Water Damage – Covered by your Homeowners Insurance?

water damage spring storm Billings, Montana

Water damage – Water can affect your life in many ways.  When used to quench your thirst or fill your swimming pool on a hot day, water can be your most prized possession.  But when the winter snow starts to melt, and the spring rains fall to the ground, water can turn into an intrusive enemy sent to destroy your most valuable investment.

Will my home insurance cover repairs from water damage?

We get this question from clients all the time, and unfortunately the best answer is “it depends.”  Coverage depends on the source from which the water came from.  In other words, homeowners policy may cover the claim if water damage is caused by a plumbing problem such as a burst pipe.  Water from outside the home including flood are typically excluded.

Determine the source of water damage!

If your home experiences water damage, it is important to get the moisture out of your home as fast as possible.  The source of the water dictates whether your policy will cover the loss – the source is the key!

What is a flood?

A flood involves water from an external source.  Most clients think of a river or stream rising above its normal level, but id does include “inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties.”  Damage caused by flooding is NOT covered by your home insurance policy.  You will need to obtain separate and additional flood insurance coverage. Even if you have flood insurance, it is important to understand the definitions, what is covered and what is excluded in the policy you purchase.

It may be best to talk to your local agent.

Water damage presents many challenges for coverage.  We recommend using a local agent to gain in depth information regarding what is covered.  In the event of a loss, most insurance policies require the client to mitigate further damage, so get the house dried out!