Understanding What Your Home Insurance Covers

Understanding What Your Home Insurance Covers

Water damage is one of the most common reasons people make claims on their home insurance. Burst pipes, leaky appliances, and flooded basements are just a few of the ways you could discover exactly what is and is not covered by your home insurance policy.

As reported by Insure.com, here are several common water damage scenarios and their insurance consequences.

A sewer backs up, flooding your basement.

Are you covered? No.

Standard policies don't cover it, and many specifically exclude damage from sewer back-ups. Special endorsements are available, at an additional cost, for sewers and drains.

Your bathtub overflows.

Are you covered? Yes.

You are even covered if the bathtub overflowed because you forgot to turn off the faucet.

A nearby lake or river overflows its banks, causing a flash flood in your living room.

Are you covered? No.

Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. You must purchase flood insurance from the federal government. You can purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

The temperature drops to 10 below zero, causing your water pipes to freeze and burst.

Are you covered? Yes.

You are covered for water damage from burst pipes, but most policies won't cover you if you've left the house unoccupied and without heat. If that's the case, your claim could be denied because you've failed to perform the necessary upkeep that would have prevented the accident.

Water leaks from your backyard pool, ruining your lawn and flooding your basement.

Are you covered? Yes, the damages to your basement and your personal property in it are covered.

Your lawn is a different story. Coverage for lawns is on a "named perils" basis, which means you are only covered for damages that arise from certain events. Swimming pool leakage is not one of them. The amount of coverage for lawns and plants is small, only up to $500. If your prize-winning orchid is worth more than $500, you may want to speak with your insurance company about special coverage.

Water seeps from the ground into your basement, damaging your foundation and interior.

Are you covered? No.

Seepage is considered a maintenance problem, not "sudden and accidental" damage, and is excluded from homeowner's insurance coverage.

During a heavy rainstorm, water leaks through your roof. The roof is damaged, as is furniture.

Are you covered? Somewhat.

You're unlikely to be reimbursed for roof repairs because that's a house-maintenance issue. But the water damage to your home is covered. Damage to your furniture is also likely covered if you have a standard H0-3 home insurance policy, but not if you have a generic HO-1 policy (which many insurers don't even sell anymore).

What Should You Do If You Find Leaking?

When your home is affected by water damage, the most important thing is to call professionals immediately, find the water or moisture source and STOP it! Then, you must contact water removal and drying experts to assess the situation accurately and take immediate, appropriate action. AdvantaClean understands the upheaval and pain these events can produce.

It only takes a few inches of water and your home could require major repairs. Two inches of water can create $21,000 in damages, according to AAA. If your home has been damaged by water intrusion, call AdvantaClean. We will be there, calmly and professionally, to regain control, stop further damage and manage the recovery process.