If you own your own home, then chances are you’re at least a little familiar with homeowners insurance. If you financed the purchase of your home, your lender may have made insurance a mandatory part of your mortgage. You might have simply gotten the basic policy when you closed on your home, but have you looked at it lately? Here is everything you need to know in regards to Homeowners Insurance & Water Damage.
Homeowners insurance 101
First off, homeowners insurance includes a couple different types of coverages. Let’s break them down:
There’s your ‘dwelling coverage,’ which insures the structure of your home (your house itself), and attached garage. So when it comes to water damage, your dwelling coverage can help pay for repairs if plumbing-related losses damage the walls of your home, for example.
Then, there’s your ‘other structures’ coverage. That includes things like detached garages, fences, and swimming pools.
Another part of your homeowners insurance, personal property coverage, covers your personal belongings. So if a pipe bursts and ruins your brand new TV, your personal property coverage can help replace it.
Take note: If you have valuable items such as pricey jewelry, cameras, bikes, or fine art – you’ll need to get Extra Coverage for them. If your home is uninhabitable due to water damage, your loss of use coverage can help cover your expenses, as long as the damage was accidental and sudden. Your policy may reimburse you for any added costs of living, including a hotel and extra daily expenses.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
The short answer? It depends. The kind of water damage will dictate whether your homeowners insurance will cover it. Typically, if the cause was sudden or accidental, like a burst pipe, your insurance can help. But if the water damage is a result of poor maintenance or regular wear and tear, your coverage might not apply. You’re responsible for maintenance as a homeowner, and if the appraiser can find evidence of neglect or deterioration, your claim could be denied.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
One of the more critical things to understand about homeowners insurance is what types of water damage a policy will cover. The phrase most often used is “sudden and accidental.” That means if you have a water heater pipe suddenly burst and spray water everywhere, soaking into the wall and flooring, your policy may cover the repairs under what’s called “dwelling coverage.”
Your policy may also have personal property coverage, which means if that water heater pipe bursting also damages your favorite recliner or a stack of books, replacing those items may also be covered.
Before your policy covers anything, you’ll probably need to pay a deductible. It’s smart to know what your deductible is now, before anything happens. Some homeowners like to keep an amount of money equal to the deductible amount tucked away in a savings account. Depending on how much the deductible is, you might still end up paying a lot of money out of pocket even if your water damage is covered.
Water damage covered by snow, ice, or sleet is usually covered as well. Too much snow on certain types of roofs can cause caving or leaking; that means you could have damage in your walls too—and that can be a costly repair.
What Water Damage Is Not Covered by My Homeowners Insurance?
While many types of damage are covered by your insurance policy, the cause of the damage may not be. If you have a leaky roof, your insurance won’t cover the cost to replace the roof, but it will cover the water damage that the leak caused on carpet and floors inside your home. Additionally, your home insurance will not cover water damage if the cause is wear and tear or lack of maintenance.
A major source of water damage that is not always covered is flooding, including flooding from natural causes like rain or river overflow. For that, you’ll need separate flood insurance coverage. But if your basement flooded because the pipes burst, then your insurer should cover that damage under a regular homeowners policy.
How can I avoid water damage?
1. Pay attention to leaks
The best way to avoid water damage is to be on the lookout for potential leaks. Pay extra attention to your walls when the weather is particularly bad, so you can spot any potential sagging.
If you discovered some water damage, take action quickly by stopping the flow of water and turning off any electricity right away. Before getting rid of the remaining water, document the damage with some pictures so you’ll have evidence to send to your insurance company.
2. Be on top of maintenance
Make sure to regularly clean your gutters, test your sump pump once a year, and replace missing roof shingles (the tiles that cover your roof).
If you’re not a DIY virtuoso, no fear – instead, call in a plumber or maintenance expert to do routine spot checks for you. Maintenance checks aren’t expensive and are well worth the small investment in the long term. Water damage on its own can weaken your home’s foundation and core, leading to a million and one other issues.
Btw, during the winter, we suggest keeping your home at a warm temperature to ensure your pipes don’t freeze, especially if you’re on vacation and your home is vacant for an extended period of time.
3. Prevent basement water seepage
Basements are often in the firing line for water damage. The next time it rains, head down to your basement and see if there was any water seepage. To adequately protect your basement from flooding, reseal your floors and basement walls with water sealant.
H2O Pros | Restoration Water Damage Omaha Services
In any case that you have a basement flood, or any other type of water damage in your home or building, give us a call or fill out our contact form. Flood damage never happens at a convenient time, and that is why H2O Pros in Omaha makes it a priority to be available for you around the clock, 365 days a year.
Our commitment is satisfaction, safety, and the most efficient water damage cleanup project possible. Here are a few more benefits for hiring a water damage remediation company in Omaha:
- Speed and Efficiency
- Minimizing Financial Loss
Give us call for any flood or water damage inside your residential or commercial properties.