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Water Damage Disasters: What Is Covered

Water Damage Disasters and What Is Covered

Homeowner’s Insurance: What Your Policy Likely Does and Does NOT Cover after a Flood

If there is some kind of water loss or flood in your home this spring, do you know if your homeowner’s insurance will cover it? This is one area where insurance policies often experience a gray area or coverage; and too often, people find out they aren’t covered for some flooding scenarios until it is too late.

At Champion Cleaning Systems, we have found time and again that one of the scariest parts for many homeowners going through a water loss insurance claim with their carrier is not knowing when the loss initially happens if it will be covered or not. While the only way to get a definitive answer to that question is to carefully read your policy and have a conversation with your insurance agent, we can speak to trends on what is covered and what isn’t as we handle claims in the Sharpsburg area.

It’s Probably Covered

The Insurance Information Institute says most homeowners will be protected and covered if there is a water loss from things such as a burst pipe or ruptured water heater that soak some flooring, ceiling tiles and drywall.

If your washing machine suddenly becomes possessed and floods your laundry room, your insurance policy will probably be there for you to cover the cost of repairing the damage; you might need to foot the bill for the new appliance. Most policies won’t cover the cost of replacing the source of the problem.

It’s Probably Not Covered

  • 1. Damage from Lack of Maintenance

    Your insurance company likely expects you to be doing necessary maintenance to your home. If you knowingly allow a pipe beneath the kitchen sink to leak for months and months without fixing the problem, your policy may not foot the bill for the repairs. Chances are if you’ve waited this long, the damage is pretty extensive as well and you’re not only looking at water damage, you’re looking at mold growth. But that’s beside the point. Your policy simply probably will not cover unresolved maintenance issues.

  • 2. Flooding by Mother Nature

    Here, we are talking about flooding from a storm, over-saturated ground, an overflowing lake or river, snow runoff, and so on. Flood damage is not covered in regular homeowner’s insurance policies, which is why it can be a good idea to carry separate flood insurance if your home sits in a flood plain or high-risk area. This type of insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program.

  • 3. Water Backup from an Outside Sewer or Drain

    In the restoration industry, we call this category 3 water. Essentially, water that has the presence of bacteria probably won’t be covered by your policy. Like we mentioned above, however, you can probably purchase additional protection for an event like this.

Like we said at the beginning, this blog is not meant to speak to every single insurance policy; they all tend to be at least a little different. However, if you have concerns about your policy, don’t hesitate to ask your insurance agent about your coverages and see if there is any additional coverage you could consider asking for added peace of mind just in case something happens. It is also important to note that if or when you experience a water damage disaster to contact a certified restoration company, like Champion, first and foremost to negate any damage. The restoration company will work with your insurance provider to give you the most coverage.