If you are dealing with a slow leak from a hole in the roof, water can damage both your home and your bank account. In this situation, a question that might hit your head is whether your homeowner’s insurance covers water damage from a leaking roof.
Homeowners’ insurance policies usually help cover water damage if the cause of the leak is sudden and accidental. But leaks caused for gradual events like age, rot, or inadequate maintenance are generally not covered by the insurance. In general, most homeowners insurance policies exclude damage caused by landslides, earthquakes, or floods unless that coverage is bought separately.
If you are wondering if your homeowner’s insurance covers water damage from a leaking roof, this article is precisely for you.
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- 1 How Do Insurance Companies View Roof Leaks?
- 2 Types Of Water Damage That Are Not Covered
- 3 Causes that will get covered by insurance companies
- 4 Causes That Will Not Get Covered By Insurance Companies
- 5 How To Protect Your Home From Water Damage?
- 6 FAQs
- 7 Wrap-up
How Do Insurance Companies View Roof Leaks?
Homeowners’ insurance may cover water damage caused by a leaking roof if the incident is sudden and accidental. It is important to note that you might not get paid to the same degree from all insurance companies. The companies will cover the water damage as long as the cause of the leak is included in the open peril list of an insurance policy.
Homeowners must know how to take proper care of their roofs. They leave the roof neglected, thinking insurance companies will cover the damage. But what they don’t know is that insurance companies will not cover the repair cost if the cause of the leak is a lack of maintenance on your part.
Types Of Water Damage That Are Not Covered
First of all, you need to know the causes that won’t help you get covered, those are-
Unresolved Maintenance Issue
Your homeowner’s insurance will probably kick in to cover the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged floor if your dishwasher goes on the fritz, but they might not help cover the damage if the damage results from an unattained maintenance issue, such as constant leaking near a faucet or other plumbing fixture.
Repairing The Source Of Water Damage
Sadly, most homeowners insurance policies will not cover the source of water damage. Your policy may cover the cost of tearing out and replacing the damaged floor if it is included in the open peril, but it won’t help cover the cost of your broken dishwasher or washing machine.
Water Backup From An Outside Drain Or Sewer
You won’t get covered by typical homeowners policies if the water gets into your house by an outside sewer or drain. But if additional sewer or drain backup coverage is included in open peril, that will help you get covered from that type of incident.
Causes that will get covered by insurance companies
Your homeowner’s insurance policy and surrounding circumstances will decide whether the cause of the roof leak will get covered or not.
Let’s take a look at the list of perils that are covered by most homeowners policies-
- Snow or rainstorm
- Hail and windstorm
- Falling object
- Volcanic eruption
- Damage caused by vehicle
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damage caused by an electrical surge
- Damage due to riots
Here’s the point, even if you get covered with roof repair or full roof replacement, you may have to pay a deductible- sorry to break it to you.
Causes That Will Not Get Covered By Insurance Companies
It is apparent that roofs will deteriorate and have leaks and cracks as they get old. Most insurance companies will not allow general wear and tear of the roof in their coverage. Apart from that, some other perils might get excluded, mainly depending on company policy.
So let’s look into a few perils that your insurance company might exclude-
- Infestation of insects or animals
- Rust and corrosion
- Government action
One thing to keep in mind, most insurance companies won’t take the hassle to cover the damage caused by improper ownership.
How To Protect Your Home From Water Damage?
Preventive measures are the best way to protect your home from any water damage. Keeping a routine check and making prompt repairs is the solution.
One thing to be clear, the homeowner’s insurance will only work if the water damage is sudden and accidental. If it is from a gradual problem or maintenance issue then you can pretty much forget about the coverage.
Here are the measures you can take-
Drain Water Heaters
Drain the water heater two times a year to prevent sediment buildup.
Look out for the hoses that are going to and from washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers, or fridges. If you see any damaged hose, repair it quickly.
Inspect Your Roof
Inspect your roof regularly and make necessary repairs every month, like replacing damaged shingles or cleaning out the roof gutters. Clogged gutters can overflow the water, which will eventually pool near a home’s foundation, which could seep into your basement later on.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
If you live in an area where the temperature is very low. Keep your heater set to at least 50 degrees and take other necessary precautions, such as wrapping pipes with insulations.
Does home insurance cover damage caused by water backup?
Most homeowners insurance covers sudden and accidental water damage but there are many causes that aren’t covered through standards homeowners insurance. The good thing is most insurance companies provide additional coverage for that too known as water backup coverage.
If the water backup coverage policy is included in your open peril then definitely the homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage caused by water backup.
Does home insurance cover mold caused by water damage?
In most cases, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover mold manifestation. Generally, most causes of mold growth in homes are because of excessive moisture from water leaks. These situations occur due to improper ownership and lack of maintenance. They are gradual and generally happen over an extended period of time.
But the insurance will kick in if the reason of mold growth is sudden and accidental and had nothing to do with your maintenance.
Do home warranties cover water damage?
A home warranty doesn’t cover water damage itself but it might cover many causes of water damage. You should know the causes of water damage that home warranties can address such as leaking or burst pipes, roof leaks, certain toilet problems, worn and faulty appliances, and many more.
Roof leakage can be very dangerous if left unattended. So you should be a responsible homeowner and do regular roof inspections in order to prevent wear and tear. However, if a covered peril causes a roof leak and you cant afford to repair it, then the best would be if you file an insurance claim.