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 Aug 02, 2010 01:42 pm Post Subject:

Today's adjusters are equipped to tell you if a damage has surfaced recently and all of a sudden, or if it's been caused over a period of time and the loss sustained accordingly. To tell you the truth, you should be compensated for a damage that has not been caused out of your negligence and informed as soon as it got detected. Home owners are responsible if it's solely a maintenance issue.

Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:24 pm Post Subject: asking if Iam covered

i called my agent told them we were without power for 20 hrs. during a storm. pumps did not work because of no electricity. water damaged our carpet. They told me to call claims . I called claims and said i am wondering if I am covered we were without power for 20 hrs. and explained
the same thin. She said oh you have gold star an adjuster will contact you for an appointment. The adjuster came out took pictures,measured talked about how they would do a mold prevention and so on. he also told me to throw my padding out. From the time I called everyone asking if I was covered until nine days later was I told that I was not covered for flood damage. Everything sat thinking they were going to take care of it, when had I been told right away that I did not have coverage I could have had people take care of it when it happened. Are they at fault for not letting me know right away that I wasn't covered when I could have saved my carpet but not after it sat for nine days.

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 06:05 pm Post Subject:

From the time I called everyone asking if I was covered until nine days later was I told that I was not covered for flood damage

OK, so you are not covered for flood damage. Most people are not. Nothing prevents you from removing the damaged (or other) property to prevent additional damage. (In fact, you are expected to do just that. Read your policy.) If you spend money to remediate water damage, and it ends up that you have coverage, the insurance company will reimburse you minus your deductible. You had nothing to lose. It was your choice to do nothing. Did you even ask if you should do anything while waiting?

If your policy would cover property damage that resulted if the pumps were working properly, then you may have coverage due to the electrical outage. But you have to read your policy to know how that is covered or if it is excluded.

Normally, stormwater damage is not covered unless as a contingent loss due to a covered loss -- your house catches fire, burning a hole in the roof or exterior wall and rainwater intrudes. Or wind knocks over a tree which tears a hole in your roof, and the rainwater comes in. Those events are covered losses.

Your damages are probably not covered, if due to the intrusion of stormwater alone, pumps or no pumps.

Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 08:08 pm Post Subject: roof leakeage from reain

I have noticed with our last big rain storm that i have two areas in my home that have water leakage i have had my handyman ck out what is going on.. might i add that this home is over 80yrs old and the two spots where the leaking happens are additions. my handy man has advised that i need to put new shingles on the additions and or tar is any of this covered by my ho ins i have only lived in the res for 4 years and have an fha loan so the roof had to be certified b4 i closed. and i have the adjuster coming out in the am... my floor is warped in the spots where the water has leaked in the house i really dont understand my ho policy i tried to call my agent who is very unhelpful and suggestions.....

Posted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 08:18 pm Post Subject:

Roof leaks are normally covered under homeowners insurance, as is the interior damage that is a result of the leak.

The only problem you may run into is that something must happen to the roof to damage it for it to be covered. Such as a hail storm or wind damage. Since you indicated the home is 80 years old, I have no way of knowing how old the roof is. If the roof is beyond its useful life, in age, and there is no apparent damage that caused the leak, it could just be worn out and that could be considered a maintenence related issue and coverage could be in question.

That being said, most of the time something causes the leak and your home insurance will cover it.

You have already done the right thing by arranging for an adjuster to come out and look at the damage. They should be able to determine the cause of the leak and help you through the process. For now, be sure to do anything possible to minimize the damage.

Posted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:56 pm Post Subject: leak

inbetween the upstairs floor and kitchen celing now pipes should be there. may be and air condition duck, and about 5 to 7 feet from that is the leak arount the kithen light will my insurance cover this under dwelling or all losses.

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 06:14 pm Post Subject:

Whether or not that type of leak will be covered or not, depends on the type of coverage you have on your policy. Water damage coverage varies from company to company and policy to policy.

Some policies exclude what are called "slow leaks" and limit coverage to "sudden & accidental discharge of water", such as a water heater suddenly bursting. Other policies cover this type of damage.

Contact your company and they will arrange for an adjuster to come out and look at the damage. They will then be able to let you know if it is covered.

Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 03:04 pm Post Subject: water damage

Does a personal auto policy covers water damages from a leaking sunroof?

Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 04:06 pm Post Subject:

Does a personal auto policy covers water damages from a leaking sunroof?

First, you are capping a thread about home owners property damage. Second, see my signature. Third, you already asked this question in a separate thread.

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 07:04 am Post Subject: Exterior Wall/Floor water damage from 35 yr old sink drain l

Hidden water damage from a sink drain pipe in an exterior wall has damaged over time the wall and kitchen floor. Will homeowners insurance cover this?

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