YOU ASK:

Does homeowners insurance cover plumbing?

WE ANSWER:

Water damage caused by failure in plumbing is usually covered by homeowners insurance if certain conditions are met. Homeowners policies sometimes specifically exclude long-term plumbing leaks which the home owner must have been aware of, but have done nothing about.

When Plumbing Is Covered

One of the major types of loss claims is plumbing-related. These can range from minor leaks to major flooding of the house, caused by a plumbing, usually hot water line, break. Fortunately, homeowners insurance covers plumbing line leaks, provided that the owner notifies the insurer in due course.

When Plumbing Leaking Might Not Be Covered

Many insurance providers have added special endorsements to their homeowners insurance policies providing that if plumbing leaking has existed for more than two weeks, water damage claims are denied. It is generally assumed that owners, who have known about the leak, would have done something to fix it.

Insurers have been forced to include this provision due to the many mold claims they have to deal with on a daily basis (and it is a well-known fact that one of the causes of mold is leaking for an extended period of time).

What to Do When You Discover a Leak

  1. The first step is to document the discovery of the leak.
  2. Next, home owners must try to fix the plumbing failure themselves or if they can't, they must phone a plumber.
  3. The home owner must decide whether it is a good idea to contact the insurer at all. Minor claims can be dealt with by the insured, or covered by the homeowners insurance deductible. It is not recommended that an insured contacts the insurer unless the water damage caused by plumbing is significant. Every minor claim can result in one's homeowners policy being dropped by the insurer.
  4. If a water damage claim is filed, you should arrange with the insurance adjuster to inspect the damage.
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