Are Plumbing and Pipe Leaks Covered By Homeowners Insurance?


Ideally, homeowners insurance policy must cover any unexpected and sudden water damage brought on by a broken pipe or a plumbing malfunction. However, the majority of home insurance coverage does not include home damage caused by constant and slow leaks and damage that occurred because of regional flooding. Additionally, some home damage like mold could be excluded from your regular insurance policy depending on what caused it. However, there are other insurance coverages that can be added to existing premiums.

Water Damage From Leaking Pipes

Your home insurance policy must cover accidental and sudden water damage caused by a plumbing failure like a ruptured water heater or burst pipe. If your home has water damage, there are three clauses in the homeowners insurance policy that could provide you with coverage.

Dwelling coverage – the dwelling coverage clause will insure your home’s structure like the roof, walls, as well as floorboards. In case a section of your house has been damaged by a leak that’s been covered, or in case you had to get rid of a certain part of your wall to fix a leak, you will be reimbursed by your dwelling coverage. Your dwelling insurance will also cover any built-in appliances in your home in case they are damaged.

Property coverage – your property coverage will reimburse you for any damaged personal property like clothing, furniture, and TV, that may have been destroyed after a plumbing problem wreaks havoc in your home. However, luxury items such as jewelry will be covered but with a $2,000 limit, unless you added extra coverage to your policy.

Additional living expenses or ALE coverage – this type of coverage will reimburse you for your travel, hotel, and food expenses in case you were displaced from your house temporarily.

For instance, when water begins to pour out of your washing machine and you are not at home, it may cause buckling on your wooden floorboards. Apart from that, the water may also leak through your floors and cause damage to your walls or the ceiling of the floor underneath. When this happens, the damage to your home will be assessed by an insurance adjuster. In case the cost to fix or change your floor, lower floor ceiling, or molding is $3,000 and your home insurance policy has a $1,000 deductible, the remaining $2,000 will be covered by your insurance company.

What Plumbing Damage Cannot Be Covered By Home Insurance

Although burst pipes and Myrtle Beach plumbing malfunctions are covered water damage, you need to know that there are some situations or damage types that are not covered. Once you file a water damage claim, your insurer will send out an insurance adjuster to evaluate the cause and as well as the cost of the damage. Among the things they will assess are:

–    Source of the damage or the location of the affected pipes

–    Did the damage occur due to a new leak or an old one

–    Were there signs of deterioration that may have indicated future leaks

–    Is the leak the result of old age or deterioration

The insurance adjuster will make use of these assessments to determine if you could have prevented the leak and if they think you could have, then, they will not provide you with coverage.

Lack Of Maintenance

Water damage that has resulted from normal deterioration or insufficient maintenance won’t be covered. Insurers also deny a burst pipe during winter time, which is a common claim made by several homeowners.

Sewage Backup

Although a leaking toilet could be covered by homeowners insurance policies, a backed up or flooded sewage system will not be covered even if it could overload your plumbing system. The good thing is that many home insurance companies provide sewer or water backup insurance plan as a cost-effective rider that can be added to an existing policy. It is a great idea to include this optional coverage because sewage damage can be hazardous to the health of your family and can cause costly damage to your home and property.

Flood Damage

Although water damage results from a defective pipe or utility, flood damage happens whenever heavy rains, overflowing water bodies, or snowmelt increase to high levels to get access to your house and even overload the plumbing system. Although the flood damage is not included in your homeowners insurance policy, you can buy flood insurance coverage from your insurer provided that they participated in the National Flood Insurance Policy or NFIP.

Mold Damage

Most homeowners insurance policies do not include mold damage. But insurance firms do offer different amount of protection against mold damage in case it is due to a covered leak. You must carefully read your policy to fully understand your coverage. If covered, your insurer will reimburse you for as much as $10,000 for mold remediation, but the amount will depend on certain factors. Apart from buying mold coverage, you must routinely clean, dehumidify, and ventilate areas that are susceptible to mold growth to stop it from spreading. These areas are the basement, bathrooms, laundry rooms, crawl spaces, garages, and cabinets under the sinks.

If you notice that you have a water leak, immediately find ways to prevent further damage. Stop the flow of water right away by shutting off your main water valve. Call an emergency plumber to help you fix the leak.

Call Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC if you have problems with water leaks at home.

Blue Ribbon Plumbing LLC
4201 Carolina Exchange Drive Suite 202
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 267-9733

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