Water Damage to Your Home

What Will Your Home Insurance Policy Cover?

Chair in flooded living room
Henrik Sorensen/ Iconica/ Getty Images

There is a lot of confusion about what types of water damage is covered under a home insurance policy. With so many home insurance mold claims being denied, homeowners are left with a lot of questions when it comes to water damage to their home. Let's take a look at what types of water damage are covered under your home insurance policy and what to do if water damage happens.

Examples of What Types of Water Damage Your Home Insurance Policy Would Cover

Homeowners policies do not cover damages due to a flood, but depending on the type of home insurance policy you have, they may cover other kinds of water damage.

For example, open perils (also known as comprehensive or all risk policies) generally pay for damage from rain coming through a hole in the roof or a broken window if the hole was caused by strong storm winds. On the other hand, if you have a hidden pipe leaking in your house and water damage occurs over time, that may not be covered. It pretty much boils down to whether the water damage was caused by a covered peril such as a storm... if the water damage was due to not keeping your house maintained and repaired then your insurance would not cover it. 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.

Clean Up Your Water Damage to Avoid Mold

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 water leaks into your property, moisture can collect, allowing mold to develop. Mold can cause further damage to your property and can potentially 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.

A lot of insurance companies are restricting mold damage, but some mold damage may be covered if it was caused by a covered peril. You should immediately report any water damage to your insurance agent.

When a Storm Causes Water Damage

If sudden water damage occurs to your property, such as with a storm, it is important to dry all wet areas and provide air circulation to aid in the drying process. Also, cover any areas with a tarp to prevent more water damage. Covering, drying, and dehumidifying wet areas can help minimize the possibility that mold will accompany water damage. Always contact your insurance agent immediately to start the home owners insurance claims process.

Gradual Water Damage

What do you do if you find water damage that indicates leakage over a period of time? Unfortunately, mold may have already developed and more than likely your claim would not be covered. In this case, attempting to clean up the mold may spread the mold spores, causing greater property damage or health problems. Mold can be dangerous to your health, therefore, it is important that mold testing and cleanup be conducted by professionals as soon as mold is detected. Contact your insurance agent to see if any of your damage can be covered under your policy and contact a professional mold cleaning company.