Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Plumbing?

Homeowners Insurance
August 24, 2020

Investing in a quality home insurance policy will give you the peace of mind of knowing your property is protected. Everything from fires to wind damage and theft is covered, but are you aware of your policy’s limitations? For example, what about water damage? Does homeowners insurance cover plumbing leaks? What about a pipe replacement? 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage is one of the most common and most expensive disasters that your home can face. This is why it is critically important to know the ins and outs of various plumbing scenarios and whether or not your homeowners insurance policy covers them. 

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Plumbing Problems?

If the plumbing and drainage systems in your home cause sudden and unexpected damage, then there is a strong chance that it will be covered. However, there are some specifics regarding what exactly is included in that coverage. Some potential scenarios are listed below:

Scenario #1

Your dishwasher’s water supply hose suddenly bursts and ruins your kitchen floor. 

What’s covered: The damage to your kitchen floor 

What’s not: The cost to replace your broken dishwasher. 

Scenario #2

A frozen pipe bursts on the second floor of your home and soaks the ceiling on the first floor. 

What’s covered: If the damage were unexpected and unavoidable, your homeowners policy would likely cover the cost to remove and replace the ceiling where the burst pipe is located as well as any repairs to your furnishing, carpeting, etc.  

What’s not: If you didn’t drain the plumbing system and turned the heat off for an extended period, such as during a winter trip, you may not be covered for the damage. 

How Will My Coverage Protect Me from Damage Caused by Plumbing Issues? 

woman cleaning up water from a pipe leak with sponge and fixing it with home insurance

There are three types of coverage on your homeowners insurance policy that will help protect you when you experience damage caused by a plumbing issue. These coverages include:

1. Dwelling coverage

It protects the structure of your home and helps pay for costs to repair or rebuild if you need to call a contractor or emergency plumber after a plumbing incident. The protection includes damage to carpeting, floors, walls, and more. 

2. Personal property coverage

It reimburses you for the value of your belongings. For example, if a burst pipe destroyed your closet, personal property coverage would help you replace your damaged clothing. 

3. Additional living expenses coverage

If the damage were so severe that you needed to move out of your home for an extended period, this coverage would help pay for expenses such as hotel, travel, food, and more. 

It is important to note that with any homeowner insurance claim, you will have to be mindful of your deductibles and your coverage limits. Your deductible is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance policy pays. Your coverage limit is the total amount your insurance policy will pay towards a covered claim. 

When Won’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Plumbing or Water Damage? 

While homeowners insurance will protect some plumbing damage, but many instances are not covered:

  • Water damage from regular wear and tear.
  • Damage from poorly maintained issues such as leaky plumbing.
  • Clogged pipes.  
  • Mold caused by water damage. 
  • Water back-up from an outside drain or sewer.
  • Flood damage.  

While a standard homeowners policy will not pay for damage caused by water back-up or flooding, there are additional coverage options you can purchase. Contact your insurance provider to learn more. 

Plumbing accidents happen. When they are genuinely unexpected, your homeowner insurance policy will likely be there to help you pay for the damage. Regardless, regular inspection and maintenance of your plumbing systems are critical to avoid severe water damage that may not be covered.

Save yourself a major headache while you protect your home with a home insurance policy from Vern Fonk. Start your free Washington and Oregon Homeowners Insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.