A frequent expectation of consumers is that their homeowners insurance will cover anything that might happen to their home. That’s why we have insurance, right?
Is Water Damage a Covered Peril?
Things that can damage your home or cause a claim are called perils. You can think of them as risks. While most policies will cover a wide variety of perils, there are also some situations that will not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Water damage is one of the perils where the fine print becomes important to understand.
Without digging through papers to find and read your policy, there are two words you can use as a test to see if there may be coverage. This test works in most cases.
Think about the words, “Sudden,” and “Accidental.”
If a water pipe bursts upstairs and water damages the home on both floors, this was both sudden and accidental. This situation would be a covered peril.
Let’s say that the same pipe didn’t burst, but instead was leaking for weeks, or even months. The water still damages the home, but the cause of the damage was not sudden. In this case, the leaky pipe was a maintenance item, not an insurance claim.
What about flood damage?
The word, “flood” can be confusing when you think about your coverage. In insurance, the term has a very specific meaning.
If the pipe upstairs burst and now there are three inches of water downstairs, that looks like a flood to most of us, but it isn’t, at least not as defined by your insurance policy. This water damage would be a covered peril.
If a storm blew the roof of the house and the house suffered water damage from the rain coming in from above, that would also be a covered peril.
However, if the water touched the ground before entering your home, that is what your policy means when referring to flood damage. This last example, by itself, would not be a covered peril.
For flood coverage, meaning rising waters entering the home, damaging the home or your personal property, you can purchase separate coverage with a flood policy.
If you do place a claim, the insurance claim adjuster or claims team will investigate and determine which claims will be covered. The coverage you purchased is their guide, but the adjusters also need to understand the cause and extent of the damage completely before they can cover a claim.
If you would to like to discuss your options for homeowners insurance please call us at 561-732-9305 our quoting hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. In addition, you can request a quote online. Please remember, We Handle All the Work, While You Save!
Rob Macoviak is the President of Oyer, Macoviak and Associates. Oyer, Macoviak and Associates is the oldest independent insurance agency in Boynton Beach and has been in business since 1953.