Does My Homeowners Policy Cover Water Damage?
As a Florida homeowner, you undoubtedly have a homeowners insurance policy to protect you in case your home suffers damage requiring a substantial outlay of cash for repair costs. Given the amount of rain Florida receives every year, not to mention the all-too-frequent hurricanes, you may believe that your policy covers all types of water damage.
Unfortunately, however, such comprehensive coverage seldom is the case. Most homeowners policies cover only the following types of water damage:
Broken or burst pipes
They seldom if ever cover any water damage your home sustains as the result of floods or the wind-driven rains of hurricanes.
When your roof leaks and you wind up with interior water damage to your walls and floors or exterior water damage to your siding, your policy likely will cover your damages. On the other hand, your insurance company will investigate the cause of your leaky roof before handing over the money. If your roof leaked due to heavy rain, a tornado, a hurricane or some other weather-related event, your policy likely covers the resulting interior and exterior damage. Keep in mind, however, that in terms of tornado or hurricane damage, your policy probably covers your leaking roof itself, but not necessarily the damage the leak caused.
Broken or Burst Pipes
If one of your pipes breaks or bursts, your homeowners policy almost surely covers not only the pipe, but also the resulting interior damage to your home. Exterior damage, however, is another story entirely. Here you must prove that the interior pipe breakage caused your home’s exterior damage rather than an outdoor sewer or drain pipe backup.
It goes without saying that water damage almost invariably leads to mold if it is not properly taken care of more or less immediately. Not only is mold unsightly, but it also poses a health risk to you and your family. Assuming your water damage resulted from a covered occurrence, your homeowners policy also covers the cost of mold removal. Here again, however, your insurance company will investigate the state of your burst water pipe or whatever caused the water damage to satisfy itself that you properly maintained all such pipes, etc. Your policy likely will not cover mold that results from humidity problems in your home.
Be aware that while your homeowners policy can save you a substantial amount of money in the event your home sustains various types of damage, this protection comes with a catch. Once you make a claim, your insurance company will raise your premiums.