Slow leaks are common occurrences in many homes. These leaks might hide behind walls and appliances, leading to gradual damage. At first, you might not know the leaks or damage are there. But over time, the evidence becomes clear.
By this point, the damage might be significant. Will home insurance help you with repair costs in this situation?
Home Insurance and Water Damage
Typical home insurance policies offer little coverage for slow water damage. Coverage often hinges on the cause of the damage.
There are many causes of small, slow leaks. Here are some examples:
- A pipe or faucet can leak. A small drip behind a wall or in a ceiling can create significant damage over time.
- Water may seep into the home from foundation cracks. The exterior walls may allow water to enter through fine cracks.
- Mold and rot can occur. This may be due to a small amount of moisture present in the area.
- The roof may have small exposed areas between flashing or shingles. This increases the risk of water leaks.
- Electrical wiring can deteriorate. This can expose the area to water penetration.
If something sudden and unpreventable caused the damage, home insurance can often help reimburse repair costs. A common example of this is a sudden burst pipe after a hard freeze.
However, many slow leaks that develop over time will not be covered. The reason for this is the homeowner has the responsibility of maintaining their home. Plumbing leaks, no matter how small, are a key component of home maintenance. Since home insurance does not cover damage from poor home maintenance, repairs for these types of leaks are unlikely to be covered.
Read Your Policy
Your policy's wording usually determines the level of coverage you have. Read through the details. Look at the exclusions listed there. This will be the best source of information about water leak coverage.
If you are unsure about slow leak coverage, contact your insurance agent. They can help you determine whether filing a claim is an option. And, they will tell you what to expect from your insurance policy.
If you have questions about home insurance, Lancette Agency has answers. Contact us today to learn more.