DOES YOUR INSURANCE COVER WATER DAMAGE? – PART II

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 Many a distraught homeowner has had to deal with water damage only to find out that their hazard insurance policy does not cover the damage. According to American Insurance, your homeowner’s policy will pay for sudden and accidental water damage from inside water sources but does not pay for losses caused by water that finds its way into your home from the outside.
 Where the leak originated ultimately determines whether a loss may be covered or not, but what you really have to watch out for are exclusions in your policy. For example, a leaking roof can cause water damage which is covered by your insurance, but the roof itself may not be covered because of “wear and tear.”

First, make sure potential damage isn’t caused by negligence. According to Don Vandervort’s Home Tips, most roof leaks are caused by worn out, broken or missing shingles and failing flashing around vents, skylights and chimneys.

Just because you don’t see a leak doesn’t mean you don’t have one. Vandervort advises looking for signs of moisture during the day when you’ll readily be able to see breaches and stains on the roof, under the eaves, and in the attic.

On the interior, proper home and appliance maintenance is the best prevention to water damage. Have your heating, cooling and water heater serviced regularly. Don’t leave an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine running while you’re out of the house for a long period. Check occasionally under the sinks for leaks and see for yourself that the pipes are dry. Stay in the room while filling a bathtub; it fills faster than you think.

Get regular inspections of plumbing and drain systems. Most insurance companies consider water backups to be preventable with good maintainance. Whenever the plumber is at your home, ask him or her to check on all the plumbing. Turn off the water supply to outdoor spigots before the first freeze of winter. Make certain all drains are clear and operating.

Repair any leak promptly. Even minor drips can grow into bigger problems, possibly hiding pipe leaks or plumbing issues behind a wall. Mold and mildew issues usually stem from undiscovered and unrepaired leaks because they need moisture to grow.

Carefully monitor your water bill for unusual spikes. You could have an underground pipe leak that will cost you thousands of dollars to repair. If the leak occurs on your property, it’s your obligation to fix, not the city’s water supplier. And don’t expect the city to reduce your water bill because you unintentionally used too much water.

Get enough insurance

Don’t be satisfied with basic or minimum coverage insurance coverage. Read your policy carefully to make certain that your home has the coverage necessary for all kinds of situations, from a child flushing a toy down the toilet to a tree falling on your roof during a storm.

Click Here For Part I