2018 was one of the wettest years in U.S. history. So, any concerns that you have about your insurance coverage are perfectly valid. Unfortunately, a majority of the time, your homeowners insurance policy won’t cover water damage from natural, outside sources (e.g., snow, rain, etc.). However, home insurance usually covers water damage caused by internal sources (e.g., appliances and essential systems in the home).
When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Basement Water Damage?
Insurance doesn’t cover damages sustained from DIY failures. This means that your insurance company will likely cover damages caused by a broken pipe. However, if you try to replace a pipe yourself and fail to do so properly, your insurance won’t cover any resulting damages. Unsuccessful DIY projects may be seen as neglect, as improperly repairing appliances and parts may qualify as poor maintenance.
What About Floods?
You can’t always predict storms, but you can prevent floods from wreaking havoc on your basement in the first place. If you need coverage against external forces, purchase a separate flood insurance policy from The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurance company. Few homeowners do because it’s an additional expense, but it may cover your damaged foundation and other structural components. To ensure you receive the most coverage, you should purchase both build and contents coverage. Build insurance covers any additional costs to repair your home up to code after a protected mishap. Home contents insurance—or personal property insurance—helps you replace damaged or stolen items.
What About Your Sump Pump?
Sump pumps may be covered, depending on whether you’ve added an endorsement to your policy. But even so, endorsements might not cover all the damage. It’s best to take preventive measures to thwart problems before they arise. Replacing an old sump pump and investing in a battery backup system are two easy ways to stay proactive.
When Should You Contact Your Insurance Provider?
Ideally, you should contact them as soon as possible. Water damage comes in a variety of forms, and policy language can be confusing, but your agent can help you better understand your coverage.