When the summers are too hot or the winters are too cold, it isn’t uncommon for the pipes to burst. Does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repairs, or will you have to pay for this from your own pocket?
Overall, plumbing insurance coverage should account for sudden water damages that occurred due to a broken pipe or a plumbing malfunction. However, even a more premium plumbing insurance for homeowners excludes any damage that happened gradually, such as a slow leak or regional flooding. It all depends on your exact policy.
We’ll help you get answers to some of the burning questions regarding water damage and insurance, such as: ‘Does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repairs?’ and ‘Does homeowners insurance cover collapsed pipes.’ If this is something of interest to you, keep on reading.
How Insurance Views Plumbing
The statistics show that around 10% of homes in the US have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more water daily. This alone is enough to let you have a brief idea of how much damage a leaked pipe can cause! In fact, the average cost of repairing the damage from faulty plumbing in the US is $17,250! It’s no surprise that you want to know does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repairs.
Before you learn does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repairs, you need to understand how these companies view pipes.
Most homeowner companies consider pipes as something a homeowner should maintain. In other words, you are the one responsible to make sure your plumbing works correctly, and if anything goes wrong, that is considered to be your fault. Some examples include:
- Broken pipes
- Lack of maintenance
- Roof damage
However, there are exceptions to this. For example, leaky pipes are not the same as a burst or broken pipes and some of these damages can be covered. Many insurance policies cover these types of water damage:
- Sudden water discharge
- Water damage related to storm
- Accidental drain backup (with an endorsement)
- Flood damage (flood insurance only)
Still, even then there are exceptions, and even a pipe that burst suddenly might be considered as your fault.
We’ll explain some of the most common instances where you might think you need a homeowner insurance.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Sewer Pipes?
Generally, a homeowners insurance won’t cover broken pipes, no matter where they’re located. If you wondered does homeowners insurance cover broken drain pipes under slab or any other line connecting your home and the outdoors, the answer is still ‘no’.
The only exception to this is if you can prove the pipe burst unexpectedly, without any warning. If there was nothing you could do to foresee the collapse, then you might get the coverage, but these instances are quite rare.
Some insurance companies offer a separate service line coverage that can give you a better chance of winning insurance claims on broken pipes. However, even most such policies won’t cover damages that occurred gradually due to rusty or leaky pipes.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Collapsed Pipes?
As mentioned before, the only instance in which the insurance will cover collapsed pipes is if the damage occurred suddenly and unexpectedly. This is something that should be taken care of even by the simplest policy you can get.
However, if the damage occurred gradually – for example, a slow leak that lasts for a while, or regional flooding that you could have prevented – you’re on your own.
Even most expensive policies that offer water damage protection won’t cover damage that occurred over time. No matter if the cause of the leak remained hidden until the very end of this was something that the company considers you could’ve prevented – they won’t cover the damages.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Pipes Outside?
If the damaged pipe sustained happened over a while, it doesn’t really matter where the broken pipe is located. This is considered to be your fault, and the insurance won’t cover it.
Even if the burst happened suddenly, there is a catch. If the winter was particularly cold and your heating was off so the pipe froze and burst, this is still considered as your wrongdoing. While this type of burst usually happens without a warning, they still consider that you could’ve prevented the damage.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Clogged Pipes?
When you wonder about does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repairs, you can not think about clogged pipes.
This is likely one of the worst things that can happen to any homeowner. But, does homeowner insurance cover this type of damage?
While most of the time, clogged pipes don’t occur due to negligence, this isn’t how the homeowners insurance views things. This is why most standard insurance policies don’t cover it.
In almost all instances, insurance companies will refuse to cover any property damage that occurs when you have an overflow from a clogged pipe. However, some carriers can offer additional coverage options that will keep you covered – for a fee.
If paying an additional sum isn’t an option for you, you should research your policy carefully to make sure whether the clogged pipe damage is covered. Keep in mind that no insurance policy will cover clearing of clogged pipes or replacing them before any damage occurs. This is something you need to pay out of your own pocket.
What About Sump Pump Backup?
Many people opt to have a basement sump pump. This device is especially useful if you live in an area where floods are common. These pumps will pump any excess water out of your property. With them, basement floods are a thing of the past.
However, these pumps too can back up from time to time. This can happen due to:
- Power failure
- Wrong appliance size
- Bad installation
- Switch problems
- Lack of maintenance
- Clogged or frozen discharge lines
These failures can lead to leaks or even bursts that can cause huge damage.
Unfortunately, most standard policies won’t cover a sump pump discharge. However, you can get a sump pump rider. This is a special type of insurance that covers you in case of a sump pump failure and damage that may occur afterward.
Keep in mind that most such policies will only cover the property damage that occurred when your sump pump back-upped. It won’t cover repairs of the appliance itself. This is another expense you need to pay for on your own.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Rain?
Most home insurance policies offer some kind of protection from water damage from rain. This usually includes a replacement cost value coverage for most of your damages – other than losses to your roof that are caused by hail and wind. This is something you need an additional policy for. However, there are some catches even here.
- If the water gets in your house because the wind broke the local tree that made a hole in your roof, you’ll most likely be covered.
- If the ice dams form on your roof and damage your shingles, water can enter your home. When this water damage happens suddenly and unexpectedly, you’ll probably be covered.
- Imagine the window on your home is broken by vandals while you’re on a vacation, then the rain enters your property through the hole. Most standard policies will cover this type of damage.
On the other hand, there are some instances when the insurance won’t cover the rain damage. Here is when that happens:
- Any form of gradual water damage isn’t covered. The same goes for water damage from the rain.
- If it is proven that the water from the storm seeped in because of negligence, the insurance won’t cover you.
As you can see, it all depends on the individual occasion and how the insurance company views the situation that leads to the water damage.
So, Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Plumbing Repairs?
If you’ve ever wondered does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repairs, now you can see that there isn’t a straightforward answer. While this all depends on your insurance company and the policy you’ve bought, there is a pattern.
No insurance policy will cover water damage that is done due to negligence. This is why it’s important to maintain your home properly and to make sure your pipes are always in working order.
Also, no insurance policy will cover the repairs needed on the plumbing system. They’ll only cover the damages that are the result of a pipe burst or rain.
The insurance company will get you covered on instances when the water damage is sudden and unexpected, but any gradual damage won’t be tolerated and for such instances, you’ll have to pay by yourself.
Make sure to read your insurance policy carefully, so you can always know what you’ve got covered and for what you’ll have to prepare your own money. This is something you should know even if you don’t think a pipe burst will happen any time soon. It’s better to be safe than sorry.