Leaky Pipes, Broken Appliances, and Flooding: Does Your Insurance Cover Damages?
When the spring thaw has caused your pipes to burst and flood the basement or your air conditioner is leaking onto your wood floor, will your insurance company cover the damages? This depends, in part, on your insurance policy. The biggest factor is usually the type of damages:
- Sudden and Unforeseen Damages are usually covered by homeowners' policies
- Gradual Damages due to issues such as leaky pipes or a lack of maintenance may not be covered
- Wear and Tear is nearly always up to the homeowner with very few exceptions
Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Most of the time, insurance companies expect homeowners to regularly maintain the plumbing systems in their homes. This means taking steps to prevent the pipes from freezing, keeping the pipes free of clogs, and generally responding to any cracks, splits, and leaks. When homeowners don’t respond to leaks, rust, or deterioration, the insurance company is likely to hold the homeowner responsible.
Make a Claim Even If You Aren’t Sure It’s Covered
However, while the damages from a slow leak may not be covered, when leaky pipes become broken pipes and flood your home, the resulting damages fall under your insurance coverage. This type of coverage may be found in the all-perils section of your policy. This shouldn’t be seen as an excuse to avoid routine maintenance; if there’s evidence that neglect is the cause of the leak and/or break, the insurance provider may deny your claim.
Find Out Which Services Are Covered
When your claim is approved, damages to carpeting, floors, and drywall are generally covered. You may also get coverage for the services provided by water damage cleanup and restoration professionals. In some situations, mold prevention services are also covered. However, the cost to fix broken pipe probably won’t be part of this claim.