Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?

by Van Thompson

Water damage from floods, leaky pipes and damaged sewage systems is one of the most common causes of homeowner's insurance claims. Homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage, but it will cover many other kinds of water damage. Before signing a home insurance policy, check the terms of the policy and ensure that you're comfortable with the coverage provided for common sources of home damage.

Covered Claims

Homeowner's insurance will cover damage to your property from sinks, faucets, leaky pipes and other common sources of water. You'll typically have to pay your deductible before coverage kicks in, and might have to demonstrate that the damage was not due to negligence. Homeowner's insurance is unlikely to cover damage to your land. For example, if a pipe ruptures and floods your home and yard, your insurance might cover the flood, but won't cover damage to your property.

Uncovered Claims

Sewer systems are not typically covered by home insurance, but are a common cause of floods. A few home insurance policies allow homeowners to purchase riders to cover sewage systems. While homeowner's insurance typically covers damage due to appliance floods, the damages might not be covered if the appliance was not properly maintained. For example, if your washing machine flooded your home, but you knew it needed repairs, damages would not be covered.

Flood Damage

Floods due to overflowing creeks, rain damage, hurricanes and tropical storms are not covered by home insurance. While people who don't live near bodies of water or in areas prone to natural disasters might think their homes will never flood, floods are common in all areas. Even a few extra inches of rain can quickly damage a home.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance covers damages due to rain, floods, natural disasters and other phenomena that cause floods. You might have to pay extra if you live near a body of water or area that is prone to floods. The National Flood Insurance Program is a program that communities can participate in if they agree to adopt flood-minimizing laws and other policies. If your area participates in this program, you can purchase flood insurance.

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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