When it comes to water leaks, most insurance companies and their policies classify leaks into two categories;
- Sudden & accidental
- Slow drip or slow leak
Sudden & accidental: This type of leak is characterized as being sudden; it quickly materialized or occurred and it was unintentional. Examples of this type of leak include;
- A pipe fails & bursts
- A pipe freezes and bursts
- A water heater fails / ruptures
- A toilet malfunctions, overflows & continues to overflow
- An appliance leaks
These leaks can be pretty large in scope if you’re not home when they occur. They can result in soaked carpet, sheet rock damage, and ruined hardwood flooring. Often, one of the first actions to take is to turn the water supply off to keep further damage from occurring.
Most Texas homeowner policies include coverage for this type of leak. Only a few cover the next category or leak.
Slow drip or slow leak: Slow drip or leak is the kind of leak that goes unnoticed for some time. It may not be obvious at first because there’s no large volume of water that’s flowing out from a ruptured pipe or appliance. It’s a steady, slow drip that goes on for sometime before it’s noticed. I’ve had clients find them;
- Behind walls (wall paper came loose, sheet rock changed shades or became wet to the touch
- Under an appliance such as a dishwasher or refrigerator (supply line to an ice maker)
Most Texas homeowner’s policies don’t cover these types of leaks because of the potential for mold to occur. If this type of coverage is available, it is strictly optional. In addition, in order for the leak to be eligible for a claim, you’ll need to turn it in quickly, typically within a week or two after discovering it.
If you’re not sure what type of coverage your policy offers, ask your agent these four questions;
- What type of water leaks are covered by my policy?
- Is slow drip or leak coverage available?
- Are there any limits to the dollar amount of coverage the policy provides?
- What’s my deductible?
Once you’ve determined your level of coverage, make sure it’s adequate for your needs. If it’s not see what it would take to have the desired coverage added. Have you had a water leak? Share with us what happened and how you handled it with our readers in the comments section or on our Google + or Facebook pages.