Rusty pipes (Photo: @scubatrucker via Twenty20)

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Deteriorated or Corroded Pipes?

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Rusty pipes (Photo: @scubatrucker via Twenty20)
Among the most intrusive types of damage that can occur in a home is that caused by water. It seeps into porous surfaces, damages precious hardwood floors, and affects nearly everything it touches. When water damage from a leak happens in your home, it can take many hours and much heartache to clean up all up.
What happens if the leak is caused by aging or deteriorated plumbing in your home? Will insurance cover corroded or deteriorated pipes? Here’s what you need to know.

Sources of water intrusion

For comprehensive homeowners insurance claims, coverage depends on the source of the water and the circumstances that led to the leak. Sudden losses originating inside your home are often covered. Roof leaks, for example, are frequently covered by homeowners insurance, but floodwaters that enter your home aren’t typically covered, nor are sewer backup and sump overflow. There are riders or endorsements available from insurers to cover these situations at an extra cost, but they are usually rather inexpensive.
Water leaks from plumbing are a different story. The source of the leak is a significant factor, as is the nature of the leak.

Comprehensive insurance covers burst pipes and accidents

A home insurance policy covers repairs when an accidental or sudden leak occurs. For example, if the water supply hose to your kitchen taps unexpectedly blows apart and soaks everything from your cabinets through your floor to the basement ceiling, it’s likely a situation where insurance will cover it. Or if your laundry machines begin dumping sudsy water all over your floors and flooding your family room, it’s the type of concern that insurance tends to cover.

Does insurance cover corroded pipes?

But when the leak originates from items specifically listed as ineligible, or it was due to lack of maintenance or wear and tear, don’t get your hopes up for insurance coverage. Whether the issue is minor or major, you’ll find yourself footing the bill.
That’s the case for corroded pipes. Cast iron drain lines eventually corrode and rust, leaking septic fluids into your home if not attended to. Supply and drain lines that deteriorate and develop a leak are a gap in coverage since the issue is due to age, lack of maintenance, or wear and tear. No matter how severe the leak becomes, insurance does not apply.
Not only is the leaky pipe not covered for repairs, but any associated damage due to the leak is the homeowner’s responsibility as well.

Tips to avoid major water catastrophes from corroded pipes at home

To escape the clutches of a wallet-busting repair bill for water damage, here are a few tips.
  • Set a day on your calendar annually to check plumbing fixtures and lines for leaks.
  • Repair even the most minor problems with water lines and drains.
  • Use a water softener to prevent calcified buildup from corroding plumbing.
  • Shut off water supply to unused fixtures.