A plumbing disaster like a malfunction or broken pipe can hit you when you least expect it, requiring you to call us for an emergency plumbing service. When this happens, you want to make sure you can cover the cost of the necessary repairs and damages. But does homeowners insurance cover plumbing repair?
Coverage For Plumbing Services Depends On Your Policy
In most cases, most plumbing services are not covered by home insurance. Most home insurance policies won’t cover repairs for issues from a lack of maintenance or neglect. You’ll have to show that the problem was sudden and accidental. Other services, such as whole-home repiping, are seen as preventative measures for which you’ll have to pay yourself.
You’ll probably have to get special coverage for some problems. An insurance broker will quote you for sewer backup coverage, but most companies will still charge extra for it. The price for extras will depend on your provider, how old your home is, and its location.
The good news? Most policies will cover any damage from corroded or failing pipes. However, the cause of this damage can determine whether it’s covered.
Insurance Often Will Cover Damage From Plumbing Accidents
Insurance for a private residence will cover many problems, including external and internal damages or losses to the house and personal assets. As well, any injuries that may occur on your property that result in legal claims can be covered. Check your liability limit to determine your financial coverage and under what circumstances you can receive it.
How water enters the home can determine whether the damage will be paid out of pocket or covered by your home insurance policy. One notable (non-plumbing) related issue is damage caused by floodwaters – standard homeowner and tenant insurance policies do not provide coverage. Provinces sometimes offer help for uninsurable damage, but any relief can be slow to materialize and not cover repair costs.
However, your policy should cover any accidental internal water damage that has resulted from a plumbing failure. Many situations requiring the attention of a plumber – for example, a burst water heater, ruptured pipe, or the supply hose on a washing machine breaks – would fall under these conditions. However, this still comes with caveats, and you have to pay close attention to your policy!
Make Sure To Note Your Coverage
There are circumstances where insurance will not cover plumbing fixes. For many policies, there’s no coverage if a sudden, accidental flooding event happens when the home is vacant for more than 48 hours (some reduce this to 24 hours). If you’re on vacation, have a friend or family member check on your home every day or two to make sure your home is safe from damage – or catch damage within the timeframe spelled out by your insurance policy.
Insurance companies work under the assumption that homeowners will maintain the working operation of their homes. As such, most policies won’t cover damage resulting from poor maintenance. Let’s say you spot extensive damage caused by a leaking pipe you failed to repair; some companies will deny your claim because you did not perform regular home maintenance that would have stopped the slow, ongoing leak. As the homeowner, you’re on the hook for doing routine maintenance checks!
An insurance policy is not a maintenance contract, and even specialized coverage could not help you if standard mechanisms aren’t in place. For example, if you pay for sewer backup insurance but don’t have a sewer backup valve installed, your insurance provider might not cover any damage. They could see a lack of this part as poor maintenance that you could have avoided.
That doesn’t mean that there’s no coverage for slow leaks. If the damage occurred behind walls, beneath floors, above the ceiling, or other areas that are not visible, they could still cover it. However, homeowners must check and repair their homes.
Call us today to schedule maintenance and inspections for your home – it’s the best way to ensure your insurance won’t fail you when you need it the most!