As a homeowner, you’ve done your research and shopped around for the best insurance policy to cover your home so that when disaster strikes, you know you’re covered and don’t have to worry. But does your insurance policy cover anything that could happen to your home? Water leaks can be one of the most destructive things to happen to your Hamilton home, especially when you have a finished basement, as that’s where water tends to go. If you’re concerned about water leaks in your basement and whether your insurance covers you, here is what you need to know.

Does home insurance cover damage from water leaks?

It depends. The damage typically seen from water leaks can result in mould, mildew, the need to replace drywall or flooring and even some duct, ventilation, plumbing or electrical work. Unfortunately, the answer to whether you’re covered isn’t related to what kind of damage is done to your home but rather how the damage got there.

So, what would be covered then?

Leaks are a very common thing to happen to homes – whether from pipes bursting, washing machines flooding, melting snow in the springtime, or even an extreme amount of rain. But your insurance policy will be very specific as to what they’re willing to cover when it comes to repairing the damage.

There are different components to an insurance policy you can purchase that will determine what your coverage is.

Flood Damage

This is usually an additional rider you can add to your coverage, sometimes called overland flood coverage. This is for people who live in flood-prone areas where basements experience leaks frequently. The only stipulation is that you will need to purchase sewer back-up coverage along with it.

Comprehensive Coverage

This is a standard of insurance coverage for most homeowners. This kind of insurance can help cover floods that are not the product of a natural disaster, such as plumbing leaks, but there are some rules around what makes you eligible for coverage. For example, the leak has to be sudden and accidental – it cannot be a leak that has been growing worse over time that you didn’t fix. Additionally, your home likely cannot be vacant for more than 48 hours – and for some policies, it’s 24 hours. So if you’re on vacation, it’s important to have someone check on your home daily.

The good news is that for sudden and surprise leaks, your home owner’s insurance is likely to help provided you have the correct coverage. Insurance companies are not going to fix the damage resulting from poor home maintenance or negligence on your part. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure you do regular checks on all the machines and pipes in your home and ensure you don’t see any small leaks or signs of damage. If you are unsure about your current insurance covers, you can always call your provider and discuss your policy. Additional coverage may be purchased or needed depending on the area of Hamilton your home is in, the age and even any renovations you’ve made.

Of course, the best protection is not your insurance but in performing the necessary maintenance to prevent flooding in the first place or make the necessary repairs to keep minor leaks from turning into major problems. So if you have a plumbing issue that needs to be attended to, contact Wentworth Plumbing today.