Water, Water Everywhere: Homeowner’s Insurance and Water Damage

Everyone knows that homeowner's insurance will very likely cover wind and fire damage, but some confusion exists about the issue of water damage. There is a possibility that you may not have the coverage that you think you have and that you need. Read on to learn more about getting insured for several types of water damage.

Leaks from inside the home.

Everywhere there are water pipes, there is the potential for a leak. Often, these leaks occur in the bathroom or kitchen areas. Unfortunately, these types of leaks are often hidden from view, enabling the leaks to do damage for weeks or even months of damage before being discovered. Your homeowner's policy may specify that leaks cannot be older than a certain length of time for the damage the leak caused to be covered. For extensive damage, a home inspector or engineer's assessment may be required. It's worth keeping in mind that water leaks that go undetected and untreated could result in the growth of a potentially dangerous mold problem.

Leaks that are found early.

1. An inexpensive solution for hard-to-find water leaks within your home can be found at most home-improvement stores. Wireless water-detection alarms will alert you immediately of any leakage, allowing you to quickly address the issue before more damage is done to your floors and walls. Install these detectors near your water heater, behind your washing machine, near plumbing pipes, under your sink, and anywhere else that water is accessed. You can even set up an app on your phone to alert you of water leaks when you are away.

2. Keep an eye on your water meter if you suspect a leak that you can't find. Record the numbers, turn off your water at the main shut-off, wait about an hour, and check the meter again for changes.

3. Contact your insurance agent about adding a separate rider to your regular homeowner's policy to cover drain, sewer, and water-pipe leaks as well as the extensive damage they could cause.

Flooding from outside your home.

The first thing you need to know about flooding is that the water that enters your home from the outside is not covered under most basic homeowner's policies. That means that water from flash floods, street flooding, nearby bodies of water, and more are not covered without a separate flood-insurance policy. If the flooding is secondary to a wind-damage incident, you may be covered by your basic policy, however. For example, if the wind damages your roof and rain leaks in through the damaged area, you will be covered.

Action you can take.

Flood insurance can be purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program and may be required if you live in certain flood-prone areas. To learn more about getting coverage for water damage, contact a homeowner's insurance agency like Clifford P Beauvais Insurance Agency.