Any type of water damage in your home is going to be a substantial challenge to clean up, and likely quite expensive. Even small amounts of water in a home can cause extensive damage to numerous surfaces, including your home’s drywall, carpeting and other installed fixtures.
While on one hand, your homeowners insurance will be able to cover certain water damage to the household, this coverage does have its limits. As a result, you must pay careful attention to your benefits, and know when you might have to turn to more expansive coverage in order to fully repair the damage your home sustains.
When Water Damage Occurs, Determine the Cause First
If a portion of your home floods, then you must determine the cause of this damage. It is the cause of the damage that will be the first deciding factor in whether you have coverage at all.
Typically, your homeowners insurance will not cover flood damage when that damage is caused by a weather event (flash flooding, storm surge, river swells, etc.). This coverage will instead be provided by flood insurance, which is specifically designed to cover these very unique damage risks.
On the other hand, there are situations where your own home insurance will cover water damage. For example, if one of your pipes burst and floods the home, you will be able to file a claim against your dwelling insurance to help repair the damage.
However, not all internal water damage will have coverage under base homeowners insurance. For example, sewer backups or sump pump problems might not have coverage unless you add specific coverage endorsements to your plan to protect against these risks.
What Will Happen When My Home Insurance Covers Water Damage
Once you deduce that your homeowners insurance will cover water damage, the process of making repairs and cleaning up the damage will be relatively straightforward in most cases.
Usually, your policy will cover the removal of water, debris removal, and mold remediation, if necessary. At this time, your home insurer will work with you to determine exactly what repairs need to be made. Repairs to drywall, carpeting and other portions of your home’s structure will generally have coverage.
However, there are limitations to coverage. For example, unless you have extensive damage to your home’s drywall, then the cost of repairs is likely to be nominal, and only minor repairs might need to be made in the end. As a result, your homeowners insurance deductibles and other coverage limits might make filing a claim for the damage unnecessary and impractical.
If you are unsure if you have coverage at all, speak to your agent about it. Talk about why the flood occurred and the amount of damage you have. Then, work to see which of your insurance options are for helping you to get repairs done quickly and safely to restore your home’s value.