Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Plumbing?

Leonardo Castro
November 3, 2020

Most homeowners buy home insurance to protect their homes from accidents and damages. With a homeowner’s insurance policy your home’s structure and belongings are covered in case of an accident like a fire or severe weather. Home insurance usually has package policies with liability coverage to protect you against any injuries in your home or property damage to others caused by the people in your household and pets. There are also damages that are not covered by home insurance including damages caused by poor home maintenance. Let’s take a closer look.

Does Homeowner insurance Cover Plumbing services?

Like any other insurance policy, homeowner’s insurance covers you from accidents but will never cover any damages that result from poor maintenance or damage that was done on purpose. Faulty plumbing is covered by your insurance if it is caused by accident but not due to poor maintenance. This also covers any replacement of pipes, valves, tanks, and walls repairs caused by a faulty plumbing.

So if a pipe suddenly burst, the cost of plumbing repairs would be covered. However, if an insurance adjuster notes that the pipe burst due to wear-and-tear that should have been taken care of by the homeowner beforehand, you may get a partial payment or even none of the claim paid.

Homeowners insurance usually has explicit clauses and policies which explain coverage of homes under any damage. Below are a few clauses in homeowners insurance policies that can provide some form coverage if your home experiences any plumbing issues:

Dwelling coverage covers your home from any damages from a covered leak or removal of a part of the wall to repair the leak. This type of coverage will reimburse you for the damages caused by faulty plumbing.

Property damage policy will reimburse you for any damaged or destroyed personal property such as clothing, furniture, or electronics from a plumbing malfunction in your home if the event that caused the damage is a covered peril.

Other structures coverage may cover water heater, pipes and ceiling damages caused by faulty plumbing in a detached building in your home such as the guesthouse or backyard workshop.

Sewer backup riders coverage provides protection for damages caused by the sewer line resulting in overflowing of water in your home.

Additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use coverage will reimburse you for hotel and food expenses if you are required to leave your home due to any covered plumbing damages.

What Kinds of Plumbing Damage Are Not Covered by Home Insurance?

Home insurance can cover many types of damage caused by faulty plumbing but does not cover all damages. For example, home insurance policies would not cover damages that result from poorly upkept pipes or non-accidents. See more below:

If plumbing damages result from lack of maintenance then your insurance company will not cover plumbing costs. For example, if there is a minor leak but you don’t do anything about it and it leads to a bigger problem you will most likely have out-of-pocket expenses because you did not address the issue when it first started. It is advised that you report and take care of any damages or leaks in your pipes before they progress to a much larger problem. Insurance claims can get rejected if a problem is preventable.

Although a leaking toilet is often covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, a flooded or backed up sewage system will not be covered. If you want this protection, you must add a specific sewage backup rider to your home insurance policy that explicitly covers sewer or water backup issues.

When there is heavy rain or overflowing of water this causes your plumbing system to overload. When there is an overloaded plumbing system then there is potential for flood damage, which is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you want to cover flood damage then you will have to purchase National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) from your insurer.

Most mold damage is not covered by home insurance but many insurance companies have policies that protect against mold damage if it results from a covered leak. It is important to know that there are many insurers that have optional premiums that provide extra protection against mold. If you live in a state such as Florida, where the humidity makes you more prone to mold infestation, you might consider buying this extra coverage.

How to Prevent Plumbing Damage in Your Home?

Even though having homeowner’s protections against plumbing damages is a good idea, it’s an even better idea to prevent paying a deductible by taking some steps to prevent plumbing damage from becoming costly.

A common plumbing problem is pipes freezing and breaking so the best way to prevent this issue is to winterize your plumbing. This means that you may have to remove excess standing water in your pipes, open drain valves, or drain water from your hot water tank.

Oftentimes, plumbing issues result from old and rusty pipes that need to be replaced and inspected. Replacing worn out pipes is the best solution to save money in the future. It’ll also prevent your claim from being rejected due to poor maintenance, if there ever is a plumbing issue.

Be on the lookout for tree roots that could harm the plumbing system. For example look at roots that are interfering with the sprinkler system or close to your home. You will want to root out the problem right away.

To avoid a mold infestation then you should clean regularly, ventilate, and dehumidify areas where mold forms such as bathrooms, basements, or any rooms below ground level.

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