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The most common cause of claims on home insurance is water damage. Usually, your insurance company will cover the damage caused by the water, but the item that causes the water damage probably will not be – e.g. a leaking dishwasher hose.

Though, in the situation of an unforeseen problem, such as frozen pipes or hoses, your home insurance will cover both the repairs to your home and to the broken pipe or hose.

Here are some common scenarios with their insurance consequences:

The temperature drops below zero and your pipes freeze and burst. Your floor is now covered in six inches of water.

·        You are covered for the damage from the burst pipes.

·        Most policies will not cover you for the damage if you left your home unoccupied and unheated. Your claim may be denied.

Water from your swimming pool leaks and ruins your lawn, flooding your basement.

·        The damage to your basement is covered, but only as far as the structure itself, not the contents.

·        The lawn is only covered if the damage is caused by specific events. Swimming pools are not one of these on a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Your washing machine overflows and floods your basement.

·        The extent of your coverage depends on whether or not you can convince your insurer that you maintained the washer properly.

·        The damage to your basement will be covered regardless.

A sewer backing up floods your basement.

·        You are probably not covered. Most policies do not include coverage for sewer and drain backups.

Water seepage from the ground damages your foundation and interior.

·        Seepage is considered a maintenance problem, so most homeowners policies do not cover it.

A heavy rainstorm causes water leaks in your roof. The roof and some furniture are damaged.

·        Again, water leaks are considered a maintenance issue and your roof will probably not be covered.

·        The damage to your furniture is not covered.

·        The damage to your home is covered.

A bathtub overflows.

·        You are covered. Even if you forgot to turn off the faucet.

A nearby lake overflows causing a flash flood in your home.

·        Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. You must buy it from the federal government.  

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