Florida is a coastal state known for hurricanes, tropical storms, and long rainy seasons that all make flooding a common occurrence. Flooding is a homeowner’s worst nightmare- it can be ridiculously expensive, result in substantial water damage, and if not taken care of properly turn into a bigger issue over time. While most homeowners insurance policies offer some coverage for sudden and accidental water damage from a source inside your home, like a leaking roof or ruptured water line, flooding is a different story. Standard homeowners insurance policies, particularly in Florida, typically won’t cover gradual water damage that occurs over time. You will need to buy a separate flood insurance policy to cover damage done by outdoor flooding. Read on to learn more about what causes of water damage are covered and what your homeowners insurance company can do for you.
Types Of Water Damage Homeowners Insurance Covers
Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage as long as it is caused suddenly and accidentally. Moreover, the source of the damage needs to be something structural or internal, like a plumbing problem. There are also covered perils like if rain gets in through a damaged section of your roof during a heavy storm. Remember, when it comes to flooding and water damage, it all depends on the cause. Here are types of water damage that are covered, occasionally covered, and never covered by homeowners insurance:
- Frozen pipes in a heated home
- Burst pipes
- Water damage from a covered loss
- Sudden and accidental overflow of systems or appliances
May be covered:
- Sump pump or sewer line backups
- Leaks or mold hidden inside floors or walls
- Plumbing malfunctions from improper installation
- Gradual water damage
- Ground seepage
- Frozen pipes in an unheated home
- Mold due to uncovered water damage
Types Of Water Damage Home Insurance Usually Covers
Let’s briefly discuss the types of water damage your homeowners insurance policy typically covers.
Faulty plumbing and appliances
Water damage from burst pipes or overflow of appliances- such as washing machines, HVAC units, water heaters, and dishwashers- is usually covered. However, homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover replacement or repair of the pipe or appliance that caused the damage.
Frozen pipes in a sufficiently heated home
Water damage from frozen pipe is typically covered, but only if the home is deemed to be sufficiently heated when the loss occurred. If your home is unoccupied for a long time and the pipes freeze up, it probably won’t be covered.
Water damage from a covered loss
If a covered peril in your policy results in water damage, you’re most likely good to go. For example, if a windstorm that is covered in your policy damages your roof, any resulting water damage is probably also covered.
Hidden water damage accumulated over time
Water damage due to poor maintenance and neglect isn’t covered, but if there is hidden water or mold damage in your home that you didn’t know about and wasn’t due to neglect, home insurance may cover it.
Types Of Water Damage Your Homeowners Insurance WON’T Cover
Here are some types of water damage standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover:
Standard homeowners insurance, especially in Florida, doesn’t cover damage from floodwaters that come into your home from the outside. Damage from flash floods, storm surges, high tides, or overflow of any body of water requires separate flood insurance.
Neglect or poor maintenance
If your pipes have obviously been leaking for a long time and you haven’t done anything to remedy the situation, your insurance company probably won’t cover it.
Sewer Line Backups
Water damage from sewer line backups or clogged pipes usually isn’t covered by homeowners insurance since it is an external water source. However, most insurers do offer water backup coverage that you can buy to protect against these losses.
Contact Us Today
Water damage is one of the most common and costly problems a house can experience. This is why you should always read the fine print with your homeowners insurance and make sure you purchase flood insurance as necessary. If you are looking for an experienced property insurance attorney, call Craig Rolle to schedule a consultation today.