Does My Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Water damage to our homes can be catastrophic enough. The impact to a family’s well-being, both mentally and physically, will almost certainly be life changing. The loss of sentimental items can be permanent, but the loss of a home should not be. It is, therefore, important to understand what our insurance will cover and what it will not in reference to water damage.
Some insurance policies do not provide coverage for damage to the home caused by water or, at the very most, only cover certain types of water damage. Most insurance policies operate respective to the method of damage rather than the type of damage. For example, water damage caused by natural flooding can be treated very differently than water damage caused by a slab leak in the home’s foundation.
Additionally, even if insurance covers the cost of replacing damaged goods, not all coverages include what it will cost to hire restoration and cleanup services. Restoration Logistics has been serving the Denver community since 1986 and is here to bring restoration to your home regardless of where you stand with insurance.
Whether you are dealing with burst pipes during one of Denver’s sub-zero winters or a flash flood quickly overwhelms your home, the following information will help you understand the importance of both proper coverage and the necessity of restoration services.
Choosing the Right Insurance Policy
A common frustration among policy holders who choose to drop their current insurance is knowing too little, too late. Often, consumers do not realize that certain scenarios were not covered by their policy until they are ready to make a claim. The predominant issue is that insurance clauses are typically lengthy and complicated – filled with language meant more to satisfy the law than to convey clear policy information to the insured.
Here is a list of some basic but pertinent information you should understand regarding your policy:
- Special Limits: This is a term used to define the limits on what a policy will pay for. For example, if someone steals your jewelry, you will only be reimbursed up to a preset cap. This means you may not recuperate the full value of what was lost. In the same way, water damage policies have special limits on what and how much will be covered in the claim. In this instance, the cap might be reached more quickly.It is best to go over, in detail, exactly what will be covered and it might be appropriate to get specific answers concerning your personal items. There are many exceptions that can go unforeseen if the right questions are not asked. For example, most policies that cover water damage include coverage for damaged or lost furniture, but antiques may not be covered as they can typically fall within the policy’s special limitations.
- Policy Forms: Homeowners insurance policies are usually offered in preset packages. The three most common types are the Broad Form (HO-2), the Special Form (HO-3), and the Comprehensive Form (HO-5). Generally speaking, the higher the form number, the better the coverage. Conversely, the right policy may be the one that is tailor made for your specific needs and could result in better rates overall.
- Lifestyle Policies: Insurance companies will often focus on a certain type of client and target consumers who have a particular lifestyle. What this means is that finding a policy that fits your lifestyle with a company who caters to that lifestyle might be cheaper than it would be with a company that does not. Consider using an insurance broker who can compare different insurance companies and find the one that is right for you.
One of the greatest oversights regarding insurance is the difference between water damage caused by a suddenly burst pipe and water damage caused by flooding. Homeowners insurance will typically cover the former, while flooding due to weather or even failed infrastructure will only be covered by separate flood insurance.
- Insurance Information Institute; How to Protect Your Home from Water Damage; http://www.iii.org/article/how-protect-your-home-water-damage