A plumbing system is part and parcel of your home. Therefore, when insuring your home, understanding what the policy covers and omits concerning plumbing is crucial.
Considering that 2.05% of homes with a homeowners insurance cover filed for compensation for water damage or another plumbing issue between 2013 and 2017, this emphasizes the importance of knowing what you’re covered against when it comes to plumbing.
In fact, during that period, average claims for water damage amounted to $10,234.
So, does home insurance cover plumbing issues, or do you end up paying such large sums from your pocket? Read on to find out.
Plumbing Issues a Home Insurance Will Cover
Whether or not your home insurance covers plumbing and leaks all depends on the prevailing circumstances.
For example, if you suffer a burst pipe suddenly in the middle of the night, chances are your insurer will cover the water damages, paying for the repairs.
Similarly, if you did all you could to keep your house warm, only for a pipe to freeze and cause damages, your insurance provider will likely consider you.
Fortunately, your home insurance policy includes clauses that may cover damages from water leakages. These include:
- Dwelling coverage: This pays for any damages to your overall home structure, from the roofs to walls to floorboards. It also includes in-built appliances, such as a water heater. If a pipe bursts and the water damages the structure, your provider will pay for the repairs.
- Property coverage: This type of coverage takes care of damages to personal property within your home, including damages to laptops, mobile phones, among others.
- Additional living expenses coverage (ALE): It’s also referred to as loss of use coverage. ALE coverage pays for lodging and meal costs when you’re away from home as repairs are in progress. Of course, the damage has to be as a result of water accidents such as a burst pipe or other damage covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
Plumbing Issues a Home Insurance Will Not Cover
In the following situations, your insurance provider may decline your insurance claim:
- Where a pipe has been leaking for a long time, whether or not you were aware of the problem: The insurance provider views not fixing the broken pipe as an act of negligence on your part.
- Where you didn’t care to keep your home warm by heating during the cold season: If the pipes freeze and damages occur, you’ll have to pay for them. It’s your responsibility as the homeowner to do everything possible to prevent any mishaps from occurring.
- Where you intentionally failed to replace an old plumbing system: For example, you saw signs of aging, wear, rust, corrosion, or a slab leak and neglected to replace it. The costs of repair or replacement will fall on your side.
- Where damage is due to your sump pump: Your standard policy will not cover sump pump damages to your plumbing system. You can take care of this by buying a sump pump coverage, which is usually an optional add-on.
Note, home insurance covers damage from flooding caused by plumbing issues, not general flooding. For flooding from other causes outside of plumbing, you need to take flood insurance.
How Can You Avoid Pipe Leakages and Other Damages to Your Plumbing System?
To protect your home’s plumbing system, consider the following practices:
- Replace old plumbing systems in your home.
- Check for mold damage if there has been a water leak in the past.
- Cut down invasive trees that may damage your piping system with their roots.
- Insulate your system to protect the pipes from freezing during the winter months.
- Check the sewer backup for plumbing damage
Our Final Say
From the insurance providers’ point of view, most of the claims homeowners make regarding plumbing issues are usually preventable. To avoid reaching that point where you’ll pay costly for such damages, have an inspector regularly visiting your home to check your plumbing. As such, you’ll know where to work to prevent any mishaps from occurring. Otherwise, where damage has already happened, and the provider deems it worth compensating, they’ll always work with you.