Whether your homeowner’s insurance covers water damage depends on the source of the water that caused the damage.
Under most standard home insurance policies, if water damage occurs suddenly or accidentally – such as a busted pipe or debris that tears a hole in your roof during a rainstorm – it will likely be covered by your insurance.
Roof leaks are covered by home insurance if the leak is caused by a covered – or named – peril. A peril is a situation or weather-related event that can damage your home and personal belongings, such as a fire or hailstorm.
Insurance companies agree to compensate you for any losses if your home is damaged by a covered peril.
For example, if a major windstorm blew a big section of shingles off your roof, and a subsequent rainstorm brought water into your attic through the leaky roof. The roof damage would be covered in this situation because the leak was caused by a windstorm, which is a covered peril under most policies.
Here are three instances in which your homeowner’s policy will not provide coverage:
- Maintenance problems that have not been attended to – For example, your homeowner’s insurance will likely not cover water damage that is the result of a faulty sink that has been leaking for several months, or a poorly maintained roof.
- Repair or replacement of sources of water damage – If your washing machine causes water damage to the floor of your laundry room, your homeowner’s policy will not cover the costs to repair or replace the machine. However, it will typically cover the costs to repair your floors.
- Flood damage – Flood damage will not be covered by your homeowner’s policy and will require separate flood insurance coverage.