Updated March 3, 2022 . AmFam Team
You may know that your home insurance protects your home’s structure and your personal property from damage that occurs due to things like fire, storms and theft. But when it comes to damage from burst pipes and other plumbing, many people are left wondering if and how your insurance covers you. Let’s find out.
Your homeowners policy covers sudden and accidental water damage that results from things like plumbing fixture failure or a burst pipe. But how exactly does it protect you? There are three ways:
The dwelling portion of your home insurance policy protects the structure of your home. So if part of your home, such as your carpeting, flooring and walls, is damaged by a covered leak, your insurance helps cover the cost to repair or replace it.
Your personal property coverage protects the belongings in your home, like clothes, furniture, appliances and electronics. So if a covered leak were to damage any of your personal property, it would be this portion of your policy that would help cover the costs to repair or replace your items.
Also known as additional living expenses, loss of use coverage reimburses you for hotel, food and other expenses if you need to temporarily relocate after your home faces a covered loss.
Will home insurance cover damage caused by frozen pipes? That depends. If the pipe burst because you didn’t drain the plumbing system or maintain heat in the building while you were away for an extended time, your insurance won’t cover the damage. A common example of this is turning the heat off when you’re away for the holidays. A cold snap could cause your pipes to freeze, burst and cause damage.
What happens if your pipes leak from a cause other than freezing? Most of these types of leaks are caused by wear and tear. The cost to fix the pipe, which just wore out, won’t be covered, but the damage resulting from the leak, such as warped flooring, wet drywall, or damaged personal property, is generally covered if the leak was sudden and accidental.
You now know that your home insurance typically provides coverage for water damage that was caused by a sudden or accidental burst pipe or other plumbing malfunction, but it’s important to understand the instances you won’t have coverage.
Small, slow leaks that cause damage over time are not covered. Whereas sudden and accidental leaks or pipe bursts that cause immediately noticeable damage are generally covered, slow leaks that occur over more than one week are considered maintenance issues and are not covered by homeowners insurance.
From a burst pipe to a ruptured washing machine hose, water leaks can happen in many places throughout your home. Follow these tips for preventing water leaks and how to check your plumbing to help keep minor issues from becoming serious problems.
Your agent is your go-to to learn everything you need to know about how your homeowners insurance protects you from water damage caused by leaking pipes and other plumbing mishaps. Connect with your American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) today and gain peace of mind that you’ve got the right protection in place to cover you from the unexpected.
This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.