Water Damage, Plumbing Coverage, and Exclusions: Understanding Homeowner’s Insurance

At Blanchard Insurance, we are committed to demystifying homeowner’s insurance by providing clear and comprehensive information. This includes understanding the intricacies of water damage coverage, plumbing exclusions, and the conditions under which limited water coverage might apply, especially in older homes or those with specific types of plumbing. 

Leaking pipe shooting water

Standard Coverage for Water Damage 

Homeowner’s insurance typically covers water damage if it is sudden and accidental. This can include scenarios such as burst pipes or appliance malfunctions that lead to water damage. For instance, if a frozen pipe bursts and floods your home, this damage would generally be covered under the sudden and accidental provision. 

Common Exclusions in Water Damage Coverage 

Adjusting plumbing under sink
Plumber working in the bathroom, plumbing repair service, repairing leaking sinks with adjustable wrench, assemble and install concept.

However, not all water-related damage is covered under standard policies. Common exclusions include: 

Long-term leaks: Damage from plumbing issues that develop gradually over time, such as slow leaks, are usually not covered as they are considered maintenance issues. 

Floods: Damage from external flooding is not covered under standard homeowner’s policies and requires separate flood insurance. 

Sewer backups: Damage from sewer or drain backups is typically not covered unless specific additional coverage is purchased. 

Negligence: Damage resulting from poor maintenance or negligence, such as failing to repair a known leak, is generally not covered. 

Plumbing Exclusions and Limited Coverage 

Certain types of plumbing materials can also lead to exclusions or limited coverage: 

Polybutylene pipes: These are prone to failure and are often excluded from coverage due to their high risk of leaking and bursting. Most insurance policies will not cover the cost of replacing polybutylene pipes as they are considered a defect in the home. 

Older or galvanized piping: Older homes with original plumbing like galvanized pipes may face exclusions due to the increased risk of corrosion and deterioration. 

Limited Water Coverage: When It Comes Into Play 

In some cases, particularly in older homes or areas with high claims rates, insurers may offer only limited water damage coverage. This can be due to: 

Age of Property: Properties over 30-40 years old might be subject to limited coverage due to outdated plumbing systems that pose a higher risk of failure. 

Previous Claims: Properties with a history of water damage claims may have limited coverage to keep insurance premiums affordable. 

Water damage in kitchen from burst faucet

Additional Coverage Options 

To address these exclusions and limitations, homeowners can consider additional endorsements: 

Water Backup Coverage: This endorsement provides protection if water backs up from a sewer or drain. 

Flood Insurance: Separate from homeowner’s insurance, this covers damage from external flooding events. 

Service Line Coverage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing damaged utility lines on your property. 

Blanchard Insurance: Ensuring Comprehensive Protection 

At Blanchard Insurance, we understand the complexities of homeowner’s insurance and are dedicated to helping our clients navigate their coverage options effectively. For more detailed information on how we can help protect you from the cost of water damage and other risks, or to discuss specific coverage options, please contact us. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and coverage necessary to protect your home and peace of mind. 

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