Water Damage – Is it covered by insurance?


According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2018, nearly one in four home insurance claims was the result of water damage. From 2014-2016, the number of water damage claims in the U.S. actually outpaced the number of losses caused by fires and hurricanes. What do these numbers mean? Water damage is pretty common. But not every kind of water damage is covered by a typical homeowner’s policy.

For most cases, water damage is covered by Homeowner’s insurance policy if the cause is considered sudden or accidental. So this rules out appliances that leak due to a lack of maintenance or repair. In other words, it must be damage caused by something you couldn’t have predicted. Flood damage is also NOT covered unless you  have added flood insurance as an additional policy.

Water Damage Usually Covered by Home Insurance

  • Ice dams
  • Vandalism
  • Frozen, burst pipes
  • Sudden, accidental plumbing or appliance leaks
  • Leaking roof (if it is not due to neglect of a previous problem with the roof)

Water Damage NOT Usually Covered by Home Insurance

  • Groundwater getting into your basement
  • Floodwater or rapid-thaw water getting into basement (unless you have flood insurance)
  • Sewer or water pipe backup (unless you have an endorsement for sewer backups, which is easy to add to any homeowner’s policy)
  • Leaks from old, corroded pipes
  • Leaks from an old, unmaintained roof
  • Damage from long-term leaky faucets or toilets that go unrepaired
  • Mold, rot, or fungus (unless it resulted from a covered cause)

What should you do if you have water damage?

  1. Determine the source of the water. If it is still flowing, take steps to stop it.
  2. Do your best to determine if your damage is caused by an incident that would be covered by your policy(s).
  3. Call your insurance agent and report the claim.
  4. Take photos of the water damage and any damaged processions.
  5. Get the water and moisture cleaned up.
  6. Meet with your adjuster.
  7. Understand your loss settlement.
  8. Know your budget for materials.
  9. Save your receipts.
  10. Decide who will perform your repairs.

Restore restoration is a leading provider of water damage mitigation services in the Chicagoland area. Offering quality drying, cleaning, tear-out, and repair for more than 35 years. Our expert technicians will inspect your damage, provide a thorough assessment, and deliver timely service when called to your property.

Do you have water damage and need an assessment? Call us at (847) 455-3000 for a free inspection!