Is Plumbing Covered by Home Insurance?

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Standard homeowners insurance covers sudden and accidental plumbing issues and leaks. Problems arising from negligence or lack of maintenance, however, will not be covered. Depending on the type of coverage you have with your homeowners policy, your personal belongings, living expenses if you need to vacate your home and your neighbor's property can be covered if there is damage caused due to your plumbing.

Continue reading to see how you can reduce plumbing problems on your property as well as how to get coverage.

Generally, homeowners insurance policies will cover plumbing repair costs and damaged property if the accident was sudden and accidental. A typical example is a bursting pipe. Colder climates can cause your plumbing pipes to freeze, causing pressure to build in your pipes and eventually leading them to burst. If a pipe does burst in your home and causes water damage to your walls, floors or ceilings, a standard homeowners policy will usually cover the cost of repairs.

When Is Plumbing Not Covered By Home Insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover damage caused by lack of maintenance or neglect. For example, if that same pipe bursts in your home because it has been several years since you last inspected it, your insurance policy may not cover the damage. The same is true if a water heater leaks because you hadn't had it serviced or replaced as recommended by the manufacturer.

Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude damage caused by sewer and drain backup.

This means that if a sewer or drain backs up in your home and causes water damage, your insurance policy will likely not cover the cost of repairs. Insurance companies may offer add-on coverage for this type of damage called sewer backup and drain coverage.

What Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover Plumbing?

Most standard homeowners insurance policies will cover certain plumbing-related water damages. Depending on the type and scope of the damages, several parts of your homeowners insurance policy may step in.

Dwelling Coverage 

Dwelling coverage is a type of insurance that helps protect the structure of your home, which includes on-site plumbing. Dwelling coverage can help you pay for repairs or replacement of your plumbing system, including pipes, faucets, water heaters and other fixtures.  It can also help cover the cost of repairing or replacing water-damaged walls, floors or ceilings.

Other Structures Coverage 

Other structures coverage can help with plumbing issues if the issue is related to the damage of a structure that is not the main building or dwelling on the property, such as a detached garage, shed or fence. If the plumbing issue is affecting one of those structures, then your other structures coverage may help with the repairs or replacement of that specific structure.

Personal Liability Insurance 

Personal liability insurance can cover your neighbor's property if it's damaged or destroyed by your plumbing. For example, if a pipe bursts in your home and somehow causes damage to your neighbor's property or causes them to be injured, personal liability insurance can help cover their repair costs, medical bills and your legal expenses if you are sued.

Personal Property Coverage 

Personal property coverage can cover your belongings if they're damaged or destroyed by plumbing accidents. If a plumbing issue occurs and causes water damage to your personal belongings, such as furniture, electronics or clothing, personal property coverage can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing those items, up to the limits of your policy.

Loss of Use 

If a plumbing issue occurs in your home and makes it uninhabitable, loss of use coverage can help cover the cost of temporary housing, food and other necessary expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.

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There are several ways to reduce plumbing-related issues and prevent damage to your home:

  1. Regular maintenance: Having regular check-ups and maintenance of your plumbing system can help prevent issues from arising. This can include having a plumber inspect your pipes, faucets and appliances regularly.
  2. Proper usage of plumbing fixtures: Avoid using chemical drain cleaners or putting grease down the drain, as they can cause damage to pipes over time. Also, be mindful of the amount of toilet paper you use, as too much can clog the pipes.
  3. Insulate pipes: Insulating your pipes can help prevent them from freezing during cold weather, which can cause them to burst.
  4. Fix leaks immediately: If you notice a leak, it's important to get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If you wait too long, a future claim may be denied due to negligence or lack of maintenance.
  5. Be mindful of what you flush: Don't flush anything other than toilet paper, human waste and toilet-safe products.
  6. Keep an eye on your water bill: An unusual spike in your water bill could signal a water leak.
  7. Water pressure: Maintaining a safe water pressure can prevent leaks in your pipes and also prolong the life of your appliances that use water.

For those who are buying a new home, your prospective insurance provider may require you to get a 4-point inspection of your new property which should include looking at the plumbing to make sure it’s up to snuff.

How To Get Home Coverage for Plumbing and Leaks

There are several things you can do to safeguard your home from plumbing issues and leaks See the table below for options.



Service Line Coverage

Standard homeowners insurance covers sudden and accidental plumbing accidents but not all losses are covered, such as those caused by sewer lines running underneath your property. To get this coverage, you would need service line insurance.

Scheduled Property Coverage

You can purchase an additional rider for your homeowners policy that will extend the limits of your coverage specifically for high-value items, such as artwork or jewelry. Homeowners policies will typically come with a sub-limit that caps the payout for certain valuables even if your policy limit is much higher.

Flood Insurance

Water damage caused by naturally occurring events, such as a high tide, can be covered with a separate policy. Keep in mind, flood insurance is only for natural disasters and other external floods, like a nearby dam breaking.

Home Warranty

A home warranty is a service contract that provides repair or replacement coverage for certain appliances and sometimes plumbing systems.

Shop Around

It's a good idea to shop around for different policies to compare coverage options and prices. Not all homeowners insurance policies are the same and coverage can vary depending on the policy and insurance company.


Is a leaking toilet covered by homeowners insurance?

Well-maintained toilets that experience a sudden or accidental leaks are usually covered by standard homeowners insurance.

Are corroded pipes covered by insurance?

Corrosion is typically a signal of damages caused by normal wear and tear, which is not covered by homeowners insurance.

Does homeowners insurance cover damage from leaking pipes?

Leaks that are sudden and accidental should be covered by your homeowners insurance, such as a pipe suddenly bursting.

Does homeowners insurance cover clogged sewer lines?

Damage to your sewer line caused by clogs will likely not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy and you may need to add service line coverage to your home policy to get this protection.

Will insurance cover plumbing damage caused by tree roots?

Sudden plumbing damage caused by tree roots should be covered by your homeowners insurance.

Key Takeaways

  • Standard homeowners insurance covers sudden and accidental plumbing issues and leaks. 
  • Plumbing issues and leaks caused by poor maintenance (e.g., skipping annual inspections) will not be covered.
  • If you have loss of use coverage, temporary alternative living arrangement costs may be covered if a covered plumbing issue makes your home temporarily unlivable.
  • Regular maintenance, proper usage of plumbing fixtures, insulating your pipes and fixing leaks immediately can help reduce the risk of plumbing issues and subsequent losses.

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