Typically, your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover water damage related claims. A big question the insurance company will want to answer is whether or not your claim is a “flood” claim or a “water damage” claim. These are two very different things in the insurance claims realm because a “flood” claim is only covered if you have a flood endorsement on your policy through the NFIP (national flood insurance program).
A simple way to remember the difference between a “flood” and a “water damage” claim is by thinking about how the water entered the home to cause the damage. If something broke or failed thus allowing the water to cause damage than this is usually a covered water damage claim. If it entered the home through doors, windows, or the ground, then it is usually considered under NFIP.
Experience has taught us that they would generally pay for damages resulting from rain coming through a hole in the roof or a broken window if the hole was caused by strong winds or storm damage to siding etc… Generally speaking, if a pipe leaks in your home than you will have coverage for all resulting damages. If it has burst due to freezing than your insurance company may even cover the repair of the broken pipe. Speaking in general terms though… coverage only extends to “resulting damages”.
“Resulting damages” is a key term to remember when facing the decision to make an insurance claim or not. This means that if you have a washing machine water supply line which is old and fails and water is running all over your brand-new hardwood floors and down into the ceiling and walls of your basement, you will usually have coverage for everything minus the actual supply line hose which failed.
All of the “resulting damages” from the supply line break will be covered but the hose itself will normally be the responsibility of the homeowner. If you don’t know what water damage is covered, review your home insurance policy or check with your home insurance company now, before any damage occurs.
Regardless of how the water damage happened, it is important to take similar steps to remedy it. Never ignore indications of an obvious water problem in your home. You should immediately attempt to find and stop leaks at their source. When you have water damage in your home, and you don’t take the proper steps to remove it or dry it out quickly you will always have to worry about mold.
Mold can cause further damage to your property and can cause health problems. The adverse health effects from mold exposure can range from runny noses, coughs, nosebleeds, congestion, and sinusitis to more serious upper respiratory ailments such as asthma or bronchitis. Some insurance policies will cover mold damage. The best policy is to immediately report any water damage to your insurance agent and ask them if you have coverage.