Does homeowners insurance cover water damage due to leak?

by Insurance Maze » Mon Nov 05, 2007 01:31 pm

Water leakage is a problem and one that is not covered under homeowners insurance. So, the best thing one can do is to be cautious and keep a regular check. Homeowners insurance would typically refuse any claim related to water leakage over a period of time. It would be categorized under negligence. However, under certain special circumstances, your insurer may provide coverage against damage from a water leak.

Does homeowners insurance cover water damage?

Yes, it does but very specific types. Homeowners insurance would not cover damages from flood. Flood insurance is a separate policy that you need to purchase. It would also not cover damage caused by a leaking pipe in your home, but would cover damage from rain getting inside the house through a hole in the roof or a broken window if the hole or the broken window was a result of a storm or extreme weather conditions. If the water damage was due to your negligence, home insurance would not cover it. If you do not know what kind of water damage is covered by your insurance company, go through your policy papers for details.

If there are damages from a storm in your house make sure you dry all the wet areas after the storm has passed away. Provide air circulation to the wet areas cover them with tar if possible to prevent further damage. This will help minimize the possibility of mould growing in your home.

What duty do you have as a homeowner?

It is your duty to keep a check on all fixtures in your home. See to it that they are all maintained well. If there has been any water damage make sure you remedy it as soon as possible. Even a small leakage can lead to mould that would further damage your property. It also causes health hazards like asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis.

Mould damage may be covered but only if it was caused by a leak that grew due to a storm. If your house has built up mould, make sure you get it cleaned professionally. Amateurs may cause it to spread the spores more.

Insurance companies investigate before they can give the policyholders their money for the loss. Adjusters inspect the areas where the damage occurred and they do find out if the leakage had been for over a period of time or if it had been a sudden outburst. So, it is no use lying to the insurance company. Being honest is the only option open to you.

I have a rather unusual situation with a client and a well-known preferred home insurance carrier. What do you think?

One day the insured came home and for whatever reason he leaned against the bathroom wall and it suddenly collapsed.

The sheetrock was soaked and so was the insulation inside the wall and mold and mildew was everywhere. There was a small pin-hole leak in a water pipe that obviously had been leaking for quite some time.

The insured called the insurance company to report the incident, a claim was filed and an adjustor came to look at the damage.

The claim was denied by the insurance company because the standard HO-3 homeowners' policy specifically "Excludes" a loss as the result of a water leak over an extended period of time.

If this had been a sudden erruption of a water line, a leaking dishwasher, or a leaking fill line to the ice-maker, it would have been covered. Because this leak had been "over an extended period of time" it was not covered.

So, are we to lean against all of our walls everyday just to see if we might have a water leak?

Total Comments: 160

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 01:22 pm Post Subject:

Question would this be covered under the homeowners ins?

This will be "iffy" but most certainly turn it in...(quickly)

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 05:21 am Post Subject: Leaking pipe in a condo - not my pipe.

Now here's a bit of a twist to the leaking pipe claims. I own a ground floor condominium with two units above me. Sunday, I noticed damp carpet in the bathroom. Felt around for a bit until I felt spongy drywall (no visible signs of moisture). Called in a plumbing crew, they opened up the wall and discovered a cracked sewage pipe. The sewage pipe belongs to the two units above me. The "t-junction" just happens to be in my ceiling, and the remainder of the pipe runs down inside my wall. Who knows how long it has been going for, but there is some mold down on the floor of the inside of the wall where the water has obviously pooled.

Sure, maintenance issue is what I'm sure the adjuster is going to claim, but it's not my pipe. When I purchased the unit, I replaced my toilet and inspected all of my sinks and shower drains. My maintenance is up to par.

I've got a "drywall-in" condo owner policy on top of the policy the HOA holds. Who should file the claim, and what's going to happen?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:30 am Post Subject:

cracked sewage pipe---The sewage pipe belongs to the two units above me.

EWWWWWWW ! :shock:

If you have 'drywall in' I would think this baby would be on the association.

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 03:57 pm Post Subject:

Well, I covered the cost to repair the pipe - $245.00, but the HOA is willing to reimburse that cost back to me. The big problem however, is that I now have water damage from the "slow" leak - including a mold problem and actual sewage water seepage under my flooring and into the drywall.

I have HO-6 insurance, but I do know that insurance companies will deny claims for "slow leaks". Considering that this wasn't my pipe, but the damage did occur in my unit, where's the liability lie?

Thanks for the help.

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:27 pm Post Subject:

I would still turn this in...true, losses must be 'sudden and accidental' however, you DID act as soon as there was evidence of a problem...I see no way you 'could've' or 'should've' known about this..I think you'll have coverage.

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 04:31 am Post Subject:

The adjuster came out and inspected the damage and immediately told me to have work started. He instructed me to have a contractor that I had bid the work earlier today get in contact with him ASAP. He also told me just to get the contractor on schedule to begin work. Can an adjuster go back on this statement? Nothing was signed, nothing was even written down - what formalities does the adjuster have to abide by now that he has given my clear instructions to begin work?

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 01:50 pm Post Subject:

Can an adjuster go back on this statement?

Could he? I suppose he could..will he? no...If you're worried, send him an e-mail...going over your conversation, and ask him to acknowledge it by return email that you understood him right, that it's ok to begin work, and your policy will cover it...i thought you'd have no trouble with this claim...this is different than your 'run of the mill' seepage--or slow leak..

Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 09:58 pm Post Subject: roof/new owners

realtor says my roof claim would prevent my home from being insured by the new owners ... until a 5 yr. time spand passed..
is this correct?

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:42 pm Post Subject:

Why would a five year time period come into play? Are you sure they didn't say until the roof was replaced?

Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 05:51 am Post Subject:

realtor says my roof claim would prevent my home from being insured by the new owners ... until a 5 yr. time spand passed..
is this correct?

My realtor told me that there would be no problem getting a homeowners policy for a house my wife and I were buying but was going to be occupied by tenants (existing tenants) for the first couple weeks we owned the home. When I called him on it, he just look at me with a dumb face.

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