One of the first questions we get asked on our plumbing situations is whether homeowners insurance can cover the situation. This is a complicated question to answer since every situation is unique, but here’s some basic information to consider.
Can Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Most general homeowners insurance policies tend to cover water damage from plumbing issues if the damage was created suddenly and unexpectedly. That means something like a burst pipe, water tank breaking that floods water, washing machine suddenly pouring water into your house, or a sewer backup from a big storm. When the damage is significant and unexpected, there’s a high chance insurance can get involved.
Insurance often DOES NOT cover regular maintenance or slow leaks that cause damage over time. So a slow leak in a pipe that is clearly visible that causes damage to your floors is an example of a highly unlikely insurance claim.
Insurance companies are quite adamant that water damage that results from normal wear and tear of piping (or obvious lack of maintenance) are not covered in most policies.
What Should You Do For Insurance Claims When You Need A Plumber?
Step 1: Turn off the water to prevent further damage in the situation
Step 2: Take pictures or videos of the situation to have evidence for the adjustor
Step 3: Assess the situation to determine if any other dangerous aspects exist (example: turn off the electricity if wires are near the leaking water)
Step 4: Move any furniture away from the damaged area if possible
Step 5: Remove the water if possible
Step 6: Call your insurance provider to get a full understanding of your policy if you’d like to file a claim and have an adjustor come out to your property
All insurance policies have different language, and each provider has their own process for handling claims with plumbing – both for emergency claims and damage claims. It’s important to review your policy at least annually to have a better understanding of what could be covered in any situation.
This is especially true with sewer issues. We encounter many sewer problems at Your Local Plumbers and this is often an add-on feature for insurance plans that many customers don’t have on their plans. Please review your plan because sewer problems can be expensive repairs if you have 100% responsibility.