Have You Considered Adding A Water Shut-Off Device To Your Water Damage Action Plan?

Picture this. You’ve just arrived home, and as you pull into the driveway, you see water seeping out the garage. You open the door and discover the painful truth: a plumbing leak has occurred, and water is everywhere. Cue the panic questions:

Do you have insurance coverage? How much coverage do you have for water damage losses? Don’t let the above scenario happen.

Thanks to leak detectors and water shutoff devices, protecting your property from water damage losses has become much easier. From leaky pipes to water heater malfunctions and everything in between, these water damage culprits that lead to property insurance claims are preventable.

Avoid costly repairs and potential insurance claims by installing a preventative device. Some devices could even lead to a policy discount with some insurance companies. Take some time to research and discover more about the various types of leak detectors and water shutoff devices. An initial investment can save you time, money, and aggravation in the long run.

Check out what one of our clients recently told us about their experience with a water shut-off device:

“I wanted to report firsthand about water shutoff devices you recently mentioned. Like you my insurance carrier here in Cincinnati the Cincinnati insurance Co. recommended the installation of a water flow control device. They mentioned four different brands. I researched them and chose Flo by Moen.

When I purchased it online they had a special deal with a plumber for the installation cost of $150 I booked it several weeks out it was installed without a hitch. It was then connected to AC power and Wi-Fi and is now providing daily reports on water usage and every night it performs a system check for leaks.

If I leave the home for any extended period of time I put it in away mode so that it is much more sensitive to shutting off the water supply in the event of what is deemed to be a leak. So for the total cost including installation of about $550 I’m also saving $200 per year on my homeowners policy here.”

It is important for you to review the policy limits for water damage coverage within your insurance contract. If you have questions, contact W3 at 727-522-7777. A great place to begin is a water damage action plan. Find advice regarding crafting one here: https://w3ins.com/category/homeowners.

Your Home: A Water Damage Time Bomb

Keep Dry With This Action Plan

Water damage can be a real drain. Protect your home and your pocketbook by opting for the right water damage coverage and addressing potential threats. Proactive “waterproofers” save themselves the expense and headache that comes with an unwelcome deluge. Keep the wet away from your Welcome mat by completing essential home maintenance essential to loss prevention. Below, we’ll examine the common sources for home water damage and how you can prevent excess H20.

  • Roofing: Plenty of water damage risks don’t involve torrential rainfall or wind. Homeowners are often surprised to learn that maintaining their roof is only one element of protection – but it is of course an important one. Give yours a birthday present by having a professional roof inspector examine it every year. This professional will spot suspect shingles, crumbling flashing and other elements that can put you at risk for leaks.
  • Plumbing: Plumbing in general should be treated as a valuable home element. If you see corrosion, condensation or leaks emanating from plumbing anywhere in your home, act immediately. Here’s a hint: If your water bill suddenly spikes, you may well have a malfunctioning plumbing element.
  • Sump Pump: Heading out on vacation? Avoid a surprise ‘gift’ upon your return home by turning off your main water supply line. Since sump pumps can fail for a variety of reasons, it’s a solid strategy. Take the time to inspect those. Clogged inlet screens and float switches can yield problems. Remember to take a look at the outside pipes and watch for that water flow – it should occur away from the home.
  • Water Heater: Five years is the magic number for these home elements. After age five, water heaters are much more likely to burst. Flush yours of sediment twice annually. And once a year after that five year point, ask a professional plumber to take a look at the anode rod, which will inevitably eventually deteriorate. And remember: no hot shower is worth the amount of damage that water heaters can cause if compromised.
  • Toilet: Anyone who has ever experienced a toilet overflow will tell you that it’s not a pleasant experience. It’s also unfortunately a common one. A backed-up toilet can wreak plenty of havoc on wood floors and baseboards; plus, it’s downright gross. How’s that flush mechanism working? Ask that question and answer it every six months. If you need to replace the flapper or film valve, do so. Also, giving the supply line some TLC every six months or so will keep that water flowing where it’s supposed to.
  • Sink: Faulty plumbing lines, thou art evil. When they deteriorate, these lines and the damage they cause can cost a homeowner approximately $7,000. Faulty plumbing lines are the big risk factor in a sink. Inspect it every six months, and if you don’t know where the water supply shutoff line is, go find it immediately.
  • Washing Machine: This one’s an obvious risk. After all, it has ‘water’ in the name! What you should really be on the lookout for here is water supply lines. Every six months, take a look at it. Is it secured correctly? Is it looking worse for the wear?
  • Ice Maker: That supply line can really be a doozy. If an icemaker is not properly installed, that supply line hose can fail. The result of such an incident is a watery mess and inevitable damage. Again, every six months should be a good adage for inspection.

It doesn’t take a lot of time or energy to do quick checkups on water hoses and the like. Schedule these ‘visits’ in your calendar and adhere to them. Putting off inspection of potential water damage sources can prove a costly mistake. Additionally, contact your insurance advisor to discuss whether you need increased water damage coverage. Different elements such as age of the home can increase your risk.

Remember: Your insurance policy is designed to cover you for sudden and accidental loss not otherwise excluded in the policy form. It is not a home maintenance policy. By understanding your coverage and doing your part to maintain your home, you’ll earn an A+ in water damage prevention.

Request a review of your current coverage

At W3, our advisors are committed to helping you understand the protection provided by your policy and making sure that it works for you. Contact us! We’ll review your options and put a watertight plan in place.

Homeowners Insurance and Hurricanes: What Is (and Isn’t) Covered

home with approaching hurricane

Hurricane insurance coverage is as vital to the Florida homeowner as storm shutters that withstand gale-force winds. Those sandbags, batteries, and shutters are must-haves in the emergency preparedness kit, but hurricane insurance coverage alone possesses the power of rebuild. If the worst happens, and that storm demolishes a home, the right coverage can make all the difference. Here’s what to expect as you consider coverage options:

Florida Hurricane Insurance Requirements

It may surprise you to learn that many homeowners policies consider coverage for hurricanes to be standard. However, as a Floridian, beware: a separate windstorm deductible applies to covered losses. When one speaks of ‘hurricane coverage,’ that is actually what they are referring to – the combination of coverages that add up to full protection. This a la carte coverage aspect means that it is important to talk with an insurance professional before choosing coverage. Whatever policy you select, know that the best options cover both the exterior of the home as well as the contents. That takes into account those valuables you hold dear.

Hurricane Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance

If a tree pushes a divot through your rooftop or the windows shatter (where were those shutters when you needed them)? Your homeowners insurance should cover the damage. Remember, though, that some areas require an extra oomph of coverage––whether that be through increased contents coverage or a replacement-cost endorsement for your contents. This provides you the money to replace your damaged or destroyed possessions with the same, or similarly valued, items.

Possible Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Even though hurricanes often bring flooding along for the trip, homeowners insurance does not cover damage from rising surface water. Mold is also not covered by homeowners insurance unless it was added by endorsement and the result of a covered loss. Excess moisture in the air can cause mold, and this is a very real concern when a hurricane hits. 

Flood Damage (Even Resulting from a Hurricane) is Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

You read that correctly. Even though it’s rather counterintuitive, flood insurance is a completely different coverage. Living in Florida, with shrinking shorelines and neighborhoods surrounded by water, it’s essential for your total home protection to elect for flood insurance.

If a hurricane results in flooding, those who elected to purchase flood insurance can rest easy knowing their home and property will be protected.

Every Florida Home Should Have Flood Insurance

We can’t drive this home enough. Did you know that it doesn’t take a major storm for flooding to occur? Homeowners who state that they don’t need flood insurance because they don’t live in a flood zone miss the mark. In Florida, we know that when it rains, it pours. Heavy Florida showers present a very real flood risk.

Protect yourself. Prepare your home against hurricanes and know what your policy covers. Speak with one of our experienced advisors long before that storm system appears on the radar. We will break down the intricacies of insurance and make sure you understand what you’re paying for. We’re here to help you weather the storm.

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Is Flood Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

flooded house

Water, water everywhere: Unless you’re lounging on a boat or swimming laps, it’s not a good scenario––especially in your home. Insurance to protect against flooding is a specific coverage election and that’s why the policy is specifically labeled ‘flood insurance.’ So, why do you need it? Reason number one is that water can wreak havoc upon a home, and all are susceptible. 

Water Damage from Rising Surface Water

If excess rising surface water makes its way indoors, that means homeowners’ insurance will take care of the damage, right? This is a common misconception. Water damage from rising surface water will not be covered by homeowner’s insurance. Rising surface water constitutes a flood and therefore is covered by flood insurance only.

Forget the part-tsunami, part-tidal wave catastrophic flood image. Just an inch of water inside your home will do major damage. It doesn’t take a dramatic event to douse the savings you’ll need to access to repair that floor, built-in cabinetry, baseboards, etc. Often, water damage from rising surface water comes not from a rush, but a continuous flow. 

We all Live in a Flood Zone

You read that correctly: We’re all in this together. The sooner homeowners realize that they, too, live in a flood zone, the sooner they’ll realize purchasing Florida flood insurance is non-negotiable. Sure, some of us are more at risk than others. The house on the shore of Anna Maria Island is, of course, going to be located in a higher potential flood zone than the Pinellas Park bungalow. However, a well-placed storm can do major damage anywhere.

Flood Insurance at a Glance

How do you know what your Florida flood insurance covers? For the quick and comprehensive answer, contact your W3 insurance advisor. Our staff is trained to assess your exact flood insurance needs and suggest the policy that fits. Remember: The question is not whether you need to purchase a flood insurance policy – it’s which policy you should select. 

Basic flood insurance is likely going to cover the actual façade of the home. The prior example of permanent flooring damaged due to flood is covered with this type of policy in effect. The architectural integrity of the residence and more are protected as defined in the actual flood policy.  

Dwelling and Contents Coverage

Concerned about valuables being damaged because of a flood? Comprehensive Florida flood insurance coverage may be your best election. This ‘upgraded’ coverage means that should the couch be harmed by a flood, you’ll be compensated. Homeowners with valuable possessions such as antiques find these policies to be a vital part of their insurance plan. It’s important to purchase dwelling and contents coverage for flood protection. 

Flood insurance is most frequently purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private market company. The insurance company underwriting your home insurance may offer it as an endorsement to your home policy.

While being fully covered is the optimal solution, some flood coverage is better than none at all. 

Are You Covered?

If you aren’t sure, it’s time to ask the experts. Our advisors will review your policy at no charge to ensure you are fully covered. 

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Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Water damage can be a nightmare!

The reality is water damage claims are the most common type of homeowner’s loss. The inconvenience of cleanup, repair and potential out of pocket costs are just not worth the aggravation.

Up to 22 gallons of water are lost daily due to leaks from dripping faucets or malfunctioning toilets. Water damage is one of the most common losses to your property. How can you prevent a water damage loss?

Water Damage Prevention

There are no single ways to prevent a water damage loss, but there are ways to minimize your loss from occurring. As a homeowner, there are many things that you are a responsible for in the maintenance of your home. There are 9 places where water damage can occur: plumbing, roof, sump pump, water heaters, shower, toilet, sink, washing machine, and the ice maker.

Age of Your Home

Homes that are thirty years old or older are three times more likely to have a plumbing or drainage problem. It is highly important that the plumbing of your home is inspected annually. If you pay close attention to your monthly water bill, you will be able to quickly spot a plumbing issue.

Are You Covered?

Being a homeowner takes great responsibility, but there are some simple precautions that can be done to prevent a water damage loss, and keep you from paying thousands in damage to your property. Make sure to check with your insurance agent to review your coverage, as many carriers can limit or exclude water damage coverage for older homes. Most carriers only offer $10,000 as a buy back option, which can be minimal if serious damage occurs, and it may not be suitable to repair all of the damage.

Being proactive in maintaining your home and preserving your claims/loss history for catastrophic loss is in your best overall interest from an insurance perspective. Your history for all locations owned follows you for 3-5 years depending on the insurance company.

We offer a free review of your home insurance policy.  If you have concerns about water damage and what you are covered for please call us at 727-522-7777.  Wallace Welch & Willingham represents many insurance companies that have policies that can be customized to fit your particular need.


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