Whether you drink it, swim in it, or shower in it, water can be beneficial for many different purposes. Unfortunately, it can also be highly destructive when it exceeds its bounds. Whether your home is completely underwater or only has a few inches in the basement, the financial fallout can be disastrous. Having the right insurance is important, but not all types of water damage are the same.
Do you know what your insurance policy covers and what it doesn’t? Continue reading to find out what types of water-related losses are covered under standard homeowners insurance and which ones you might need extra protection for.
Covered Losses: Overflow and Discharge
There are several types of water-related events that can lead to significant damages. When you file a claim for a water-related loss, the insurance company will approve or deny your claim based on the type of event that caused the loss. A typical homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for overflow and discharge losses.
Overflowing water is exactly what it sounds like – water that has overflowed. Whether from a sink, bathtub, or toilet, insurance will generally cover losses stemming from such an incident. Likewise, discharge refers to water that is being discharged in the wrong place. Perhaps a pipe leak causes water damage behind one of your walls. Most likely, it is covered.
Not Covered: Backup
When a pipeline backs up due to a blockage, water cannot properly drain from your home. Invasive tree roots, collapsed pipes, and overburdened storm and sewage drains can all cause water to begin accumulating in your home. This type of backup must be remediated quickly in order to prevent the spread of mold and even disease. Cleanup can be costly, not to mention the costs of replacing damaged household structures and belongings.
Standard homeowners insurance typically does not cover water damage caused by a backup, but you can add an endorsement to your policy that will cover the cost of these types of expenses. Contact Mark, here at Patriot Insurance for more information about adding a backup endorsement to your policy.
Not Covered: Groundwater Seepage
Groundwater seepage is not generally covered under any homeowners insurance policy, flood coverage, or an endorsement. When water accumulates in the ground around your foundation, insurers typically considered it an issue of homeowner’s maintenance. To avoid groundwater damage, ensure your home’s gutters and the land surrounding your property are designed to carry water away from the foundation – not allow water to pool around it.
Not Covered: Flooding
Flooding is not covered under homeowners insurance. Instead, coverage for flooding must be purchased as independent coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in a flood plain, your mortgage provider may already require you to have flood insurance through this program. Even if you do not live in a high-risk zone, however, you might still need protection.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, approximately 1 in 5 flood damage claims are made by people who live outside of high-risk flood zones. You can find out more about your flood risk at Fema.gov
A flood is defined as temporary surface water accumulation over at least two acres of land that is normally dry. It may occur as a result of rapid rainfall or the overflow of a river, pond, or other body of water. Though you may have some warning of an impending flood, it is not enough time to protect your home with flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program imposes a 30 day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective. For more information about flood insurance, contact Patriot Insurance today.
Just two inches of standing water can cost more than $20,000 in damages to a typical 2,000 square-foot home. Would you be protected against financial loss if it happened to you?