When a plumbing emergency strikes, you may wonder which plumbing services homeowners insurance may cover. In many cases, while the policy won’t cover the source – such as the actual pipe damage, it will cover the water damage caused by, for example, a leaky pipe.
Because most home water damage is caused by plumbing or appliance damage, this is good to know – especially when it comes to expensive bills. One key consideration when determining whether plumbing jobs are covered by homeowners insurance: was the damage known to the homeowner before the policy was taken out?
Plumbing Maintenance Clause
A standard rule of thumb is that only sudden or accidental damage, such as a pipe break, would be covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Typically, there’s a “maintenance clause” in place that holds the homeowner responsible for damages that could have been prevented by routine plumbing maintenance and preventative measures (for example, protecting pipes from freezing in the winter). Also, keep in mind that claiming water-related damages will likely affect your premium, and you also need to pay your deductible first.
In addition, appliances and related hoses typically aren’t covered by homeowners insurance. For example, if the hose to your dishwasher bursts and your kitchen is suddenly flooded, the policy typically would fix any water damage incurred – but not actually replace the hose nor replace or fix the dishwasher.
Prevent Plumbing Damage By…
- Making sure you maintain your plumbing and appliances.
- Shutting off the water source immediately when there is pipe or appliance damage.
- Not running appliances when you aren’t at home. Remember that homeowners insurance typically does not cover appliance damage.
- Keeping your hoses in good shape and replacing them as necessary. Consider automatic shutoff valves, as well.