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Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Water and damage are two words no homeowner wants to hear together. Whether from broken pipes, flood, or faulty appliance, the cost of clean-up and repairs can be more than you expect. Thank goodness you have a home insurance policy; however, not every type of water damage is covered by the standard home insurance policy. To make sure you're covered, it's important to understand the distinctions.

Homeowners insurance policies have three basic categories. HO1 policies are the least expensive, but they also carry the highest deductibles and have the most exclusions for water and other types of damage. In the middle are HO2 policies, which are the most common because they still have reasonable rates but have lower deductibles and cover more types of damage or loss. HO3 policies are on the high end of the spectrum, carrying the lowest deductibles, but with the highest rates. HO3 policies usually have the least restrictive exclusions as well.

Both HO2 and HO3 policies will cover a water damage claim in most cases if the damage is caused by an internal water source. That means if a pipe bursts or your washing machine or air conditioner leaks, the damage will most likely be covered. However, the cost to replace the faulty pipe or washer is usually not covered in your policy.

On the other hand, if water enters your house from outside, like in a flood, that type of damage is not usually covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. A separate flood insurance policy needs to be in place to make sure you’re protected in the event of flood damage. If your house is in a high-flood area you may be required to have a flood policy. Ask your insurer if they participate in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.

Whether from a burst pipe, flood, or faulty appliance, the cost of clean-up and repairs can be more than you expect.

Is water damage caused by weather covered?

Some policies will cover the cost of repairs for water damage due to certain weather events, but the limitations and restrictions are usually very strict. To take advantage of any coverage allowance your policy provides for incidents like damage from rain you will most likely need to prove the damage was due to faulty construction or foundation problems. If there is any chance the damage was your fault due to poor maintenance, expect your claim to be denied. This means that gradual leaks occurring over an extended period of time are usually not covered.

The bottom line is that water damage that generates from water within your home is usually covered by the standard policy. Water that gets in to your house via a window or door — including sewer backup — isn’t.

If you are unhappy with how your current insurance company dealt with your water damage insurance claim or if you are worried you don’t have the coverage that you need, give a helpful insurance agent a call today. They can help you compare quotes and types of coverage from a variety of companies to ensure you have a policy that is perfect for your circumstances.

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