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A leaking shower can mean far more problems than the annoyance of a persistent drip. The water damage from leaky pipes could rot hardwood floors or even gradually cause structural damage. As neither plumbing bills nor remodeling is cheap, it’s natural to wonder if you can make a home insurance claim to repair your leaking shower. And the short answer to that question is… maybe.
Leaky Showers and Homeowners Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance is intended to cover unexpected damages and losses, and leaking showers or other plumbing issues don’t always merit this coverage, despite being common household disasters.
Under most circumstances, if a leaking shower is caused by a sudden burst in pipes or other disaster with a quick onset, you can claim it on your home insurance. If, however, the leaky shower is a result of a gradual issue in your plumbing, you are likely to pay for the repairs out of your pocket.
Sometimes home insurance coverage for plumbing leaks falls into a gray area between preventable-yet-neglected and completely unexpected. So, it’s worth examining your home insurance policy before consigning yourself to forking over significant cash to plumbers and contractors. As you go over your policy’s wording with a fine-toothed comb, here are three clauses that may be your saving grace.
While the dwelling coverage clause does not pay for plumbing repairs, it does pay for structural damage to your home. If your leaking shower compromised the integrity of your walls, floors, or roof, for instance, your policy might pick up the bill to fix these major issues. This can be a game changer, releasing you from personal responsibility for ultra-costly repairs that threaten the very foundation of your home.
If water damage left your furniture irrevocably soggy or destroyed your favorite electronic gadgetry, then you can claim on home insurance for leaking shower casualties under the property coverage clause. This extra protection can reimburse you for any property lost or damaged by your leaking shower. Property can mean anything from basic toiletries to anything of value in your bathroom.
Be aware that there are often limits to how much the property coverage clause will cover, especially for items like jewelry. Read all of the fine print before becoming too celebratory over the replacement of your bathroom’s sound system that you enjoy while singing in the shower.
Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage
If the aftermath from your leaking shower displaces you from your home, additional living expenses coverage will reimburse you for hotel stays, eating out, and other travel expenses. ALE coverage cushions the blow of having to be away from home while damage is repaired. It is not, however, an excuse to claim on home insurance for leaking shower issues and have an extravagant family vacation. Expenses are often investigated, and it’s not worth the risk of being found guilty of insurance fraud.
If you do not currently have any of these three clauses in your homeowner’s insurance policy, you might consider adding them. While these additions may increase your monthly homeowner’s insurance premium, they could help you save considerable costs from plumbing issues that arise in the future.
Don’t expect your homeowner’s insurance agent to alert you to the presence of clauses that can help cover damages caused by your leaking shower. Be proactive, and examine your policy’s language closely. Then, you can contact your agent to claim on home insurance for leaking shower expenses and make an informed case to be reimbursed for part, if not all, of the expenses.