Does Homeowners Insurance Cover All Rain Damage?

Lucy Lazarony
November 4, 2020

Some but not all rain damage is covered by your homeowners insurance. Let’s look at the cases where the rain damage is in fact covered by your homeowners policy. If a storm damages your roof and lets in wind and rain, damaging personal property inside the house, your homeowners insurance will cover the damage. Ice dams are born when snow melts on your roof and water re-freezes. This can cause large icicles across your gutters. Roof shingles can be affected and water damage can even occur in the interior of your home. All this damage would be covered by your homeowners insurance, unless your roof was in disrepair. What if a thief smashed in your home’s window during a storm? The rain and other damage to your home would be protected by homeowners insurance.

There are instances where a homeowners policy won’t cover rain damage, however. For example, if lack of maintenance in your gutters causes water damage, you’re not likely to be covered by your homeowners insurance. If water damage to your home is gradual such as water seeping into the basement or through a window over time, you won’t be covered by a standard homeowner’s policy. If the water damage is the result of neglect, your home insurance policy won’t cover the damage. For example, if a poorly maintained roof results in water in the interior of your home, the water damage won’t be covered.

What Kinds of Storm Damage Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance covers water and ice damage, lightning strikes and power surges, wind, hail and fallen trees. Ice and hail damages are typically covered by homeowners insurance up to the limits stated in your policy. So if you have water damage to your home because of these causes, you're typically covered under your homeowners insurance.

What Kinds of Water Damage Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Coverage for water damage to your home varies depending on the cause. For example, your homeowners insurance policy would help if a frozen pipe bursts in your home. Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage if the cause is sudden and accidental.

Types of Coverage

There are two types of coverage in a homeowners policy that might apply to water damages in your home. Dwelling coverage pays for damage to the structure of your home if it’s damaged by a covered peril. So if a pipe bursts and damages a wall, your policy’s dwelling coverage may pay for repairs.

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Personal property coverage helps pay for damage to your belongings if they are damaged by a covered risk. For example, say the pipe that burst damaged several items of personal property, personal property coverage would cover it.

Don’t forget about deductibles. You’ll need to pay a deductible before home insurance coverage kicks in. Also, be sure to review coverage limits on your policy. So you’ll know just how much your home insurance is protecting you from rain and water damage.

What Water Damage is Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

If you have water damage from an unresolved maintenance issue, this will not be covered by your home insurance policy.

And if water backs into your home through an outside sewer or drain, you will not be covered by a home insurance policy, although a separate coverage for water backup is available.

An insurance company will not pay not for rain and storm damages to a roof if a roof is past its warranty, if the roof had prior wear and tear and if more than 25 percent of the roof is damaged. Not sure if your roof is covered by your homeowners insurance policy? Reach out to your insurance agent and ask. And do it before the next rainy season. You may need to repair your roof before the rainy season starts.

Flooding Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance Policy

A standard homeowners insurance policy does not provide coverage for flooding. But if you live in an area prone to flooding or if you live in a floodplain, you can buy a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). When you have a policy from NFIP, your home’s foundation, plumbing, electrical systems, solar panels, fuel tanks, well water pumps, sump pumps, furnaces, water heaters, dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves, paneling, cabinets, bookcase and window blinds are all covered by flood insurance.

Think everything you own is covered by flood insurance? Think again. Here is a look at what is not covered by flood insurance from the NFIP. These items include currency, valuable papers such as stock certificates and precious metals, cars, trees, plants, decks, patios, septic systems and pools. Any preventable mold or mildew damage that is not related to the flood is not covered by flood insurance. Any financial losses that are the result of your home business being interrupted by the flood is not covered by flood insurance. And finally, any additional living expenses that you may need while your home is being repaired is not covered by flood insurance.

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Some floods are caused by tropical storms and hurricanes but most occur because of thunderstorms, heavy rains, rapidly melting snow and breaches of dams and levees. There is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy begins. So don’t wait until there is bad weather in your area to think about purchasing a policy.

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