Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Flooding from a Hurricane If you’re asking, “Does homeowners insurance cover water damage?” we sincerely hope that you are not already ankle-deep in H2O. Answering the water damage coverage question is nuanced; whether your homeowners insurance will cover water damage depends on a number of factors. Let’s dive in.

Types of Water Damage Commonly Covered by Homeowners Insurance

From overflowing dishwashers to water damage after a fire, the following items are typically covered by homeowners insurance.  

Plumbing – Burst pipes, resulting damage from faulty work and accidental overflow are usually covered. 
Fire – Extinguishing a blaze demands water to douse the flames. The resulting damage will be covered.
Leaky roof – Sorry to all those who were looking to get a new house-topper! While repairs needed due to leaks from lack of maintenance or wear and tear are not covered, if the wind removes a portion or all of your roof and lets the rain inside, your home insurance responds.
Accidental overflow – Should an appliance or fixture malfunction, you are likely in luck regarding recompense. This is one of those classic “thank goodness I purchased insurance” moments when the damage is an absolute surprise. Be aware that some policies limit or exclude water damage. Check your policy for specific terms and conditions.
Mold – When left undetected long enough, mold can pose a significant respiratory hazard. If mold is the result of a covered water damage loss, eradication expenses will be paid. Policy limits for water damage and mold coverage will vary depending on your policy form. This is another important reason to review your policy each year and to speak with your personal insurance advisor if you have questions.
Vandalism – The creative list of possibilities in this category is endless. Luckily, your homeowners insurance will most likely cover the damages. 

Types of Water Damage Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance

Now for the not-so-great news: Not all water damage is covered by homeowners insurance. Here are a few items that are not. 
Ground seepage – When rain falls to the ground, it doesn’t travel straight down. It moves underground and sometimes resurfaces in low-lying home areas. Damages from ground seepage are not covered by homeowners insurance. 
Poorly maintained pipes – You are held to a certain level of care regarding your home. If those pipes are exceedingly old or the repair work on them is shoddy, your coverage is likely not going to help you.
Water or sewer pipe backup – Avoid this scenario by keeping your pipes in good working order.
Flooding (rising surface water) – This comes as a surprise to many, but damage from rising surface water will not be covered by homeowners insurance. 

Why Flood Insurance is so Important for Florida Homeowners

Repeat the following adage as many times as it’s necessary to convince yourself that flood insurance is a necessary protection: Everyone lives in a flood zone. Even if you don’t have a view of the Gulf, you are still susceptible to nature-led flooding. Let’s talk hurricanes. Florida is the ultimate tourist destination for hurricanes, and these unwelcome storms bring massive flood potential with them. We also live in a state with massive rainfalls. These events can happen anywhere and at any time. Lastly, storm surge and tidal waters can easily flood or even level an entire home.

Not Sure if You’re Covered? Ask Your W3 Advisor.

At W3 Insurance, our advisors know protection. Specifically, our team understands the nuances of flood coverage and can direct you to the policy that is right for you. Before the flood, there’s W3. Contact us for a review of your current policy or to elect new coverage.

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