We all know the scene: It’s the middle of the night and you desperately google: “Does homeowner insurance cover plumbing repairs?” When it comes to piping and leaking, understanding your guidelines couldn’t be more important.
Knowing what your insurance company does and doesn’t do is important and can help avoid restless nights. So be sure to check all the paperwork and fine print that came with your policy. If you have any questions, pick up the phone and ask to speak to an agent.
Ultimately, the problem is that there is no consistency between the providers. Even a policy that covers leaks of any kind will significantly limit or eliminate the associated mold damage.
Water damage is second only to wind and hail damage when it comes to claiming frequency. Between 2013 and 2017, 2.05% of the insured houses made a claim for water damage. The average damage severity for water damage was $ 10,234.
Unless you want to spend $ 10,000 on plumbing repairs, the first thing you need to do is understand your policies regarding plumbing.
Does my home insurance cover sanitation?
Many people often ask, “Does homeowner insurance cover leaks?” or “Does homeowner insurance cover plumbing?” The answer to both questions depends on the circumstances.
If the damage was caused by a burst pipe that suddenly occurred in the middle of the night, your home insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs.
If the damage is caused by a frozen pipe and you’ve taken every possible precaution to prevent it from happening by keeping your home warm, your provider will likely work with you.
Plumbing damage repairs and costs are often covered by the following coverage options:
- Apartment coverage: Apartment coverage pays off for any damage done to the overall structure of your home. So if a pipe bursts and the resulting water damages your walls, this type of cover pays off for repairs up to your insurance limit.
- Property coverage: Any personal property in your home that is damaged by water will be replaced with this type of coverage up to your insurance limit. For example, if a pipe bursts and damages your laptop, property coverage will pay for the replacement.
- Additional coverage of living expenses: If your home is damaged and in need of major repairs, additional cost of living coverage would cover the cost of room and board when you are away (assuming the damage was caused by a covered event such as a burst pipe).
When does home insurance not cover sanitation?
There are some situations where your insurer will deny your claim.
- Long-term leak: If the pipe has been leaking unnoticed for years, your insurer will likely deny your claim. It is your job to deal with general maintenance issues.
- Negligence: If you haven’t tried to keep your home heated during the winter months, you’ll have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to look after your home and do whatever you can to avoid mishaps.
- Old plumbing: If your plumbing system is found to be old and you knew it needed to be replaced (because it showed signs of aging, rust, wear and tear, or corrosion), your provider is unlikely to pay to have it replaced or repaired.
- Your sump pump did the damage: Damage to the sump pump of your plumbing system is covered by an optional additional sump pump cover and is not covered by a standard policy.
This will prevent pipe leaks and other damage to pipelines
There are four things you can do to protect your home’s plumbing.
Replace the old plumbing in your home
If your home’s plumbing is visibly old and showing signs of wear and tear, be sure to replace them before problems arise. If you’re unsure about whether to pay to have your entire plumbing system overhauled, make an appointment with a home inspector. They can give you a professional recommendation on what to do.
Chop down invasive trees
If you have trees near your home, it is important to consider cutting them down. Some trees have root structures so invasive that they can actually disrupt your home’s plumbing system.
Insulate your plumbing
Pipe insulation can prevent freezing in winter, and you should do this for both cold and hot water pipes. Isolators are easy to install, and you can learn how to install them properly by watching professional videos online.
Prepare your home for winter
If you are not at home during the winter months, it is a good idea to prepare your home for your absence. This contains:
- shut-off water
- Once the water has been turned off, empty the pipes
- Empty all water heaters
- Open all drain valves
Insurers often view many insurance claims as flawed, which are caused by avoidable problems. Have an inspector inspect your home and ask if your home needs work. You will know whether your home is in a safe condition or is about to disaster.