Is water damage covered under home insurance?

Floods, for example, are hardly ever covered under a standard policy. Flood insurance is normally a supplemental policy you will pay extra for.

However, internally-caused water damage is usually covered in a standard policy. That would include a pipe break, a leak in your water heater or even a roof leak.

Most often, owners don’t notice a leak until it’s too late to prevent damage. The first way to look or a leak is to notice if your water bill has popped up higher than it should be.  That is an indicator that water is flowing somewhere.

It’s super-smart to check hoses and other parts of appliances regularly for wear and damage, because most leaks do come from appliances.  Some people actually turn off their main water connection and check to see if the meter has stopped running. If it hasn’t, well, you might have a leak.

It’s not unusual to have a roof leak, or a busted water pipe. The big problem with water damage is that if the water is not quickly cleaned up, mildew and mold can grow. Mold is unhealthy for many reasons and it might even impact your house’s resale value. So if you see a water leak, your first course of action should be to clean it up right away. Only then should you call your carrier.

Some carriers will want determine if the leak was caused by your negligence. One of the most important things you were negligent or not. You really do need to read policy details and understand the limits of your coverage well in advance of any problems.

Almost always, repairs and replacement of the broken pieces or appliances are your responsibility. Your policy probably only covers damage, not replacement or repair.

You might want to invest in one of the water detection devices that find leaks in sump pumps, washing machines, water heaters and the like. Check at your local hardware store or with your regular plumber.

Another common method to check for a leak is to turn off your main water valve. If the water meter is still ticking ahead, you need to discover where water is flowing.