Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
When water damage affects your home, quick action is needed to mitigate the issues. Repairs can become tricky when determining whether to put in a claim with an insurance company. It is important to periodically review your insurance policies to understand what coverage you have and what maintenance is expected of the insurance company.
Typically, the determining factor in insurance paying for a water damage claim is whether the damage occurred accidentally. Damage that develops over time is seen by most insurance companies as negligence by the resident. Negligence is failure to act in a reasonable way in a circumstance that leads to damage. If the insurance company gathers evidence to show that the water damage did occur and worsen over a certain period, it can deny claim coverage.
Other factors that could deter insurance companies from covering water damage claims:
- If the water came from an external or outside source (such as ground water that travels through a building or foundation walls)
- If the water is from storm damage such as: flood water damage, runoff surface water, or spray from flooded areas. This specific water damage source would be covered under a flood insurance policy that is separate from a homeowners insurance policy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a specific definition of flood water.
- If the water came from sewer or drain backups.
- Poor maintenance of property.
- If water damage is from a leaking roof. If the leak is new, then the insurance company may cover the cost of internal structural damage. Typically roof damage is not covered in homeowners policies so it is important to verify the specific verbiage in your policy.
Quick and sudden water damage usually indicates an accident has occurred. These types of accidents include plumbing problems, vandalism, accidental overflow from appliances (sometimes), and water damage from the extinguishing of a fire.
Mold damage is a common issue in South Florida due to the humidity and rainy seasons. Mold can sometimes be included in a homeowners policy but it is circumstantial. Homeowners will usually have to prove that accidental water damage led to mold growth in the home. Seek guidance from insurance agents on how to prevent mold in your home. Take precautions by monitoring and maintaining mold hotspots in your West Palm Beach home such as bathrooms. For more information on mold damage and mold remediation, visit the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach information webpage on mold.
Water damage can occur at any time. Asses the risks to your home and community in case you decide you would like to add on certain clauses or extra coverage to your insurance policies. In the event of a water emergency, call the SERVPRO of West Palm Beach experts at 561-795-5410 to respond with emergency services.