Does Insurance Cover Waterproofing?
Many homeowners are blissfully oblivious of the dangers that come with occupying an older structure in their house. It's possible that they are unaware of what can occur if water is allowed to leak through their property or how expensive it can become to repair the damage. It is possible that you believe the damages caused by flooding will be covered by your insurance policy; however, this is not always the case. Before purchasing homes insurance, you should give some thought to a few different factors, one of which is determining whether or not your policy covers the costs of waterproofing. Continue reading for additional information on this topic, as well as answers to additional questions that you ought to ask yourself before purchasing a homeowners insurance coverage.
What Is Homeowners Insurance, Anyway?
It can be beneficial to spend a few minutes going over what homeowner's insurance is and what it covers before we discuss the things that it will and will not cover for you as a homeowner. When we buy a home, we also get insurance coverage to safeguard that property and its contents from loss or damage. The primary reason for this is because we want to provide a pleasant and secure environment for our family, so purchasing insurance coverage is an important part of the process. Additionally, seeing as how the majority of us consider our homes to be our single most important financial investment, we make care to insure them. And because very few of us are in a position to purchase a home outright without taking out a mortgage, financial institutions mandate that we purchase homeowner's insurance to safeguard the investment they have made in us.
So, how does it work? The majority of us have a standard homeowner's insurance policy that protects us against all the calamities you'd expect it to protect us against, such as fire, theft, and falling trees. In fact, the majority of plans will protect you against any common loss that isn't specifically excluded. You also have the option to add coverage to your policy through something known as a "endorsement," which covers particular losses like as burst pipes and the mechanical failure of your sump pumps. Then there are those things known as "exclusions," which are things that your insurance policy does not cover. Flooding and water seepage that takes place at or below ground level are two examples of common exclusions.
What About Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance has received a lot of attention in the wake of recent natural disasters; however, purchasing this policy will not help pay for repairs to your leaking basement. Anyone who lives in a community that is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program is eligible to obtain flood insurance, which is readily accessible for purchase from a wide variety of insurance brokers. However, this insurance policy will only protect the areas of your home that are above ground against flood damage. Additionally, a number of preconditions need to be met before the coverage will be activated. Don't count on flood insurance if groundwater is the source of the water problem in your basement; it may be a good idea for other reasons, but don't bank on it.
Does Insurance Cover Basement Waterproofing?
It would be convenient to be able to respond to this question with a definitive yes or no, but the reality is that it's not quite that straightforward. When it comes to basement leaking and waterproofing, an insurance company's position on coverage will be heavily influenced by a variety of circumstances.
Homeowners insurance policies do not typically include coverage for comprehensive waterproofing systems.
In most cases, the process goes as follows:
- In the case that water damage occurs in your basement, your homeowner's insurance company will typically pay for the cleanup and investigate the cause of the problem. If the damage was caused by something within the home, such as a burst pipe or appliance, or even something as simple as an overflowing sink or tub, it would be covered by the insurance policy. On the other hand, if the water came from an outside source, such as groundwater, a flooded stream, lake, pond, or river, or even heavy storms, it is unlikely that the insurance company will pay for the damage.
- Even if the property has flood insurance, there is no assurance that a groundwater flood that occurs in the basement will be covered by the policy. Due to the sites of access for groundwater, the insurance company will see this problem as having been caused by a lack of home upkeep. These entry points are most typically cracks and joints in the foundation walls and flooring.
What About Floods?
Even while you can't always anticipate storms, you can take precautions to stop flooding from wreaking havoc on your basement in the first place. Purchase a supplemental flood insurance policy from either the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurance firm if you require protection from outside factors. There aren't too many people that do it because it's an additional investment, but it might cover any damage to your foundation as well as any other structural components. You should acquire both build and contents coverage to give yourself the best chance of receiving the most amount of protection. After a covered accident, if you have build insurance, any further expenditures to bring your home up to code will be covered by the policy. Your home contents insurance, also known as personal property insurance, will assist you in replacing items that have been damaged or stolen.
Do You Have to Flood Specific Insurance?
If You Don't
In the event that your basement floods, you will only be compensated for the damage if the flooding was caused by an unexpected incident. This indicates that your water damage may be covered in the event that a pipe bursts or your washing machine overflows. In the case that mould grows as a result of this occurrence, the same thing applies.
Your homeowner's insurance policy will not pay for any of the necessary repairs if the damage to your house was caused by a leak that could have been avoided or by high levels of humidity over a long period of time. In the event that the flooding was caused by a river overflow, excessive rainfall, or any other natural occurrence, the insurance company will not pay for the repairs.
Please keep in mind that even in the event that the damages are compensated for, the root of the problem is probably not. In the situations described, it would be your responsibility to pay the costs associated with the plumbing work needed to mend the pipe or replace the washing machine.
If You Do
If you have flood insurance and a sudden flooding incident occurs, you are covered in the same manner as described in the previous paragraph. However, any damages brought on by years of excessive humidity or leaks that could have been avoided are not covered by the warranty.
One advantage of purchasing flood insurance is that it will cover any losses caused by natural occurrences. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is defined as follows: a general and temporary condition that partially or completely inundates two or more acres of normally dry land OR two or more properties (at least one of which is yours) as a result of the following: rainfall that exceeds normal precipitation levels; snowmelt that exceeds normal snowmelt levels; snowmelt that exceeds normal snowmelt levels;
- Unusual and unexpectedly quick accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the edge of a body of water as a result of erosion or undermining induced by currents of water that are higher than anticipated for their cyclical levels.
Sewer & Drain Are Not Included
Standard homeowner's insurance plans and flood insurance do not cover water damage that occurs in a basement because the sewer or basement drain is clogged or otherwise fails to function properly. A second transaction is required in order to acquire the endorsement known as "Sewer and Drain." This category also includes flooding that was brought on by a malfunctioning sump pump. The water damage, such as that caused by a burst pipe, will be covered by insurance, but the repairs to the sump pump will be the responsibility of the homeowner.
How Insurance Policies View Groundwater Issues
Dealing with homeowner's insurance can be an incredibly difficult experience, and trying to comprehend it may be even more so. Nevertheless, there are good reasons for these regulations that appear to be random. Two of these reasons are listed by American Insurance:
- The most recent building codes mandate that the construction of the foundation must include provisions for the water to drain away from the house. It's possible that older homes didn't stick to these measures, or that water found a way to begin gathering underground alongside the home owing to poor grading, unstable soil, or significant water events in the past. Either way, it's possible that this happened. If a homeowner's insurance policy covered water seeping in through the foundation of their home, they would have no reason to address the issue.
- If these occurrences were covered, there would be multiple claims filed after each period during which severe weather occurred.
Every foundation, in the course of time, will inevitably sink, crack, and eventually decay organically. Due to "wear and tear," a homeowner may be required to excavate around the foundation (and basement/crawl space) in order to instal drain tile or another type of waterproofing material, as well as patch and re-seal the concrete walls of the foundation and basement. Again, homeowners would have no financial incentive to repair or upgrade their homes if their homeowner's insurance policy covered this type of water damage.
It would appear that you won't be eligible for coverage if the leak in your basement was caused by something more natural, such as a natural disaster.
The best course of action is to take as many preventative measures as possible to safeguard the home against suffering severe water damage before anything disastrous may take place. Homeowners who have recently experienced flooding inside their homes may not find this information to be useful. The good news is that homeowners insurance will typically cover the expense of the initial clean up, and they will also direct their clients to reputable waterproofing firms to treat the problem at its root. When it comes to the subject of waterproofing a basement, unfortunately, it is often where the involvement of insurance stops.
When Doesn't Homeowners Insurance Cover Basement Water Damage?
Insurance doesn't cover damages caused from DIY failures. This indicates that your insurance provider will probably pay for any losses caused by a burst pipe. However, if you try to repair a pipe on your own and fail to do so in the correct manner, your insurance will not cover any losses that occur as a result of your actions. Do-it-yourself efforts that end in failure might be interpreted as a form of neglect, just as the faulty repair of components and appliances can be considered a form of poor maintenance.
Why Homeowners Insurance doesn't cover basement Waterproofing
Because you have just finished mopping out the basement once again after a severe spring downpour, you decide to call in a contractor to waterproof the basement. After doing an exhaustive examination, the contractor will explain the issue and provide you with a written estimate of the amount of work that will be required to correct it.
You've decided to give your insurance agent a call, so you pick up the phone, right? Okay, so maybe not. Even while your agent will most likely have some level of compassion for your predicament, there is not much more that they can do for you given that the majority of homeowner's insurance policies do not provide coverage for the expense of basement waterproofing services.
When Should You Contact Your Insurance Provider?
You should get in touch with them as quickly as you can after reading this. There are many different types of water damage, and the policy language might be difficult to understand, but your agent will be able to assist you in better comprehending your coverage.
How Do You Prevent Water Damage?
Make contact with a company that specialises in waterproofing basements. They are able to perform an inspection of your basement and take any essential actions that will assist you in avoiding expensive repairs. A professional can ensure that your basement is completely protected from the outside environment by doing things like sealing cracks and replacing pipes that leak.
How Basement Waterproofing Contractors Can Help
When dealing with issues such as groundwater seepage, there are a variety of methods available for protecting the foundation and the basement. These methods range from complete systems that include sump pumps, drain tile, dehumidifiers, and other components, to partial systems that address water issues that are not as severe. Regrettably, due to the fact that every house is unique, there is no one method that is guaranteed to adequately safeguard the basement and the foundation. As a result of this, it is always suggested to contact out to professionals for assistance on how to proceed in the most effective manner for your property.
In circumstances such as these, having homeowners insurance might not be the most useful thing, but having a reliable waterproofing contractor might be a blessing. As a result of the dissatisfaction caused by the absence of coverage for such situations, many businesses have made it a gratis service to assist in the search for loans and funds for various types of projects. Both the house and its contents will be safeguarded, and you won't have to worry about being stuck with a cost that you can't pay without the assistance of insurance.
Numerous companies that specialise in waterproofing basements provide free consultations and estimates with no strings attached. In order to protect the home from the destabilising effects of groundwater, technicians will perform a comprehensive inspection, during which they will search for any potential points of entry for water and humidity and devise a step-by-step protection strategy.
Give us a call if you would like more information on how your homeowner's insurance can cover damage caused by water and we would be happy to provide it. Should there ever be a need to make a claim on an insurance policy, our experts will gladly answer any questions you may have and explain how the process works. One more piece of advice: make sure you are covered by flood insurance! It is not uncommon for natural disasters such as hurricanes or even winter storms to result in flooding. We strongly advise buying flood insurance as soon as you can so that your family is protected in the event that anything beyond their control causes them to lose all they own.
Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance
It failed waterproofing membranes. This is quite common, and it pays to note that if your damage is due to a failed waterproofing membrane, the rectification cost includes stripping the bathroom, reapplying the membrane and reinstalling\supplying bathroom tiles and fittings. The costs will not be covered.
Your home and contents insurance will usually cover water leaks if they're sudden or accidental. However, if a water leak occurs because of gradual damage you could reasonably be aware of, it may not be covered. So, don't ignore signs of water damage or slow drips, even if they seem minor at the time.
Homeowners insurance will cover foundation repair if the cause of damage is covered in your policy. But the damage caused by earthquakes, flooding, and the settling and cracking of your foundation over time is not covered.
Water damage can include sudden or accidental damage resulting from water, most commonly from a burst pipe, water overflow, flood or storm. Unfortunately, home insurance providers usually only cover you for sudden and accidental damage, that is, the water damage that occurred quickly and unexpectedly.
Waterproofers need to consider Professional Indemnity Insurance if the advice you provide is considered negligent, which leaves you open to being sued. This cover will pay for legal costs and damages if you're subject to negligence.