Water damage: 7 home insurance scenarios

Water Damage

Water damage: 7 home insurance scenarios

Water damage is probably the number one reason why the majority of people file claims on their home insurance. Flooded basements, leaky appliances, and burst pipes generally lead people to learn more about how their home insurance policies can help them pay for the damages.

While it’s true that insurance companies are going to pay in order to replace a carpet that was damaged by a leak you had in your dishwasher, the repair costs for the damaged hose are going to come out of your own pocket. If an unforeseen or sudden issue including a frozen pipe causes water damage, then repairs both to your furnishings, your home, and the broken pipe are going to be taken care of by your home insurance company.

Below we’ll take a closer look at some of the most common water-damage scenarios and how your insurance plays out in such cases:

1. It starts pouring outside and the water damages your roof and also your furniture

In this situation, you are somewhat covered. Getting reimburse for roof repairs is not likely and that’s because this is considered a house maintenance problem. However, the water damage to your property is covered. When it comes to the damage to your furniture though, it’s only covered if you have a typical Ho-3 policy.

Also, if one of the trees in your neighbor’s backyard falls on your property and damages your roof, the house itself and your belongings, then you’re covered. The cost of removing the tree (capped at five hundred dollars) is also covered by the policy.

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 2. Your water pipes burst due to severe temperature changes

In this case, your floor is covered in six inches of water. The good news is that you’re covered for this specific scenario, but if you left the property without heat and unoccupied, then the majority of policies won’t cover you. In this case, there’s a good chance your claim will be denied since you didn’t perform the required upkeep to prevent such accidents from happening in the first place.

3. Your washing machine floods your basement by overflowing

In this case, you are covered, yet it also depends on how the insurance company sees the problem. They’ll try to find out if accidental damage caused the flood or if your lack of proper maintenance of the washer caused it. In general, water damage from broken appliances is covered.

4. A nearby river or lake overflows its banks and floods your living room

In this case, you’re not covered and you’ll need to get flood insurance to protect yourself against such losses. This is only possible though if your community takes part in the National Flood Insurance Program.

5. Your basement is flooded by a sewer back up 

Unfortunately, under these circumstances, you are not covered. Sewer backups aren’t covered by typical home insurance policies and a lot of them exclude this type of damage to begin with. For drains and sewers, there are special endorsements available for an extra cost.


6. Water starts seeping from the ground, floods your basement and damages your interior and foundation

Unfortunately, under these circumstances, you are not covered. That’s because this is considered a maintenance issue so it’s not something your homeowners’ insurance policy can help you with.

7. Your pool starts leaking, floods your basement and ruins your manicured lawn 

So are you covered? Yes, the damage to your personal property and basement are indeed covered, but that cannot be said about your lawn. Based on the policy you have, the only way you can be reimbursed for the damages done to your lawn is if it’s damaged by specific perils, including vandalism, cars that aren’t your property, aircraft, riots, explosions, and fire. Even so, the coverage you get is limited to five hundred dollars. While a swimming pool leak won’t qualify you for getting reimbursed, if the leak was caused by a tree that fell on the pool, you’re covered.

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