Your home insurance guards you against most accidental, sudden, or unexpected damages to your home. It helps protect you and your home in case it incurs any interior or exterior damage. You are also guarded against theft or other losses. Moreover, if you’re unable to reside at your home due to any extraneous incidents, it also helps cover any additional living expenses like rented homes or hotel charges that you may incur.
However, one of the most prevalent types of damage that your home may experience can come from water. Water damages are quite a regular occurrence and happen for various reasons. But does home insurance cover plumbing?
Read on to know more in this article. Also, for additional information on the best home insurance rates, you can check out this page on home insurance in Alberta.
Plumbing Damage Ambit of Home Insurance
Have you ever wondered – does home insurance cover plumbing? Well, you should know that most home insurances cover sudden and accidental plumbing damages. These include plumbing leaks inside walls or water damage caused by frozen pipes, provided your home was otherwise adequately heated.
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Here are some of the common types of coverage that home insurance provides to you or your property.
Dwelling Coverage: If you want to cover the structure of your home, you opt for dwelling coverage. This helps to replace or repair structural elements of your homes, including floors, walls, and storage units in case of accidents. However, if your plumbing is identified as the source of damage, their replacement or repair would not be covered.
Coverage for Personal Property: Most home insurances include this clause where your personal belongings like jewellery, clothing, or furniture are covered if they get damaged due to accidental plumbing accidents.
Coverage for Other Structures: This takes care of structures associated with your homes, like a guest house or a separate garage, in case of damage from plumbing incidents.
Coverage for Loss of Use: If a covered plumbing incident renders your home uninhabitable, a loss of use coverage can help pay for temporary arrangements and living expenses associated with hotel stays and restaurant meals. This is only valid till your home gets repaired.
What Does Home Plumbing Insurance Cover?
As you may have deduced, your home plumbing insurance does not cover all cases of plumbing damage. To mitigate risks, you are expected to maintain household plumbing systems and associated appliances. If the plumbing leak was due to negligence in maintenance, like a leak with the washing machine or bathroom sink that was not addressed in time, your home insurance might not provide coverage.
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Here are the various conditions for home insurance that will help you understand your coverage better:
Not Covered: Preventable leaks and damages are rarely covered. This may include damages caused by molds, obsolete and hazardous piping like polybutylene or galvanized steel, sewer line backups or sump pumps, and pipes that are frozen due to homes not being heated adequately.
Potentially Covered: These may include plumbing incidents caused due to installation errors, pipe corrosion leading to burst pipes, hidden leaks and molds inaccessible to regular maintenance.
Always Covered: Incidents like system or appliance breakdown, frozen pipes in well-heated homes, and sudden pipe bursts are almost always covered by home insurance.
Home Insurance Claim for Plumbing Issues
If your insurer has determined that your policy can cover the plumbing incident, you will need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim to obtain the reimbursements for repairs and damages. You must meet the policy deductible that was set with your home insurance. This means that you have to pay a set amount for each claim post, and the coverage will kick in and pay for the rest.
Remember that filing a water damage claim will almost certainly impact your premiums, making them higher. Therefore, you should only file for plumbing-related water damage claims if necessary.
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An easy way to determine your need is to look at your deductible. If the total coverage amount is several times your deductible, then it makes sense to apply for coverage even with the risk of higher premiums. However, if the extra amount is only a fraction of your deductible, the claim might not be worth the premium increase.
Additional Insurance for Plumbing Coverage
If there are high chances of your home incurring damage from outdated plumbing or home systems. If your home is at a location that is prone to sewage overflows or mold, then you should consider optional home insurance plumbing. They include:
Homes in floodplains or coastal communities should opt for this, as home insurance does not pay for damages originating outside your homes. You can either purchase a standalone flood insurance policy or check with your insurer if this can be added to your standard home insurance coverage for an extra premium. Considering that floods have the potential to ruin your home completely, this may be well worth the ask.
Mold Damage Coverage
Even though your home insurance can cover mold damage in some cases, it will only be a limited amount. In many cases, persistent mold damages can cost several times the coverage amount. In such cases, opting for a mold damage rider will help extend the coverage to include the entire amount, even for specifics that are not covered by standard home insurance.
Service Line Coverage
Service line coverage helps cover the replacement or repair of plumbing utility lines outside your home, like drain, sewer, steam, or water pipes. This can be added to the standard home insurance policy for a small amount.
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Water Backup Coverage
As the name suggests, this add-on extends the coverage for overflows and sewer backups. Usually, they can be added to the standard home insurance policy with a small premium jump.
Does Home Insurance Cover Plumbing? — Conclusion
Water damage is one of the most common types of damage your home can incur, and plumbing issues remain one of the most common causes of water damage. Even though standard home insurance covers a specific aspect of plumbing issues, it is worth knowing what isn’t covered.
Thankfully, there are additional coverages you can avail yourself of if you think your home is at risk from plumbing issues and avoid paying hefty repair or replacement fees.