Water damage in the home can be expensive, and often leaves homeowners devastated as they end up with costly repair bills. If you have flood insurance, you may think you are protected from water damage: unfortunately, these policies only cover a small spectrum of water damage problems. Many homeowners and renters do not realize that the insurance they are paying for may not cover all of the water problems that can occur. If you live in an area prone to hurricanes and flooding, water damage coverage is essential.
Here are some of the things a good policy will cover, and a few that you may need to pay additional money to have covered.
Most standard flood insurance plans will cover the cost of a burst pipe or a leak. If you have an older home, this coverage plan may cost more since the plumbing will be more at-risk for problems than newer systems. If you recently upgraded the plumbing system in your home, your insurance premiums will drop.
Some insurance companies will deny a burst pipe claim if they believe the homeowner knew of the problem and did not take the necessary steps to prevent a leak from occurring.
Appliance Water Damage
When a dishwasher leaks, a washing machine breaks, or a fridge starts to leak, it can cause serious water damage. Most flood insurance plans will cover the costs of water damage related to broken appliances.
If you are not diligent in caring for your roof, an insurance company can reject your claim by arguing that you knew there was a problem with the roof. However, most insurance companies will cover the cost of repairs based on a leaky roof. Roof repairs are covered if the roof leaked due to a weather-related factor that was out of your control, like a hurricane, or a tree falling on the home. If the roof leaked from natural causes due to improper upkeep, the insurance company will not pay for it.
A standard homeowner’s plan will generally not include flood damage. Floods can be costly, as they bring toxic water into your home, often causing mold growth and other serious health risks. While you may think floods are rare, there is always a risk of them occurring. Particularly if you live close to a body of water, consider adding a flood insurance policy to your plan to protect your home from significant damage.
Backed Up Sewer Line
If you don’t have your home’s sewer system cleaned annually, you are at-risk for a backed-up sewer line. This kind of flooding damage is not covered in a standard homeowners plan. Sewer line floods will cause significant damage to the home, and it can leave you without a home for weeks or months while repairs are made. Since sewage waste can pose serious health risks, most contractors require homeowners to vacate the property until the house is repaired. Given all the risks and inconveniences involved, consider adding a policy covering sewer problems to your flood insurance plan.
Byline: Frank Anderon has looked into Dry More, a leader among water restoration companies, for recent water damage that occurred in his house.