If you’re a homeowner, you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance will cover you in the case of a serious plumbing issue. What if a pipe bursts and floods your home – will you be compensated by your insurer?
The answer isn’t always simple. So in this guide from Anytime Plumbing, we’ll discuss the basics of homeowners insurance, plumbing, and what is (and isn’t) covered by your policy. Let’s get started.
Homeowners Insurance Usually Covers “Sudden And Accidental” Damage To Your Home
So, does homeowners insurance cover plumbing issues? The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is that homeowners insurance does cover water damage and plumbing repairs to your home – but only in specific cases.
In particular, most homeowners insurance policies cover the cost of repairs, property damage, and other expenses for issues that were “sudden and accidental.”
For example, if you are away from your home on vacation and water starts to pour out of your washing machine due to a leak or failure in the appliance, and causes damage to your floorboards and floods your basement, ruining things that you had stored, you can file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Gradual Issues That Could Be Prevented With Maintenance May Not Be Covered
When an insurance adjuster comes to your home, they will evaluate the state of your plumbing systems, and evaluate things like:
- The location of the pipes or leak that caused the damage
- Whether the damage was caused by a new leak or an old leak
- Signs of deterioration in the pipes, such as rust, which may have indicated a risk of a leak
- Indicators that the leak was caused by old age of the pipes or normal wear & tear
If the insurer finds that you could have reasonably prevented the leak, they may deny your claim – it is your responsibility to keep your pipes in good working order.
In addition, failing to report the issue in a timely manner can result in a denial of coverage. For example, if you notice a minor leak and ignore it, you will void your coverage if you make a claim in the future – it’s your responsibility to resolve a minor plumbing issue once you notice it.
Mold May Not Be Fully Covered By Your Policy
Many homeowners insurance policies exclude mold coverage, since mold remediation can be very expensive. However, you may have a certain amount of mold coverage built into your water damage coverage – but this varies by policy and insurer. Make sure you understand your policy, and make sure to file a claim and repair water damage right away to minimize the risk of mold.
Sewer Issues Are Not Always Covered By Homeowners Insurance
You may think that since your sewer system is part of your plumbing, it would also be covered by your policy. But in most cases, you’d be wrong. A flooded, damaged, or backed up sewage system is not covered by most policies.
However, most insurers offer water backup or sewer coverage as an additional insurance rider to your policy. Compared to the cost of a major sewer problem, this is a very affordable addition – so you may want to modify your insurance coverage with a sewer/water backup rider.
Know Your Coverage – Consult Directly With Your Insurer
Every insurance policy is different. If you’re not sure what’s covered, read your policy closely – and contact your insurer for more information about your coverage. And if you need an emergency plumber in Santa Cruz, remember that Anytime Plumbing is always here for you. Contact us online or call now at 831-212-3188 to schedule service today.