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: Wed Jun 23, 2010 03:04 pm Post Subject:

I would definitely speak to your agent about this, as well. In my area, it is very common for water leaks within a slab foundation to be a covered item. Usually it will involve at report from some type of structural engineer to determine if that was the cause of the damage.
It definitely depends on what type of homeowners policy you have and what type of endorsements are on the policy. Your agent should be able to assist you in determining if that type of coverage is on your policy. If it is, then the adjuster will have to give you a much more detailed reason for the denial of the claim, than just "it's not covered." Talk to your agent.

Posted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 07:00 pm Post Subject: Ice maker leak

My ice make or ice maker supply line leaked behind my fridg.
The water ran under my laminate flooring The flooring is floating on a foam pad, that channeled the water across the bottom of the laminate flooring.
This water was soaked up into the flooring causing it to swell.
The floor is about 3 yrs old Th flooring is a discontinued color now so I can't get that section replaced. I have to redo the kitchen and dinning room all redone.
Would this be covered by home owners insurance?

Posted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:16 pm Post Subject:


It really depends on what type of homeowners insurance policy you have. Coverage for water damage varies greatly from company to company and from policy to policy.

The damage you described would likely be considered water damage from a slow leak. If your policy limits water damage coverage to sudden and accidental discharge of water (i.e.: sudden burst like a burst water heater) and does not cover slow leaks, then you will likely not be covered. :cry:

If your policy includes coverage for slow leaks you should be covered. :D

Contact your insurance company or agent to find out what type of coverage you have on your homeowners insurance policy. Both coverage types are common.

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 04:03 pm Post Subject: Does homeowners insurance cover water damage due to suddenly

Does homeowners insurance cover water damage due to suddenly broken pipe?

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Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 08:12 pm Post Subject:


Normally, yes. There are always a number of factors that come into play with any claim. The details of the damage and how it occurs and the type of homeowners insurance coverage you have, are normally the biggest determining factors. So, it is difficult to give definite answers on questions like this. But, if a water line suddenly bursts and causes water damage in your home, it is very often a covered item under your homeowners insurance policy.
As always, contact your agent or insurance company to find out for sure if there is coverage.

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 03:08 am Post Subject: Leaking washing machine

I have HO-06 condo policy with liberty mutual. Similar to other posts, my washing machine suddenly started leaking and soaked under the laminate wood floors and their under-pading. I stopped the leak as soon as I saw it and proceded to soak up and clean all the surface water, and even under a small section of the hardwoods that I pulled up. It was then that I realized how extensive the wetness had become- it spread all around and into the next room under carpet. The contract I called said my entire flooring would need to be replaced. Will my HO-6 cover cost of drying and floor replacement? The only exclusions I see are water damage from flooding, and backed up pipes. Any tips on how to deal with the claim? I'm still waiting on an adjuster to call me back. When I first reported it, the person on the phone kept calling it back up even though I was clear that it was leaky hose, not backed up pipe. However, they all said "Yes, that is typically covered, but I cant guarantee anything etc"

Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 04:15 pm Post Subject:


That will be something that your adjuster will have to discuss with you. The person who took the initial claim report normally will have nothing to do with settling the claim. So, I wouldnt be too concerned about their initial comments.

This doesnt sound like water backup. It does sound more like a slow leak. Dripping water line over time, instead of a sudden burst that floods the home.

The first step is to stop the leak, which apparently you did. Thats good.

The next is to report the claim. Which you also did.

Now you need to communicate with the adjuster to determine the type of coverage you have. If your adjuster doesnt contact you this morning, I would call them to touch base and get things started.

In the meantime, if you are concerned about the type of coverage you have, I would contact your agent. They should be able to discuss this with you and give you a good idea of what to expect.

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:13 pm Post Subject: Water Leak

In January, our downstairs closet ceiling collapsed because water from the upstairs bathroom leaked through. The insurance company indicated that it was a prolonged leak and was not covered (this was back in March) AND that there was a construction defect (no proper bracing in place). Then they tried to claim that they would not renew us because there was no proper bracing in place unless we got the homebuilder to determine that there was proper bracing in place. The homebuilder wrote a letter stating that the bracing was in place and the insurance company renewed us. Since the insurance company denied our claim the first time, we began to attempt to repair the damages...when we removed the tile in the bathroom, we found BLACK MOLD. We called in a mold expert and he confirmed it was mold. He further indicated that if there is MOLD there, there may be mold throughout the bathroom, under the tile AND in the drywall.

Our insurance policy indicates that
"PERILS INSURED AGAINST...constant or repeated seapage of water or the presence...over a period of weeks, months,...and the resulting damage is unknown to all "insureds" and is hidden within the walls or ceilings or beneath the floors..."
Does that mean that my mold is covered or not covered..WHAT DO I DO NOW???

I live in NEVADA

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 03:09 pm Post Subject:

I would contact your agent and discuss this with him/her. Tell them about the clause that you indicated above and ask him to explain why the water damage was not covered. It sounds like you may have slow leak coverage. But, it is impossible for me to know for sure.

Unfortunately, most policies now include a total mold exclusion. So, you are probably not coverage for that. But, I would also discuss this with your agent to be sure.

You can also call the insurance company claim department and ask to speak with the supervisor of the person that handled your claim. Explain the situation, tell them you believe that your policy indicates that this water damage loss should have been covered. If they indicate it is not covered, ask them to show you in the policy why it is not covered.

This is a tough situation, but you have reasonable questions, that the company should be happy to discuss with you. Besty of luck to you.

Posted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 06:26 pm Post Subject: Water leak damage

Have rental property that I am paying a property manager to handle while living in another state and at times, in another country. The property manager emailed me/ called me several times to tell me that my property had water damage due to leaking while renters were living in the rental property. I immediately contacted my homeowner's insurance company to file a claim and was told that the claim was denied. How should I prceed with this situation? Shouldn't this be the responsibility of the property manager; afterall, the property manager is payed to manage my property. Basically, I am curious as to who should be held responsible for the cost of damages?

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