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Will my Homeowners Policy cover ALL water damage?

While the most beautiful waters of the world come in the colors of blue, teal, and in some places clear, understanding the water coverage of your homeowners insurance can be a gray area for most.  Not all water damage is covered by homeowner policies, regardless of your insurance carrier.  We think it’s important for you to understand the differences in water coverages; what is covered and what isn’t covered.

In the winter, we all see “freeze warnings” come across the evening news reminding us to drip our faucets and cover our plants.  In the event you forgot to drip your pipes because your kid had a late soccer game and dinner was on the go, or your work meeting ran late, and you were so tired you went straight to bed…you wake up in the morning to no water and a busted pipe.  Maybe the reason for the busted pipe is the freezing water or maybe it’s a faulty plumbing connection.  With either situation, you may or may not be covered depending on your carrier and coverage. 

A frustrating part about homeowners coverage, when it comes to water, is that your leaky pipes aren’t always covered.  Let’s say you decide to go on a redecorating spree and hang some pretty pictures up on your wall.  They look great and your house could now be in a “House Beautiful” spread, but what you don’t see is the tiny pin size hole in your pipe from that brad nail you used to hang those pictures.  Over time, that small drip ends up saturating your drywall and that soft area rug you got when you redecorated, and you now have a bigger problem.  The drywall needs to be replaced, the floors need to be replaced and that rug, well, it’s outside to be picked up with the garbage.  Unfortunately, damage from water that occurs over any extended period of time is not typically not covered. The same exclusion also applies to leaking roof shingles in most cases, unless the shingles have sustained other covered damage that allowed the water to penetrate (wind, hail, etc).  

What about those pesky hurricanes and tropical storms that affect North Carolina almost every year?  Rising water and flood water aren’t included in your homeowner policies.  However, the good news about that is you can purchase separate coverage.  There is a 30day waiting period for those to be effective (unless you are closing on a house) so don’t wait until the storm comes!  

And finally, the dreaded backed up sewer and drains – what a smelly mess! This coverage can be endorsed onto your policy, and usually for a very minimal premium.  It is almost always optional, however, so don’t forget to include it!   

Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call.  You can click here to see more about our Homeowners policies as well as some FAQ’s.