Water Damage and Insurance: Are You Covered?

As a homeowner, you need to understand the type of insurance broker coverage you have and what you may need. Insurance companies are very specific about the types of damage they will cover. Water damage falls into three broad categories: flood, maintenance failure, and sudden damage.

Flood

Any flooding that damages your property will not be covered by a standard insurance policy. You will need to look into citizens flood insurance if your home is in a flood-prone area. The National Flood Insurance Program is the only place to find protection against flood damage. This insurance will cover both the home itself and the items within such as clothing and appliances.

Maintenance Failure

This is the category for which many homeowners find their claims denied. If the insurance company finds that the water damage was caused due to the homeowner’s negligence, there will be no claim payment. If your roof begins to leak and you fail to have it fixed right away, the insurance company may deny the claim when the entire roof caves in and needs to be repaired.

They can claim that since you were aware of the leak and did not take immediate steps to resolve the problem, you are at fault.

Sudden Damage

Each insurance company defines sudden damage differently. A storm causing a flash flood is not considered a sudden damage situation. However, imagine your roof being damaged during a treacherous storm, or a nearby tree being uprooted and thrown through a section of your roof. In these scenarios, your insurance company would cover the cost of repairing the damage done by the flying tree. Therefore, the roof repair work and any furniture that needs replaced will be covered by your insurance company.

Homeowner Neglect

If there is a drainage pipe in your basement that backflows water into your living area, this can be seen as neglect. Water damage caused by water coming through basement walls is considered the product of homeowner neglect. If your pipes busted during the winter months, whether insurance will cover the damage depends on if the property was properly heated to avoid the damage. If the property temperatures were insufficient, the insurance company will probably deny the claim.

There are many ways your property could experience water damage, and most of the ways can be covered by insurance. Be sure to research which insurance will serve you best. Discuss your options with your insurance agent, and don’t be afraid to ask about specific scenarios you could imagine happening. Your agent will be able to provide many home insurance quotes and tell you the best coverage options to protect your home.

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