Knowing what your house insurance covers and does not cover is critical, especially when it comes to severe hazards such as water damage.Water damage is a year-round hazard that homeowners must be aware of and guard against. Home insurance is one of the greatest methods to do so. Learn more about house insurance and water damage in the sections below.
What is covered by homeowners insurance and water damage?
All insurance plans, including house insurance policies, have exclusions and limits that policyholders must be aware of. While house insurance plans may cover unexpected or unintentional water damage, it is dependent on your coverage level and the circumstances surrounding the damage. An insurance company, for example, may investigate your water damage claim to better pinpoint the source of the water. Damage from “clean water,” or water that did not enter your home through a sewer or the ground, is more likely to be covered than damage from other water sources.
sewage backup damage, for example, would be covered only if your insurance included sewage backup coverage. Meanwhile, depending on your coverage, you may be able to get reimbursement for damage caused by a plumbing issue such as a burst pipe. Furthermore, the sort of coverage you have will be determined by what was damaged in the occurrence. If water damage just harmed your personal goods, such as clothing, gadgets, or furniture, you would most likely make a claim under your policy’s contents or personal property coverage. However, if your house suffered more substantial water damage, such as the building or foundation, you may need to file a claim for dwelling coverage. If the water damage was serious enough that you were compelled to relocate while your house was being repaired, loss of use coverage or additional living costs coverage may be available:
Water damage and flood insurance
Finally, if you are concerned about water damage in your property, standard home insurance may not be sufficient. While dwelling or goods coverage may protect you from minor water damage in some cases, basic homeowners insurance is far from comprehensive when it comes to water damage. That is why, if you want to be fully covered, we recommend adding the two forms of flood insurance listed below to your policy. Many house insurance plans in Canada allow you to add the following types of coverage as riders or endorsements.
Coverage of overland waterways
Overland water protection is another sort of flood insurance that homeowners may find useful. Ground water is another major source of floods. When you add overland water coverage to your policy, your insurance provider may compensate you if your home sustains water damage as a result of a nearby lake/river overflow, strong rain, or quick snow melt. For example, in the case of spring floods, you may be reimbursed under the overland water coverage part of your policy.
Speak with a BrokerLink property insurance expert to learn more about how flood damage works. Any of our certified brokers will be delighted to assess your policy and assist you in obtaining additional flood insurance coverage. They can also dispel some of the most prevalent flood damage misconceptions.
What is not covered by homeowners insurance and water damage?
Now that you understand when and how homeowners insurance covers water damage, let’s look at the situations in which house insurance does not cover water damage. Your insurance will not cover a number of water-related accidents. As previously stated, property insurance often covers policyholders when water damage happens unexpectedly or accidentally. This means that your insurer is unlikely to reimburse you for water damage that is the inverse of this, i.e. purposeful or gradual over time. A leak or seepage is a good example of slow water damage. Other types of water damage that are normally not covered by house insurance plans unless supplemental coverage, such as flood insurance, is acquired are as follows:
sewage backups or water escaping/overflowing from sump pumps, septic tanks, weeping tiles, and so on, unless sewage backup coverage is purchased. Contact BrokerLink if you want to learn more about sump pumps. Unless you acquired overland water coverage, you are not protected from flooding, ground water, or rising water tables.
- Tidal waves and tides.
- Storm surges, spray, and waves.
- Water-borne items, such as boats or trash, inflict damage.
Freezing causes water to escape from an appliance or building outside your home.
Damage to plumbing, heating, sprinklers, air conditioners, or other household appliances caused by freezing and thawing in an unheated part of your property.
Meanwhile, here are a few scenarios in which your house insurance would not cover water damage:
Failure to keep the house in good condition
If a policyholder fails to maintain their house and it goes into disrepair, which causes or contributes to water damage, your insurer is unlikely to compensate you, even if your policy includes flood insurance. For example, if the water damage was caused by a gradual leak that you should have addressed but didn’t, and it worsened over time, eventually resulting in the incident, your insurance is likely to refuse your claim.
Normal wear and tear
Insurance does not cover general wear and tear, therefore if the water damage was caused by natural degradation of your property, your insurer is unlikely to pay you.
Water damage and mold frequently coexist, especially if the water damage is gradual. A regular homeowners insurance policy, however, is unlikely to compensate you for water damage that produces mold unless you acquire supplemental coverage. This implies you’d be responsible for the expense of correcting the mold damage or having it removed.
Your insurance carrier is unlikely to cover a water-related disaster that just causes cosmetic damage to your house.
Your insurance carrier may not compensate you if your house is undergoing renovations at the time of the water damage. However, if you acquired home remodeling coverage, you may be able to claim reimbursement for the cost of repairs.
a vacant house
Finally, if water damage happens while your house is empty for 30 days or longer, your claim is likely to be refused, especially if you neglected to inform your insurance carrier in advance. You must tell our home insurance provider if your house is unoccupied for 30 days or more, as this increases your risk as a policyholder.
Understand what is covered.
It is important to note that even if your house insurance policy covers water damage, the coverage is most likely limited to the damage caused by the water rather than the original cause. Insurance is not for house upkeep, but rather for sudden and unexpected losses that occur in your home. In other words, if the water damage was caused by a burst pipe that destroyed your bathroom’s floor tiles, your insurance may reimburse you for the cost of restoring the damaged tiles but not for the cost of replacing the burst pipes. This is because the pipe damage was most likely caused by wear and tear, deterioration, or poor craftsmanship, none of which are covered by house insurance.