Whether you’re shopping for insurance policies or reviewing your existing coverage, you may want to know—does home insurance cover water damage? The short answer is “maybe.” It depends on where the water damage came from and the details of your policy.

Basically, if water damage stems from a sudden and accidental problem with your water supply lines, your home insurance should cover it. But if water damage results from neglect or flooding from outside, it probably isn’t covered.

Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage from Plumbing?

Yes—most of the time. The caveat here is that the damage must have occurred without warning and not due to lack of maintenance. Here are some examples of plumbing water damage that most policies cover:

  • The water heater ruptures and floods your basement.
  • The washing machine supply hose breaks and damages the laundry room.
  • The dishwasher overflows and soaks the kitchen floor.
  • A frozen pipe bursts and drenches the ceiling below.

It’s important to note that home insurance covers structural and personal property damage, but it doesn’t help cover the cost to fix the item that caused the damage. You will need to repair your water heater, washing machine hose, dishwasher or pipes out of your pocket.

Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage from a Sewer Backup?

No. Traditional home insurance does not cover water damage from a backed-up sewer or drain line because this is considered water from an external source. However, you can add sewer backup coverage to your policy for peace of mind against this kind of damage.

Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage from Flooding?

No. If you want coverage for flood damage, you will need to purchase separate flood insurance. Keep in mind that flooding may occur from rainstorms, oversaturated soil, melting snow, broken levees and dams, rising rivers, tidal surges and more. If your home is in a high-risk area, buying flood insurance should be a priority. In fact, some mortgage lenders require it.

Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage from a Leaky Roof?

Sometimes. Again, it depends on the circumstances. Does your roof leak because it’s old and you have never had it inspected for damage? If so, your claim might be denied. On the other hand, if a tree falls on your roof during a windstorm or a vandal removes your shingles, your insurance should cover the interior water damage caused by rain infiltration. In this case, the cost to repair the roof should also be covered if “wind damage” and “vandalism” are among your policy’s listed perils.

If you have any questions about what home insurance covers, check your policy or speak with an insurance agent. Then, whether your insurance covers the water damage or not, rest assured that DKI can help you recover. We are proud to be North America’s largest disaster restoration network, with over 200 locations to serve homeowners and businesses when they need us most. To schedule water damage restoration in your area, please contact DKI online or call us at 877-533-0210.