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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage Restoration?

January 26, 2023
Water Damage Restoration

Water damage is every homeowner’s worst nightmare.

First, there’s dealing with the cause of the water leak, but then you have to ask, will my home insurance cover this? Well, the answer isn’t always straightforward.

Household water damage is a common problem that can be very impactful and quite expensive to fix. There are various potential causes of water damage in your home, including burst pipes, flooding, leaky appliances, roof leaks, and many more. In some cases, serious water damage can happen with no warning whatsoever—even if you’re proactive about taking care of your home.

When any part of your home incurs significant damage, one of the biggest concerns is typically the financial impact. And if your home has taken on water damage, there’s a high probability that you’ve suffered some personal property damage as well. When all is said and done, you could be looking at several hefty bills, and this is when having the right homeowners insurance can make a massive difference.

But does homeowners insurance cover water damage restoration? The answer is yes, but not always. Read on to find out more.

A ceiling damaged by a burst pipe causing major water damage.

When Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Water Damage?

In many cases, water damage to your home will be something that your home insurance policy covers, but ultimately, it depends on the specific circumstances. Typically, it comes down to the original cause of the water damage.

For one thing, your chances of having the water damage restoration paid for by insurance will rise significantly if the damage was unpreventable. Insurance policies are also more likely to cover you if the problem originated from the interior of the house as opposed to the outside elements.

Listed below are a few of the most common situations in which water damage is covered by homeowners insurance.

  • Plumbing and appliance leaks
  • Roof leak
  • Burst pipes
  • Water damage from fighting a house fire
  • Ice dams
  • Water damage directly from storms

Generally, if the water damage in your home was caused by a sudden problem, it’s more likely to be covered than if it were due to an issue that built up gradually. For example, your policy will likely cover you if one of your pipes suddenly bursts.

However, if your home’s water damage was caused by a pipe slowly leaking over weeks or months, your chances of getting financial assistance will be much lower.
A home restoration professional laying tile after water damage.

When Won’t You Be Covered for Water Damage?

There are quite a few circumstances in which you’ll typically have to pay out of pocket for your home’s water damage restoration. These are some of the most common occurrences in which your homeowners insurance most likely won’t come through:

  • Flood damage (if you do not have a separate flood insurance policy)
  • Water damage due to negligence or lack of maintenance
  • Water damage from intentional actions
  • Backed-up sewer or drain
  • Leaking swimming pool
  • Slab leaks
  • Sump pump failure or malfunction
  • Water damage from earthquakes

In most cases, if your insurance provider deems that you could have prevented the water damage from taking place, they won’t cover your claim. You also won’t typically be covered when your sump pump fails or your sewer line becomes backed up.

As for natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes, it ultimately depends on your specific insurance policy.

When signing up for your coverage, you can typically opt to have these kinds of events covered. In most cases, it’s up to you to decide if that additional coverage is worth the extra premiums. If your home ever becomes water-damaged due to a flood or an earthquake, though, you’ll certainly be glad that you’re covered.

As a homeowner, you should also be aware of the limitations of homeowners insurance. Even if your policy covers your water damage restoration, there are typically still things it won’t pay for.

Namely, insurance doesn’t pay for replacing the original source of the water damage. For example, if your brand-new washing machine springs a major leak, your insurance may assist you in the necessary water damage restoration, but insurance won’t pay for the washing machine to be repaired or replaced.

Preventing Water Damage in Your Home

Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to prevent water damage in your home. But if you take a few straightforward preventative measures, you can give yourself the best possible odds of avoiding this frustrating problem.

  • Schedule yearly plumbing inspections
  • Drain your water heater tank regularly
  • Stay on top of roof maintenance and repairs
  • Regularly inspect the hoses running to and from your household appliances
  • Insulate your pipes during winter
  • Clean your gutters every fall
  • Install water leak detectors in your home

Couple on the phone with insurance dealing with water leak.

The Bottom Line on Water Damage Restoration

Unfortunately, most homeowners have to deal with water damage at least once or twice in their lives. But as long as you consistently maintain your home and keep your plumbing system in good shape, you can typically protect yourself from disastrous water leaks and flooding.

And if your home is hit with unavoidable water damage, there is a good chance of your homeowners insurance covering the repairs.

When you need water damage restoration in Orlando, you can always count on our team at Axel Works. Water damage calls for tricky repairs and should be left to the professionals. We’re a locally owned and operated full service home remodeling and restoration business.

When disaster strikes, we’ll be there to help you get back on track and restore your home quickly and efficiently.

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