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: Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:13 pm Post Subject:

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

:roll: apparently 'these' realtor's should stick to what they know..and what they know is NOT (clearly) insurance. :roll:

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:08 pm Post Subject: CITIZENS INSURANCE EXCLUSION

I have a renter's policy DP-3 with Citizens in Florida. The tenant failed to notice or ignored water leaking from an A/C condensate drain pan which damaged the structure. There was significant damage to an unused room however the damage was noticeable outside of the closed room. My claim was denied by Citizens invoking a new exclusion: :WE DO NOT INSURE FOR DAMAGES CAUSED BY CONSTANT OR REPEATED SEEPAGE OR LEAKAGE OF WATER OR STEAM, OR THE PRESENCE OR CONDENSATION OF HUMIDITY, MOISTURE OR VAPOR; WHICH OCCURS OVER A PERIOD OF 14 DAYS OR MORE, WHETHER HIDDEN OR NOT.

They are trying to say since the damage is "more than 14 days old (it probably occurred during the summer of 2009 when A/C was in use) that it is not covered. I see a difference in 14 days old and continued for 14 days.

Since no one can prove the damage occurred over a period of 14 days or more (the insured was certainly not aware of it until notified by the tenant) how can they deny the claim without proving the damage occurred over a period of 14 days or more. It is possible the damage occurred in 2 days, or 5 days, or even 10 days.

There are exclusions and limitations regarding a dwelling vacant for 30 days, but this new exlusion would require a policyholder to inspect a rental property at least every two weeks. Knowledge of leakage by the tenant cannot be imputed to the policyholder.

Opinion please?

Posted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:51 pm Post Subject:


This 'type' of exclusion isn't anything new...on any policys I've ever seen anyway...most I've read don't have a number of days however.

I certainly see your point...but the truth of the matter is that you would have to be able to prove it did not occur over a fourteen day period.

What is their response when you ask them how they can prove that this leak went on for fourteen days or more?

Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 05:04 pm Post Subject:

I'm guessing here, but I assume that they are looking at the extent of damage compared to what caused the damage. A leaking A/C would normally have to leak for some time to cause

significant damage


These types of things happen all of the time, which is why most landlords are either selling properties cause they don't want the problems or they are putting wording in the lease that make the tenants responsible to report damage to the property promptly.

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 02:16 pm Post Subject: Epoxy Coating Water Pipes

I myself know how bad water damage can be, i see it everyday. Pinhole leaks and slab leaks are frequent but arbutrary. They will keep happening but im here to let you know there are solutions for these problems, permanent, without destorying your home. What im not understanding is why the insurane companies dont give homeowners an option to coat there pipes rather than spot repair the particular spot. Its better for the homeowner as well as the insurance company. Whats your feed back on this.

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 02:33 pm Post Subject:

I have a renter's policy DP-3 with Citizens in Florida

You have a dwelling (fire) policy. The person renting _from_ you has a renters policy. A dwelling/fire policy covers just the dwelling itself and not personal property inside.

but this new exlusion would require a policyholder to inspect a rental property at least every two weeks.

More or loss... or you could have good tenants who report these types of problems. But this is exactly the point... insurance companies don't want the liability of extensive damages just because someone did not correct the situation when it happens. They also don't want the liability of the renter being the one who is responsible for maintaining the property... as renters are simply not reliable or responsible for the dwelling. Feel free to collect a large deposit for this reason.

Also, check your policy to see if there is an exception to this exclusion but I'm doubting there is. You may also want to contact an independent agent and see if a carrier offers a DP3 that perhaps offers a less liberal exclusion.

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 01:00 am Post Subject: claim timeline

I had an extensive waterpipe burst damage to my home a few weeks ago. I have filed the claim, but am wondering what each of the next steps are and how long does it typicaly take for each step.

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 05:30 am Post Subject:

Hey NoHouse

After you file a claim, your insurance company may let you know of the procedure in which they handle such claims. They may also tell you about any responsibility that you have after the damage. You have to take care to stop any further damage to your property and arrange to get the damage repaired. You may select a plumber or contractor of your choice or get a list from the insurance company itself.

If you have replacement cost coverage, your insurance company will pay you to re-build the house up to the limits on your policy.

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 06:00 am Post Subject: home insurance water leake cover

Does home insurance cover the water leakage under slab?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 06:03 am Post Subject:

No... that is a broken pipe and they are _usually_ not covered as it's wear. Resulting damage yes... but there is usually none.

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