What is the answer to the question, Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage (together with freezing damage) is the third most expensive kind of house insurance claim, accounting for about 20% of all home insurance property damage claims.
According to the most recent Insurance Information Institute data, the average insurance claim for water or freezing damage is $10,234.
Certain forms of water damage are covered by homeowners insurance.
Water damage is often covered by homeowners insurance.
- Burst pipes behind a wall or under a sink, or a pipe leading to your clothes washer. This includes frozen and broken pipes, but not if you purposely shut off the heat in the residence.
- A water leak caused by an equipment, such as a hot water heater or dishwasher. However, the repair of the broken equipment is typically not covered.
- Storm water, such as strong rain and hail.
- Water damage that occurs as a result of a storm or a tree falling on the roof. However, things alter when there is a concern about a lack of upkeep. A gradual roof leak that was not repaired, for example, is unlikely to be covered.
- Water damage caused by the use of water to extinguish a fire.
Water damage is typically not covered by homeowners insurance.
- Tsunamis and floods: According to FEMA, a flood is “a general and transitory circumstance in which two or more acres of typically dry ground or two or more properties are flooded by water or mudflow.” Tsunamis begin as undersea waves, which are frequently generated by earthquakes, then develop in height as they approach the land. A separate flood insurance policy can be purchased.
- Water damage caused by a lack of upkeep, such as an old roof.
- Water that has backed up from the outside through a sewer, storm drain, or other pipes. You can, however, purchase “Limited Water Backup And Sump Discharge or Overflow Coverage.”
- Seepage of water through a foundation.
For example, the following language from a State Farm homeowners insurance describes the sorts of water damage that State Farm would not cover:
(1) a flood;
(2) surface water Water created purely by the flow of water from a swimming pool, spigot, sprinkler system, hose, or hydrant is not included.
(3) waves (which include tidal waves, tsunamis, and earthquakes);
(4) tidal water or tides
(5) any body of water overflow (including any release, escape, or rise of any body of water, or any water kept, confined, controlled, or redirected by a dam, levee, dike, or other sort of water containment, diversion, or flood control mechanism);
(6) spray or surge from any of the preceding things (1) through (5), whether or not pushed by wind;
(7) water or sewage entering through sewers or drains from outside the residential premises plumbing system, or water or sewage entering into and overflowing from inside a sump pump, sump pump well, or any other system designed to remove subsurface water drained from the foundation area;
(8) groundwater or sewage, including water or sewage that exerts pressure on, or seeps or leaks through, a building structure, sidewalk, driveway, swimming pool, or other structure;
(9) Water, steam, or sewage seepage or leakage that happens or develops over time:
(a) and it is:
(v) sluggish; or
(vi) dripping; and
(b) starting with a:
(i) heating, air conditioning, or automated fire suppression system;
(ii) a home appliance; or
(iii) plumbing system, including the walls, ceilings, and floors of any shower stall, shower bath, tub installation, or other plumbing fixture.
Filing an insurance claim for water damage
If your house insurance covers water damage, the insurance check will be reduced by the amount of your deductible. The deductible amount is indicated on the declarations page of your insurance.
Making a water damage claim may result in a premium rise at the time of policy renewal. When claims suggest that a consumer is at a higher risk, insurers frequently hike premiums.