Water Leak Insurance Claim
Are you worried about water damage in your home? If you think about it, you are lying under a large network of plumbing that can malfunction at any time. Not to raise panic here, but the threat is real and bothers most homeowners out there. Water damage can cause an array of issues in your home. You could face enormous repair bills, property damage, and not to mention excessive headaches and stress.
Now, worrying about a pipe that might burst any second is not going to take us anywhere. The better would be to focus on the things we can do to prevent water damage and protect ourselves in case of unexpected issues. Every year, about one in 50 homeowners fill water leak insurance claims to cover expenses. Relying on insurance can help you sleep better and save a lot of money you would otherwise spend on repairs. But what this coverage includes, and does it protect you from all possible scenarios? This guide will explain everything about water damage leak insurance and provide information about claims you can make.
Types of Water Damage
What most of us mean by water damage is the harm done to our property due to water being where it isn’t supposed to be. Water damage is most often caused by pipe bursts, drain blockage, and other similar issues. Some of the main types of water damage include:
- Sewer backup
- Storm and other weather-caused damage
- Freezing of pipes
- Water heater malfunctions
What type of water damage is covered by homeowners insurance?
Water damage is a common problem in homes. It can be caused by many issues and usually comes when you least expect it. While most homeowners rely on insurance to cover the expenses of water damage, the truth is, the coverage doesn’t always include all the types.
First things first, let’s take a look at some situations that will be fully covered by your homeowner’s insurance:
Sudden and accidental water overflow and discharge
Most homeowner’s insurances cover sudden and accidental discharge or overflow from pipes and appliances. If you have water escaping or overflowing from your pipes, outlets, and appliances, you are most likely to get your claim approved. You’ll also get approval in case of discharge when the released water floods your home.
Storm-related water damage
Water damage that resulted from wind, rain, or other weather conditions should be covered with your homeowner’s insurance. Weather disasters are not something you can control, and insurance companies know this.
Accidental sewer backup
The issue arises when water comes up or is pushed back through the pipes from the sewer or drainage system. Root intrusion, blockage of a city sewer or pipeline issue, or aging pipes can lead to complete insurance coverage.
When the water outside your home reaches the level to enter your home, you are facing a flood. Insurance often covers floods when more than one house is affected or when more than one area of the home is damaged.
As you can see from the examples above, homeowner’s insurance usually covers sudden and accidental water leaks and damages. Although the coverage might vary depending on the policy you have, you can expect to get it for accidental damage and lose it on gradual damage.
We will get to the gradual damage within a few seconds. Before that, we have to warn you about one thing. Insurance may sometimes cover all resulting damages from water leaks, and other times, cover them only partially. Therefore, you should double-check your homeowner’s insurance and all the things included in case of water damage.
What type of water damage isn’t covered by insurance?
Gradual damage usually isn’t covered by insurance. Unlike accidental or sudden damage, gradual damage is something that happens slowly. Your home’s pipes and plumbing system tend to deteriorate over time, which causes a wide range of issues, including leaks and backups.
Without regular home inspections and maintenance, these issues are difficult to spot and can create even larger problems that could seem sudden to homeowners. However, if the inspection determines the problem was there long before you noticed it, and has developed over time until it made a huge mess, you are less likely to get insurance coverage.
Some would argue that homes are complex structures difficult to inspect thoroughly, and we agree. Still, simple regular maintenance allows for detecting most water-related issues. If you notice and resolve a small issue on time, you can avoid water damage completely, which is something insurance companies preach as well. That’s why they don’t cover problems that could be avoided in the first place.
If you’re wondering what type of water damage isn’t covered by insurance exactly, take a look at the following list.
- Lack of Maintenance and Improper Repairs. Any damage caused by lack of maintenance or improper repairs won’t be covered with insurance. This mostly includes faucets and pipes leaking over time and causing damage to walls, ceilings, and floors.
- Pipe Damage. If a pipe breaks because of gradual damage and you face an excessive leak because of it, your water leak insurance claim will still be declined.
- Mold. It is true that mold grows over time and needs to be treated adequately for the overall safety and prevention against further problems. Most insurance companies don’t cover the claim on mold, rotting, corrosion, and similar.
- Roof damage. If water damage is the result of deteriorating shingles, tiles, and other parts of the roof, your insurance company will probably reject the water leak insurance claim.
Now, keep in mind that some insurance policies cover gradual damage. If you want to use this benefit, explore your options and check offers in various insurance companies. An insurance agent can help you interpret each policy and tell you what is and is not covered.
How to make a successful water leak insurance claim?
We know how challenging the water leak insurance claim procedure can be, especially after facing the outcomes of water damage. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds, and we are here to guide you through the process and explain how to make a successful water leak insurance claim.
Water damage insurance claim tips:
- The first thing you should do before taking care of the damage is documenting the situation. Take photos and videos of the affected area and make sure to record every little detail.
- Don’t throw away damaged items because they will be used as evidence in your insurance claim. Also, don’t make repairs before getting the claim approval from your insurance company.
- Another thing homeowners should do is to review their insurance policies. They contain a lot of useful information about coverage and claims and will help you craft your own claim.
- We recommend homeowners work with companies that do damage assessment, cleanup estimates, and restoration. These companies will estimate the cost of repairs you can, later on, offer to your insurance company. Just make sure to get the evaluation in the written form.
- Gather up the information about water damage. Your insurance company will want to know what happened. It will also require damage estimates and receipts of cleanups, repairs, and other related costs.
Once you fill in your water leak insurance claim, your insurance company will send an assessor to inspect your property. It’s a standard procedure that mostly includes going over all the documentation you already provided. After the assessor submits a report on your claim, the insurance company may or may not issue a settlement.
The settlement is the amount of money the insurance company agrees to give you for repairs and replacements of the damaged property. The amount can vary depending on the company’s final assessment. When it comes to the time it takes for the insurance company to provide the settlement, we can’t say for sure. It depends on your insurance policy, the assessor’s report, and similar factors.
Handle Your Claim With the Help of Professionals
Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always provide settlements. Companies tend to reject water leak insurance claims quite often because they believe homeowners didn’t take proper care of their homes. However, if you think you maintained your home properly, and that you have been rejected unfairly, don’t hesitate to search for a second opinion. Of course, if you have any additional questions about the topic, contact LeakScience here.