The 3 Water Damage Categories And Their Differences

It might shock you to know that not all forms of water damage are covered by insurance. Although homeowners insurance protects your property against weather, theft, and things such as fire and ice, it won’t cover water damage from floods, sewage backup, or gradual leaks – but it will cover damage from a burst pipe. Now that sounds confusing, right?


Let’s break this down. Water damage is covered if the damage is deemed ‘sudden and internal’ – meaning the cause of water damage came suddenly and from inside the home. So, for example, a burst pipe or wind-driven rain will be covered but water damage due to neglect or gradual deterioration won’t be covered – or the residual mold that forms from this. Here we unpack exactly what is and what isn’t covered in your general homeowner’s insurance policy:


What Water Damage is Covered?

  1. Rain or Snow: Damage by rain, snow, and ice dams that form on your roof are listed in your policy and will be covered – unless of course, the water entered your home because of your roof or siding being rotten or showing signs of corrosion.
  2. Plumbing: If you experience sudden bursts or blockages in your plumbing, or what your policy calls ‘accidental discharge’ you may be covered – this goes for fire sprinkler systems, air conditioners, outdoor sprinklers, water heaters, discharge from a washing machine or dishwasher, etc.
  3. Fire Extinguishment: If there has been a fire in your home and the fire sprinklers are triggered or firefighters use water to extinguish the flames – the resulting water damage will be covered.
  4. Vandalism: Malicious activity is included in your policy. So, for example, if someone intentionally destroys your plumbing or leaves the water running – this malicious activity will be covered by insurance.




What Water Damage is Excluded?

If the water damage was gradual or it landed on the ground and then flowed into your home, it won’t be covered. Also, events such as floods (regardless of how the water originated), sewage water (overflowing from sewage or drains), and poorly maintained plumbing (poorly constructed or old piping/appliances) are not included. 


You could possibly have these types of water damage and residual damage added into your insurance policy, so chat to your insurer about what add-ons are possible. 


Prevention is Better than Cure

Since water damage can be one of the costliest types of damage your property will see, why not take a few steps in order to ensure you won’t get to the point of gradual disrepair – as we know this won’t be covered by your insurer.


  1. Plumbing Leaks

Why don’t you set a reminder in your calendar for quarterly pipe checks, that way you will not be surprised by any possible leaks. And, remember to always shut off your water when you’re on vacation.

Things to check: 

  • The shower, tub, and sink – that they are draining properly, that the pipes are in good shape, and the seal and caulking around the fixtures are tight
  • Inspect the hoses of your appliances, such as dishwasher, washer, and water heater


  1. Leakage From the Outside

Sometimes water can enter your home from the outside, so there are a couple of things you can regularly check to ensure no unwelcome water enters your home.

Things to check: 

  • Roof shingles are not rotten, windows are fully caulked, and your door seals are all in good condition
  • Gutters need to be clear of any buildup or debris, so water can drain away from your house
  • Irrigation systems are secure and watertight, you don’t want groundwater accumulating and damaging the foundation of your home – and shut off the water in winter, to prevent pipes from freezing. 


If you’re sitting with water damage, whether it’s insured or not, call the professionals at Restoration 1 of Miami. Our trained technicians, with advanced equipment, mitigate water issues so your home is like new again. As the leading provider of water and mold damage restoration Restoration 1 of Miami has earned a solid reputation in property restoration. 


In the aftermath of a flood or leaking pipe or any other residential disaster, give us a call at 305-570-4451 or visit our website for a free quote. We are the top property water damage restoration experts in Miami