Each year, many people file home insurance claims due to water damage. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) says that water damage claims are the second-most filed claim after wind and hail damage. Because it affects thousands of homeowners, there are a lot of queries about what home insurance does and doesn’t cover.
A trusted roofing contractor shares some of the most common kinds of water damage covered by home insurance.
What Can Be Covered by Your Home Insurance?
Among the most typical kinds of water damage covered by home insurance include flood, storm-related water damage, sudden or accidental discharge, and sewer backup and overflow. Whether the water damage in your home will be covered by insurance or not hugely depends on the source of the damage, the type of policy you have, and if the damage is accidental and sudden or gradual.
What Isn’t Covered?
Most parts of your home require proper care and maintenance to stay in good shape. For instance, you need to regularly maintain your roof to delay the need for a roof replacement. Also, your home contains complex structures and systems, which are usually hidden beneath the walls. When you’re not regularly maintaining these components, you won’t know there are problems until they have spread or affect your home’s structure.
Gradual damage refers to something that happens progressively over time and causes damage to your home. It’s something that occurs slowly, such as paint peeling off the wall that starts in a small area, and eventually, most of the wall is exposed.
Keep in mind that your home insurance claim can be denied if it’s caused by gradual damage. Among the most common examples of gradual damage include mold, rot, or corrosion, lack of home repairs, and electrical wiring deterioration. Plumbing, faucets, or pipes leaking over time that has caused damage to your walls, ceilings, and floors are also considered gradual. If you need a roof repair, don’t delay it to avoid denied claims.
However, there’s still a chance that your insurance company can cover gradual damage. It can be quite tricky because this depends on the policy working. To confirm whether your insurance provider will cover the damage or not, consult your insurance advisor, agent or broker. They are the best people to review the details of your policy with you. Make sure to review your policy’s exclusions and the type of coverage you have.
Resulting Damage in Insurance
When it comes to insurance, initial damage and resulting damage are two different things. For instance, if water damaged occurred due to a broken pipe is stated in your wording as covered, then you may receive compensation for a part of the damages caused. However, your insurer may not cover the cost of the pipe replacement. In short, the resulting damage may be covered but not the cause of the damage.
What Can You Do If Your Water Damage Claim Is Denied?
You have the right to ask for a full explanation if your claim is being denied. Your insurer should explain exactly which part of the policy wording makes your request invalid and why they are denying your claim.
Keep in mind that different people represent the insurance company during a claim and you want to know who is making the decisions. Every person involved in the process plays a different role. To avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding, it would help to request clarifications. Homeowners typically receive a letter in writing, stating the reason why a claim is denied.
Don’t hesitate to ask your agent or representative for a second option if you still do not understand why the damage isn’t covered and you believe your situation can still be reconsidered. Claims can be stressful, so it’s understandable that certain details aren’t well explained on both sides.
Tips to Protect Your Home Against Water Damage
Address Leaks on Your Roof, Windows and Doors
Water usually penetrates your home through your roof, windows, and doors. If you notice signs of water infiltration on your ceilings, contact your roofing contractor to have the issue checked as soon as possible. Delaying repairs will only make the problem worse and lead to early failure of these components. Make sure that your roof is in good shape, windows are caulked properly and that your door is working properly.
Check Your Irrigation System
Sprinkler systems must be secure and watertight because when they leak, groundwater can build up and damage your home’s foundation. Repairing a foundation can involve significant costs, depending on how severe the damage is. During winter, make sure that the water is shut off to prevent pipes from freezing.
Clean Your Gutters Regularly
The purpose of your gutter system is to safely divert water away from your home. However, debris like fallen leaves, branches, and seeds can settle on the gutters and clog them. When this happens, water won’t be able to flow and drain properly. It may also overflow to your siding and back up to the roof. If the clogs remain unaddressed, water damage may occur in different parts of your home, including your foundation. By taking care of your gutters, you will save yourself from major home and roof repair costs.
Get Regular Plumbing Inspections
A professional would know if your shower and tub are draining properly. They will also seal and caulk bathroom fixtures to make sure they are watertight. You can also do your part by routinely checking the pipes under the sink for leaks.
Check Appliance Hoses
Inspect the hoses of your dishwasher, washer, and water heater regularly. Be sure that the hoses are connected properly to the appliances. You can also invest in leak sensors that send alerts to your smart devices when a leak occurs.
For your residential roofing needs, Anderson Restoration LLC is always ready to help. We offer high-quality roof replacement and repair services. We can also assist with your roof insurance claim process. Call us at (281) 376-7474 (Houston/Cypress), (817) 226-2111 (Grapevine) or (512) 400-3021 (Austin).