Water damage, homeowners insurance

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage

Water damage that occurs as a result of an accidental sudden and unexpected occurrence like a burst pipe. Accidental water damage can often be covered by a homeowners' insurance policy. Water damage requiring restoration, carpet and floor cleaning, repair or replacement of wood flooring, drywall and even furniture loss due to water damage can be covered. However, ignoring a known leak or another long-standing problem, may not be covered by your claim.

Does Home Insurance Cover Frozen Pipes?

Typically, your homeowners insurance can cover cleaning and repairs required due to damage from a frozen pipe that has burst. If though, you turned off your heat while away from your house for a few days which caused the pipes to freeze your claim may be denied.

Taking a few proactive steps to maintain and protect your pipes can help you prevent a disaster. Replace the battery in your thermostat and set it to a minimum of 55° when you’ll be away from home. Should you plan to be away for an extended period of time, have a relative or friend check on your house to make sure the heat is running. If you’re planning to leave your home for the entire winter, be sure to winterize your home. This includes fully draining your home’s plumbing system, irrigation system and shutting off your water.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Line Breaks?

Typically, most homeowners insurance policies will not cover water line breaks, unless a water line has been accidentally or suddenly damaged a great deal. For example, if you dig in your yard and accidentally damage the water line running from your meter, repairs and cleanup could be covered by your policy.

If the home's water line breaks due to age, regular wear and tear, poor initial installation, frequent ground temperature changes, shifting soil, or damage from encroaching tree roots. Damage is not likely to be covered. 

If a water main line breaks, your city or town is responsible for fixing the break. Often repair or replacement of the water main supply line that connects to your house is your responsibility. If a public water main break caused damage to your home, contact your local municipality as well as your insurance company.

What Additional Coverage Do You Need for Broken Pipes?

Accidental water damage is often part of your dwelling coverage, personal property coverage and/or loss of use coverage. Ask Kline Insurance your local insurance representative to make sure water damages are a covered loss for each of these home insurance policy components.

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling coverage is one of the main components of a home insurance policy. In the event of accidental water, fire, severe weather, vandalism or another covered cause of loss. Dwelling coverage can help cover your costs to rebuild or repair the physical structure of your home.

Your dwelling coverage limits are determined by the estimated cost of rebuilding your home. It’s wise to check in with your insurance agent about your home’s replacement cost annually, especially after making improvements. Even small improvements can affect the overall cost to rebuild your home.

Property Coverage

Personal property coverage helps cover your belongings and items in your home. This can include items such as furniture, clothing, sporting goods or electronics, in the event of a covered loss. Whether they get damaged at your home, apartment or anywhere in the world.

In the case of accidental damage from a burst pipe. Payment for professional cleaning, replacement of furniture and personal belongings, can be provided as long as accidental water damage is a covered cause of loss in your policy.

Many policies provide for personal property to be insured at actual cash value rather than replacement cost. You may be able and choose to enhance your policy with full replacement cost coverage.

Coverage For Loss Of Use

Loss of use coverage, can help pay for the additional costs you incur for reasonable housing and living expenses. If a covered event makes your house temporarily uninhabitable while it’s repaired or rebuilt.

If a frozen pipe burst and has caused damage to your home making it unlivable. Loss of use coverage could offset things like hotel expenses and boarding for your pet while your home is repaired or rebuilt.

Water Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Your homeowners insurance policy may not cover damage from:

  • Sewage backup
  • Sump pump failure
  • Flooding

To help protect yourself from flooding, backup or sump pump failure. You would want to purchase separate insurance policies or add-ons to your homeowners coverage. Pipe and appliance maintenance falls under the homeowner’s responsibility.

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