The sound of a leaky faucet can keep you up at night. So too, can the thought of whether or not that leaky faucet is something that is covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
Your home is your castle, and you need to do all that you can to protect it. That doesn’t mean building a moat around your castle – as that would put you at high risk of flooding! What it does mean, though, is learning all there is to know about what property damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance.
What’s Usually Covered By Homeowner’s Insurance?
The four main areas of coverage are personal property, liability, dwelling, and other structures.
- Personal property is all your stuff that lives in your home – your clothes, your furniture, your electronics. To be covered here, you need to itemize the contents you want to be insured; these are then given a replacement cost value to determine your monthly installments.
- Liability coverage protects you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage that happens on your property. Let’s say your dog bites a neighbor’s child, and there are hospital bills to cover. These unfortunate accidents do happen, and it’s good to know that you’re covered.
- Dwelling coverage considers what it would cost to totally rebuild your home in the event of a disaster. It takes into account market-related construction material and labor costs when setting a value.
- Things like your fence, swimming pool, or a detached garage would be considered other structures; the limit of liability here generally amounts to 10% of the home’s insured value.
Is Water Damage Covered By My Homeowner’s Insurance?
Water damage that is considered “sudden and accidental” is usually covered by your homeowner’s insurance. So if you leave that leaky faucet alone for too long, and your insurers can show neglect on your part, you wouldn’t be covered.
Strangely enough, the same goes for burst pipes. If you purposefully turn off a heat pipe in your house to save money and come home to a frozen pipe that has burst, chances are that your claim will be denied, as you could have done something to prevent this from happening.
General wear and tear claims are covered. This would include scenarios such as your wooden floorboards being ruined because your washing machine or dishwasher broke unexpectedly, flooding the house. It’s worth noting here that repairing the broken appliance would be covered by something called a homeowner’s warranty.
Water damage from storms is covered. Hail rains down on your home, shattering glass windows. Or a tree falls over in a storm, ripping a hole in your roof. Rest easy-you’re probably covered. Again though, not if the resultant water damage wasn’t attended to in a reasonable amount of time. If you let the problem worsen, you’re in for a tougher job claiming on the policy.
Water damage after a fire is covered. If the fire department were hosing everything down in an attempt to put out a fire – or if a smoke alarm sets off a water sprinkler – then your homeowner’s insurance policy should cover that.
What’s Not Usually Covered?
Standard homeowner insurance policies usually exclude the damage caused by natural disasters. Suppose you live in an area where there is a high risk of earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, or hurricanes. In that case, you need to look into buying separate insurance coverage for these potential eventualities.
Water damage from a blocked sewer or drain is not covered. Like most insurance coverage, if you want it covered, you can either specify it or seek an additional policy to cover it.
The rule of thumb involves staying on top of your property’s maintenance so that you can’t be accused of neglect when it comes to submitting a claim. It’s also important to remember that you sign a homeowner’s policy often amidst the thrill of buying a home without reading the policy’s specific details. Homeowner’s insurance is generally a legal requirement, especially when your purchase involves the bank and a home loan. The bank wishes to protect its assets – and so should you.
Understanding how your homeowner’s insurance policy covers you in the event of property damage is your first step towards peace of mind. It’s never too late to amend your policy or seek advice on whether you’re covered in the right areas.
How Restoration 1 Can Help
Restoration 1 is highly proficient in mitigating the kind of water-related damage that we’ve addressed above. This means we can stay on top of the maintenance of your home so that you don’t have to. This will ensure that your insurance can’t give you a hard time when it comes to submitting your next claim.
Specializing in disaster response and water damage restoration, the water damage experts at Restoration 1 are also your best bet when facing a property disaster. There is no way to perform safe and successful water restoration without training. It simply does not pay to do it yourself.