Water Can Be Murky

Water seems like a very simple topic to discuss, right? WRONG! When it comes to insurance, not all water is the same. According to the Insurance Service Office, water damage claims are the second most frequent type of claim, behind wind and hail damage. Because of this, we want to make sure you are educated on the different types of water claims.

Since water damage can be so severe and is very common (particularly in Florida!), many carriers now exclude or limit coverage for different types of water damage. Check out a few of the most common types of water claims below.  As always, each policy can vary in the wording on what is and is not covered, so please reach out to us with any specific questions about your policy.

  • Rain damage in home. Recently, many carriers have limited the coverage for rainwater damage. It all depends on HOW the rain got into your home on whether it is covered or not. Many carriers exclude rainwater damage unless there is an opening in the home through which the water is entering.  For example, a tree limb punctures a hole in a roof and water enters the home through the hole in the roof, this, typically, would have coverage.
  • Pipe or appliance leaking. This is as simple as it sounds! You have an appliance that is leaking or a pipe that burst in your home. This is covered under most home insurance carriers!
  • Toilet or other drains backing up into your home. This is, most likely, caused by a blockage in the pipes. This may or may not be covered. It depends on if the blockage is within your pipes or if the blockage is on the public water main. You may need a “water backup” endorsement to broaden or add the coverage to the policy.
  • Flood water is seeping into my home from the outside.  True flood damage is water rising from a body of water or when the ground is not able to absorb water fast enough and then it’s forced into your home. This is a coverage that is not included in a standard homeowner’s policy and must be endorsed or written separately. 

It is also important to know that many carriers exclude water damage when a home has been unoccupied for 30 days or more prior to the loss. This is why it is important to turn off your water and drain appliances when you are leaving for an extended period of time.

We hope this gives you a little more insight into what water damage can consist of. Again, reach out to us for any questions about your specific policy!

About the Author

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Christin Snow is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Bouchard Insurance. Christin is experienced in all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn