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What Water Damage Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?


About a week ago, I returned home from work like any other afternoon. I walked almost directly into a puddle–but it hadn’t rained and my dog had been at daycare all day. I wasn’t entirely sure where the water came from and was about to ignore it until I looked up to see a big water stain on my ceiling.

I KNEW that hadn’t been there before… or had it? Not entirely sure how long the stain had been there, I called my homeowner’s insurance to start the repair process. To my surprise, the insurance company was quite unhelpful.

They kept asking how long I had known about the leak and if there were any indicators of a problem. I guess I’ll be paying for the repairs myself because apparently, they don’t cover ‘willful ignorance.’ It would have been helpful to know the signs of a water leak before it happened!

Finding a Leak

Finding a water leak can be difficult, especially if it is located in an area that is obstructed from view. Instead of physically finding the leak, you may have to rely on other signs of a problem. A few of the most common, yet overlooked signs will include:

  • leakdetectionSounds of rushing water–if there are no faucets turned on, yet you still hear water running through your home, there may be a leak
  • High water bills–your water consumption shouldn’t change drastically from month to month which means your water bill should stay about the same. When it rises unexplainably, the water has to be going somewhere and it’s probably not anywhere good
  • Musty smells–you know the smell we’re talking about, the damp smell from a basement. There is a reason you associate this particular smell with basements and wetness and it’s because basements usually have some moisture. The rest of your home shouldn’t smell like this
  • Visible mold–unfortunately, mold is a fact of life when dealing with damp, dark places. It often grows in your bathroom no matter how clean it is. However, seeing mold growth on the walls around your home definitely indicates that there is water behind them!

Should you experience any of these signs or just suspect that your home has a water leak, the best thing to do is call Plumbing Solutions. We can isolate the leak and perform the repair before major damage occurs!

Broken & Burst Pipes

brokenpipeYou might be wondering if there is a real difference between the two words broken and burst in the plumbing world. There’s not. Not really, at least.

They both mean about the same thing, although we refer to burst pipes most often during the winter when they have frozen and subsequently burst.

No matter how your pipe breaks, it can do a large amount of damage in a very short amount of time. The first thing you should do is turn the water off to your home. After this is done, call a plumber and then your homeowner’s insurance company.

All Water Damage Isn’t The Same

waterdamageInsurance companies have to protect themselves from homeowners that are negligent in their duties of maintaining their home.

This means that these companies have guidelines in place for the types of water damage that they cover. Although this may sound unfair, many types of water damage can be prevented by regular maintenance and being observant of your home.

The easiest way to ensure your homeowner’s insurance covers any damage is to take necessary steps to keep your home’s plumbing safe and functioning.

Not surprisingly, the rules are different for different kinds of water damage. For example, flooding is covered by a totally different kind of policy, so be sure to speak with your agent and make sure that you have the right kinds of coverage for your home.

Don’t Skip Homeowner’s Insurance–It’ll Cost You!

homeownerinsuranceHomeowner’s insurance companies are somewhat particular about the types of damage they cover. This doesn’t mean that you should skip having a policy!

It just means that they are cautious over what they cover to keep your rates lower. If you work WITH your homeowner’s insurance company, you will see that they are there to help you and keep out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum.

If you suspect you have a water leak or are worried about a pipe breaking, call Plumbing Solutions! We can find and repair any leak and inform you of pipes that may be corroded or in danger of breaking! Have you had a water-related problem at your home? How did your homeowner’s insurance handle it? Tell us in the comments!

Additional Resources

Water damage statistics

The risks of floods and water damage

Can water damage be dangerous to pets?

8 Steps To Take After Water Damage In Your House