Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage From Leaking Pipes?

Wednesday 21st October 2020

Sophie Rioch

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Flooded hardwood floor

CONTENTS

Does home insurance cover water damage from a leaking pipe? In a short answer, yes, as long as you have the right insurance cover. 

This can depend on many factors, however, ranging from the flood risk in your area to if you have been flooded before. It is important to look carefully at the wording of your policy so you know exactly what you're covered for. If not, you might not have your insurance claim accepted if you ever need it.

At ICE Cleaning, we are flood damage cleaning specialists, with a wealth of experience in the sector. We can arrive on site within an hour in cases of emergency, ready to assist you. Our support team are here to help with whatever you need, from explaining the details of the process to answering any concerns.

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Have a read of our blog to learn about home insurance covering water damage from a leaking pipe.

Eligibility for insurance cover

While many policies will cover water damage from a leaking pipe, there will be some insurance policies out there that unfortunately won’t. Within many home insurance policies relating to water damage, there can be a variety of loopholes or words conveniently placed together to communicate one thing but mean another.

For example, your insurance may cover finding and stopping the leak, but not necessarily paying for the damage that has been left behind, leaving you trying to figure out how you will cover the possible hefty cost. Direct Line insurance providers have stated that “Nearly one in five claims made on buildings and contents insurance is for damage caused by leaks.”

Location can be a big issue when it comes to trying to get home insurance that will cover water damage. Even if you are simply asking the insurance company to only cover the possibility of leaking or burst pipes within the home, if you live in a flood risk zone, you will find it extremely hard.

If your property has been flooded before, this can also make it challenging to find the home insurance that covers any form of water damage.

There have been occasions where insurance companies will simply not agree to cover homes if flooding is a regular occurrence, especially when it comes to the winter seasons. There is too much of a risk that pipes could burst outside of the house but subsequently cause water damage inside the home.

How insurance companies view leaking pipes

Genuinely, the majority of insurance companies would consider the properties plumbing to be under general homeowner maintenance.

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to ensure your pipes are not clogged, loose, don’t freeze during winter seasons and are genuinely kept at a high standard. Rusting of a pipe or deterioration typically will not be covered by your home insurance provider; however, it is a different story when it comes to leaking pipes. 

A leaking pipe if not fixed, can create a monumental amount of damage. It only takes for you to be running the water for a bath, or washing your clothes for that small leak to start to crack and begin to flood your bathroom or kitchen area silently.

The damage and destruction caused by a leaking pipe are generally covered by your provider, as long as you have the right policy that covers for damage from a leaking pipe. 

Standing water on tiled floor

How to check if your home insurance covers leaks

To ensure that your home insurance covers water damage from a leaking pipe, you should look at your policy documents that will be on your insurance providers website.

If you are unable to find any relevant documentation, put your mind at ease and give your provider a call, and they will be able to tell you there and then what your policy covers. Remember always to ask your insurance provider to explain any exclusions as well as what is covered. 

Many homes and business properties are affected by leaky pipes; you need to know if your home insurance covers this type of damage; otherwise, you could be paying hefty finance to cover the damage. When looking into your documentation or talking to your provider, be sure to identify whether your policy covers:

  • The cost of repairing the source of the leaking pipe
  • The cost of repairing and damage caused by a specialist when accessing the leak
  • The cost of finding the leak and being able to access the leak
  • The cost of the water damage to the property which includes damage to the possessions inside of the property

You will need to read your policy thoroughly, as there are a variety of policies that will cover finding and accessing the leak but not necessarily fixing the leak, or cover the cost of the water damage, which can leave you with high prices. 

Claiming water damage on your home insurance

When water damage occurs through an event such as a leaking pipe, you will need to run through a few steps before you go ahead and make a claim. Below we have written out the steps you should take if you encounter a leaking pipe in your property:

  1. Shut off the water immediately when a burst pipe has occurred, this will prevent any further damage happening within your property. 
  2. You can make temporary repairs, cleaning up the water to stop it from soaking into your floors and walls and creating mould spores. In some cases, you may need to contact a contractor to fix a more extensive temporary repair.
  3. Remove every single item that has been affected by the water from the pipe. Do not throw them away. You will need evidence of these when it comes to claiming on your insurance. 
  4. Move all undamaged belongings to a safe, dry place within your property.

These steps should always be taken to secure as many of your personal belongings and prevent any further damage from happening that could increase the overall cost.

Often when flooding occurs, you could see yourself impacted by mould. Our professional mould cleaners are Dewpoint Professional accredited and can tackle mould in any settings, helping to substantially improve the air quality in the environment.

Filling in an insurance claim

It is now time for you to start filing an insurance claim. Below we have listed everything you should do to ensure you have everything to make a claim:

  • You will need to create a detailed inventory of all damages to both your property and personal belongings. This will include as many photos and videos of everything, close up shots, wide-angle shots, take as many pictures as possible and ensure you get every structural and personal property damage on file.
  • If you had to run out and get a particular material for a temporary fix to your pipe, make sure you hold onto the receipt so you can expense it in the claim.
  • Once you have all your evidence and receipt, it is now time to contact your insurance carriers for you to file a claim. The process in how to file for a claim will vary, some providers will want you to call an agent to speak to them personally, whereas other providers are happy for you to use an online service or an app if they have one.
  • Within this claims document, do make sure that you include every single photo that was taken, all receipts, videos, everything. The more evidence you have, the better.
  • If the leaking pipe within your property renders the home uninhabitable, find a family, friend or hotel to stay in for a while and expense all hotel bills and restaurant tabs (within reason) to your claim.
  • Your final step is to contact and schedule an appointment with the claims adjuster who will professionally and thoroughly inspect the damage to determine the cause and will ultimately be able to inform you with what your insurance company will pay on the claim that you created. 

Knowing what type of home insurance you have will stop any nasty surprises from popping up if you were ever to experience a leaking or burst pipe within your property. 

Contact us today

Contact the leaking pipe experts on 0208 066 0360! If you are in the unfortunate position where a burst pipe, either within your home or outside, is causing water damage to your property and belongings. Then give our support team a call. We can get our flood cleaning professionals on-site within 60 minutes.

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