If you have water damage in your home or other property, you may be wondering how to get insurance to pay for water damage. When can you claim water damage coverages on your home insurance?
You may be surprised to know that water damage is the most common cause of home insurance claims. They are the second most frequent insurance claim behind wind and hail damage.
About 1 in 50 homeowners will have a water damage claim at some point. It’s not surprising then, that people will have a lot of questions about claims and getting the insurance to cover the water damage and cleanup.
It’s important to understand what is covered and why certain things like “gradual damage” are usually not covered, as well as how to get insurance to pay for water damage at all.
First, we need to understand the types of water damage. These might include:
- Flood (usually not covered without additional coverage)
- Storm damage
- Sewer backup or water backup
- Burst or leaky pipes
Most of these causes of water damage are covered by a typical home insurance policy. In some areas, flood damage or natural disaster damage may be an additional coverage you need to ensure you have. Always work with a professional to help you understand your coverages and options before an emergency happens.
Gradual damage is usually not covered by your home insurance policy. Gradual damage refers to damage that happens slowly over time, such as a small leak you didn’t notice, or when paint is slowly chipping away from a wall. There are many areas within your home and especially behind the walls that you may not see, where gradual damage can hide. Proper maintenance is key to spot and correct these problems before they get bigger.
For the other issues, your insurance will typically cover. To make your insurance pay, you need to first report the damage and the cause of damage by filing a claim. They will typically have an adjuster come out to appraise the damage and also act as a witness to what has happened.
Next, you will need to pay any deductible, if you have one. You will need to take inventory of damaged items, meet with an adjuster and you may need to find your own contractor. Then, your insurance will be billed for everything.