Water Damage is a huge concern! Every homeowner knows the responsibility of maintaining his/her home; whether keeping up the exterior or the continuous interior repairs, homeownership is a job to say the least.
Homeowners Insurance is an invaluable asset but only intended for the Sudden & Accidental Perils covered by the policy contract. Selecting the best home insurance is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly; without your desired coverage, the policy may be useless!
Slow water leaks are an example of a peril that is not covered by the homeowners insurance policy contract. Maintaining the plumbing system is one of many responsibilities of the homeowner. Many claims are presented each year to insurance carriers for damage caused by slowly developing failures in the plumbing system; although water damage is generally covered, the covered loss is always required to be sudden and accidental thereby negating the loss as an eligible claim.
Other examples of such damage which may occur over time which are not covered by homeowners insurance are: Wear and Tear, Dry Rot, Wet Rot, Termite Damage, Corrosion and many similar causes of loss.
Homeowners Insurance carriers deny such claims as companies consider these conditions to be foreseeable or predictable damage requiring routine maintenance which is the responsibility of the homeowner.
How to Avoid Losses
Many homeowners seem astonished to find that their policies do not cover gradual damage to their home. There is no doubt that insurance carriers seek to insure homes that are well maintained; otherwise premium would have to be much higher than the current rates in order to factor in all the unmaintained homes for which the insurance companies would have to be paying out repair bills as a direct result of a predictable situation.
Whether the gradual damage is realized, obvious, or not obvious, the insurance company does not make any such distinction. Insurance carriers make it clear that an incident is not covered if the cause of loss was gradual regardless if the discovery of the loss was sudden.
It is imperative that homeowners carry out a regular inspection, even if it is a self inspection, of all systems and parts of the home which could possible cause damage due to their failure. If the homeowner is unable to conduct any such inspection, it would be a good idea to hire a plumber to inspect the home or to hire a capable handyman to inspect the home; for homes that have a lot of exterior wood, it is important to make sure that the wood is regularly treated or painted and that there is no sign of termite and/or rot damage.
Homeowners should make an effort to thoroughly understand their homeowners insurance policy; the best way to do this is to contact his/her insurance company and request a review of their policy with an individual who is willing and able to explain the coverage.