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Types of Water Damage Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance

Seeing water damage in your home is never a welcome sight, no matter how the damage occurred. Worries of mold, repair costs and other consequential damage run through your mind as you start to wonder whether the damage is covered under your homeowner’s insurance. 

To help you better understand how to navigate these murky situations, here’s an overview of the types of water damage covered by homeowner’s insurance and what you can do to stay protected.

What Water Damage Is Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

One of the most common types of homeowner’s insurance claims is due to water damage. 

The standard homeowner’s insurance policy in Missouri will typically only cover water damage resulting from plumbing issues, appliance overflows, or hose damage from fires. It will not cover damage caused by flooding, water backup from a sewer, or damage caused by negligence. 

Water backup from a sewer is available as an add-on to most plans but is typically not found on standard plans. If you’re concerned about this possibility, it’s a good idea to talk to an insurance agent about what that additional coverage could look like for your policy.

Flooding is covered by flood insurance rather than homeowner’s insurance. If you live in a high-risk flood area or near one of our lakes in the Lake Ozark region, it’s a good idea to have this additional coverage in case of any water overflow.

Negligence can cause any water damage claim to be denied. This often happens when a homeowner fails to cover their pipes in the wintertime and a pipe bursts, or if a water heater explodes due to lack of maintenance.

How Homeowner’s Insurance Claims Work Following Water Damage

Three key factors will typically determine whether you’re properly covered through your homeowner’s insurance for water damage.

  1. Your policy. To best understand what type of water damage coverage you have through your homeowner’s insurance, you’ll need to review your policy. Sometimes, a policy can have additional optional coverage that you might want to add to your policy to bolster how you’re protected. 
  2. Source of the damage. It matters where the damage comes from when it comes to having your homeowner’s insurance cover a water damage claim. Typically, if the damage occurs because of something inside your home, such as a leaky pipe or overflowing appliance, you will be covered. Damage from outside the home, such as a leaky roof, will often not be covered. 
  3. Sudden vs. gradual. Most of the time, gradual damage from leaky appliances or faucets is not covered. That’s because these are seen as a lack of maintenance on your home, which could be considered negligence. However, if the water damage occurs suddenly due to a pipe that exploded, you could be covered because the incident could be considered an accident. Still, you may need to provide evidence that there were no preventative measures that you could’ve taken to avoid this sudden damage.

What Should You Do After Water Damage Occurs?

When water damage occurs, you must take photos and videos of the affected areas. Include any damaged belongings, such as furniture or appliances, in your documentation. This will help the adjuster see what happened during the damage. Do your best to keep the scene as intact as possible while taking photos or videos. 

You should also take the necessary precautions to avoid further damage to your home. Moving undamaged items and removing excess water will help avoid further catastrophe. 

To help the adjuster with your claim, make a detailed list of everything damaged, including important details such as cash value, make, model, year, etc. 

Get Homeowner’s Insurance to Protect Against Water Damage

The best way to help your family stay protected against costly or denied claims is to get proper homeowner’s insurance to protect you from water damage. We can help you find the right policy for your family and home. Contact McGrath Insurance Group to review your current policy and verify that you have the coverage you need.