According to Realtor Magazine, one in fifty homes filed a claim with their insurance company for water damage, which is the second leading cause behind weather-related accidents. While most reasons for claims have remained unchanged, more homes are experiencing leaky pipes than ever before. So, does your home insurance plan cover water damage restoration? You might be surprised to learn that some damage is excluded, so here is how to get your claims paid.
Water Damage Types
You might be thinking that there is no difference in water damage, right? Well, according to your insurance company, there are some differences and exceptions when it comes to types of water damage restoration. The decision to pay a claim will often come down to the when and why of it. Here are examples of water damage claims that home insurers get and determine responsibility.
- Storm-Related Damage
- Sudden Onset of Water Release
- Sewage or Water-Related Back-Up
- Flooding and Water Overflow
While these are common occurrences, the outcome of an insurance claim is often dependent on a pre-existing condition. If you knew you had a slow leak and did not take care of it, an insurance agent would deny your claim because of implied negligence. Before making a claim, look for the source as well as your policy conditions. It will tell you clearly if your situation will be covered. If it is accidental or sudden, water damage restoration would likely be approved. Gradual leaks that become floods are often the types that home insurers will deny claims to mitigate damages.
Gradual Water Damage
Home insurance language does not define their definition of “gradual water leaks.” One would assume it means damage that occurs over some time. Insurance blogs identify gradual leaks as a grey area. Some progressive damage, like hidden leaks or wood rot, are covered under policies because it was not in a noticeable area (such as floors) and you would need to remove parts of the home not affected for a repair. The insurance blog cited above also notes that in most paid claim cases, many insurance companies will pay up to $2500, which is the cap without a rider.
Insurance companies do recognize that most pipes, vents, and wiring are in hidden structural places. We often don’t realize there is flooding until, well, we see water rising. It’s a good reminder to have a yearly water damage inspection each year to ensure your home is not at risk. Without the right type of maintenance, your only recourse after a flood is water damage restoration which also will leave you at risk for the necessity of mold damage restoration because it will grow in as little as twenty-four hours after surfaces come into contact with moisture.
Of course, any water accidents or sudden floods are covered by insurance agencies. It is a great reason to watch out issues with plumbing, pipes, and moist or moldy walls, ceilings, or floors. Also, look for seepage in the foundation cracks, electrical problems, or faulty plumbing repairs. We work every day with home insurers, so contact us at 1-800-847-0114 or on Facebook here.