Published on 04.19.19
Water Damage Coverage | What’s Covered & What’s Not?
It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare and biggest headache: water damage. Whether it means walking down to discover your basement has flooded or realizing a frozen pipe has burst in the middle of winter, it’s annoying and a hassle to deal with. That’s why having the proper insurance is so important; it can help take the weight off of your shoulders and protect you and your loved ones. But not all home insurance policies cover the different types of water damage – learn what they are and what’s usually covered.
General Water Damage
An easy way to distinguish the three types of water damage is by thinking of the source or the type of water involved. General water damage is usually “clean water” so it’s not from the ground or the sewer – think “tap water.” For example, your daughter decides to run a bath for herself but steps away and forgets to shut it off – flooding the upstairs floor. General water also includes frozen pipes bursting or the main waterline breaking. It is usually included in standard home insurance policies but there are other kinds of water damage that are not.
Sewer Backup Damage
Sewer backup damage is usually water from drains, septic tanks, pipe troughs, downspouts, and eaves. Imagine your sewer drain gets damaged because of a clog, excess rain, or just from being old and outdated. Then it backs up and drains into your home – most commonly, the basement. Even just picturing it is stressful, sewer backups are expensive and time consuming to repair and replace. Even though sewer backup coverage is optional, you want to be protected when the worst truly does happen.
Overland Water Damage
Overland water damage is usually from good ol’ Mother Nature: rain, river flooding, spring run off, and melting ice or snow coming from the window or doors at ground level. This, however, does not include salt water from natural disasters like tsunamis or tidal waves. Overland water damage is also optional for home insurance policies.
The Price of Damage
All types of water damage are expensive to deal with in money and in time. Of course, there is the cost of repairing the damages but people often forget that this kind of damage can sometimes even put them out of a place to stay, that there is also the cost of relocating temporarily. Although sewer and overland water coverage are optional, it’s important to think about far that coverage can go when damage does happen. Even if you live in a high-rise building, it is worth considering coverage because it can affect your lobby, forcing you to relocate, or damage your belongings in a basement storage locker.
To help decide, research if you live in a flood-prone area. You can also safeguard yourself by installing flood sensors, a sump pump for your sewage system, and regularly weatherproofing your home.