilities as the homeowner.
The following is an example:
Suppose you notice that your toilet is leaking water as a result of a damaged seal. But instead of fixing the toilet, you ignore the issue thinking that it’ll probably go away on its own. Then, sooner or later, the damage to the subflooring results in the growth of mold.
And before you take action, the mold has already grown and spread almost everywhere in your home.
In this case, your standard homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover you on the basis that you could have taken some steps to prevent the problem in the first place.
What’s worse, fixing a mold issue often doesn’t come cheap and there is the risk of health problems.
So, will your homeowner’s insurance cover water damage? It will clearly depend. It depends on the specific circumstances that led to the damage in the first place.
Still have more questions? Give us a call at 615-919-1009 and we will be happy to help!