Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Overflow or Discharge?
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Water damage is one of the most destructive perils to homes, costing the insurance industry billions of dollars every year. And, if not fixed immediately, water damage can introduce additional problems like mold. But, do insurance companies cover these damages? It depends on the specifics of the incident.
Is Water Damage from Appliances Covered by My Insurance Company?
Most insurance companies do, in fact, cover water damage. However, as it is to be expected, they don’t cover all water damage. These are some of the most common causes of water damage included in standard homeowners policies:
- Rain or snow
- Fire extinguisher
The last category should encompass water damage from any appliances in the house, such as air conditioners, washing machines, fire sprinkler systems, outdoor sprinklers, water heaters, dishwashers, or any other appliance that is connected to a plumbing system.
This means that in case of a blockage or burst in the system that causes any of these appliances to malfunction, your insurance company should cover the resulting damage. However, keep in mind that if the appliance itself is damaged, most insurance companies won’t pay for the replacement of it—just for the damage it caused. But, considering how destructive water damage can be, the cost of the appliance should be the least of your worries.
When Is Water Damage Not Covered?
If your water damage happens to be coming from one of the following reasons, your insurance company will not cover it unless you have specifically had the coverage written into your policy.
Flood: Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damages. People who live in high-risk areas and wish to be protected against this peril should purchase additional insurance.
Sewage water: Damages caused by sewage water is not included in a standard homeowners policy, but you may have the opportunity to add an endorsement to cover this gap.
Negligence: If the water overflow or discharge from an appliance is caused by poor maintenance, the insurance company will refuse to pay for the damages. It is your responsibility to keep everything up to date.
Is Mold Covered by Insurance Companies?
Water damage is known to cause mold, which can be a tricky problem to fix and can add to the water damage. As long as your damage was caused by a covered peril/cause, your insurance company should also pay for any mold remediation; this is because mold is seen as an extension of the water damage.