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: Tue May 05, 2009 10:48 pm Post Subject: water leak insurance

Well, how can the insurer deny claim when the homeowner isn't aware of the damages?

If the damage is NOT sudden and accident or if the damage IS gradual deterioration. These are not covered...if the damage is 'known' or should've been known..then you got a problem..perfect example is guy has a stool that just runs and runs...yeah, he's heard the water running for years, but never took the time to find out what the problem is, after all isn't hurting anything but his water bill right?... then one day he sees water on the ceiling below the john that's been running water a year later (after the water started running in the toliet) he turns in a claim...or storm blows singles off a roof, (or flashing/soffet, you pick)...instead of fixing it...the homeowner just leaves it alone, after all it didnt' hurt anything... then about a year or so later he see's his living room ceiling has a leak, goes into the attic, and it's been leaking for over a year...this is the type of thing we're talking about...if you hear water running in your house, and you have no faucetts should get up off your duff, and find out why and fix's generally pretty easy for an adjuster to tell if something is sudden and accidental, or has been going on for a long long time...homeowners policys are not meant to pay you to fix damage that you should've fixed when the problem started...all p&c policys require you to mitigate your damages as well...and you're not doing that by ignoring a problem that you know you have...

Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2009 02:46 pm Post Subject:

We don't use our dining room often. Went in there today and discovered carpet was wet. Upon examiniation, discovered that there was leakage in the wall, black mold etc. Is this covered by insurance?

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:24 pm Post Subject:

It depends on what caused the water leak. It does sound like it's been going on for some time (mold). However, it doesn't cost anything to turn in a claim. I'd file on immediately.

Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 06:32 pm Post Subject:

If a pipe bursts, you're probably covered. If you let a leaky faucet go unchecked for weeks, you're not.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:04 am Post Subject: We are probably in trouble

I googled "continuous leak" because that is what our adjuster just said about our situation. Our hot water heater was in the back of the crawlspace. It has seeped steam up into the crawlspace, ruining our floors. We did not know about it until the floors buckled. Then we had the roof checked, and the refrigerator checked. A small leak was found in the refrigerator and we paid to have it fixed. Then the floors seemed worse, so my husband checked the roof again. Finally, he thought about the hot water heater.

I feel like crying. Is it legal to burn your house down (after cancelling the insurance, of course) on your own farm? We will not be able to afford the repairs.

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:56 pm Post Subject:

I suppose if you got a burn permit it would be legal. I'm so very sorry...

Posted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 05:11 am Post Subject: Policy Coverage

Be careful in filing a water or leak claim that might or might not be paid. The insurance company will record the claim as "Close Without Payment or CWP". The claim report will be kept on file or recorded with CLUE INSURANCE DATA BASE.


Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:28 pm Post Subject: water leak by toilet valve

Will insurance cover for water leak by toilet valve and damage the ceiling under the toilet room?


Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 05:36 am Post Subject: leaks in homes vs. fire?

Do you have the increased chances one has to have a water leak in their home versus having a fire? I would guess there are 50 or more water leak damaged homes (from plumbing, not hurricane damage etc.) for every fire in a home??? If you can e-mail the answer to this question, I would really appreciate it. (link removed by moderator)

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 05:07 pm Post Subject: Leaking pipe

Would a leaking pipe in a wall with no visable signs of water damage until now be covered or is that still negligiance?
Problem is in my bathroom behind the wall mirror and vanity there is a pipe I'm thinking conected to the water heater which is behind the wall has been leaking for awhile I just found a bubble on the wall and when I pushed on the wall it caved in and behind it there is lots of black mold and is very damp. Last year we had our heater replaced and I think they may have bumped the hot water heater and that may be when it started not sure. Question would this be covered under the homeowners ins?

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