Owning a home is both a great source of joy and a lot of responsibility. Unlike when you rent a home, any sort of issue that comes up is your problem to fix. If you have a major problem with your home, you’ll likely need to file a claim with your home insurance provider to help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing anything that was damaged. This can be especially tricky if you are dealing with a water leak within your home.
A water leak can be caused by many different issues, and not every scenario will be covered by your policy. Even though you may not be covered for everything, it’s important to be informed and know the types of water damage commonly covered by insurance to increase your chances of making a successful insurance claim. Keep reading this article to learn more about the types of water damage commonly covered by insurance and the steps to take for making a successful water leak insurance claim.
Types of Water Damage Commonly Covered by Insurance
Typically, water damage is only covered by your home insurance policy if it is sudden or accidental. In other words, you could not have predicted the water damage was going to happen. Water damage will not be covered if it’s the result of a lack of maintenance or neglect. For example, if you have a roof that is damaged or very old and water leaks into your home. Flood damage is also not covered unless you have a separate policy. The most common water damage claims that would typically be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy are:
- Frozen, burst pipes
- Leaking roof
- Ice dams
- Sudden, accidental plumbing or appliance issues
Some types of water damage not commonly covered by insurance policy are:
- Floodwater getting into your basement (unless you also have flood insurance)
- Leaks from old pipes
- Leaks from an old, unmaintained roof
- Damage from long-term leaky faucets that go unrepaired
- Mold, rot, or fungus (unless it resulted from a covered clause)
Steps for Making a Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim
To prevent your claim from being denied, there are a few steps for making a successful water leak insurance claim you can follow. Keep reading below to learn the process from start to finish.
- Control the leak – Do not try to carry out any restoration work until your insurer has assessed the situation, but you should try and prevent any further damage as much as possible. If you can, shut off the water supply to your home if that may help reduce the chance of additional damage to your home.
- Prepare your evidence – Take as many photos as possible and videos of the water leak, and damage caused by the leak, as soon as possible.
- Notify your insurance company – Contact your insurer immediately to let them know about the issue. If the water leak happens outside of normal working hours, look for a 24/7 hotline number to call.
- Get your own help – You can appoint a “Loss Assessor”, or a person who handles your claim on your behalf, at any time. Get them on board as soon as possible if you do want to use them.
- Meet with a Loss Adjuster- Once you report the damage to your insurance provider, they will appoint a Loss Adjuster that will include a detailed assessment of the issue, as well as a recommendation on whether your insurer should payout. If you are unhappy with their report, you do have the right to appeal it.
- Carry out repairs – Most insurers prefer to use their own surveyors and builders to repair your home, but you are entitled to appoint independent contractors to fix your home.
- Prepare your contents claim – Your or your Loss Assessor will prepare a claim for any contents damage as the result of a water leak. Your claim should be as detailed as possible, including accurate replacement values for affected items.
If you need homeowners’ insurance or have more questions about filing a claim for water damage, it is best to work with experienced insurance professionals. Dunham Insurance Services’ driving mission is to reduce your overall insurance costs by providing the very best business, home, auto/marine, commercial and personal umbrella policies. Get in touch today to discuss your needs!