Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Pipes or Roof Leaks?

August 23, 2018

Broken Pipes and Home Insurance

Generally, an all perils home insurance policy does not provide coverage for an actual broken pipe. That being said, the water damage resulted by the broken pipe will usually be covered. Most insurance companies consider the property owner to be responsible for maintaining their pipes (repairing or replacing broken pipes).

For example, if your broken pipe is a result of freezing due to lack of heat in the home, your insurance company could cite your negligence and deny the claim. Another example is if you ignore a leaking pipe and it bursts. The insurance company can see evidence that you neglected to fix the leak and can deny the claim.

Prevention

It is in your best interest to have your plumbing inspected on a regular basis by a licensed professional. Different parts of your plumbing will have different life spans. Consider how your location may affect how you must upkeep your plumbing. If you live in northern climates, make sure to leave your home’s heat on during winter (even if it is set to low), especially if you are leaving on vacation or an extended period of time. Furthermore, every home should have a water shutoff valve. Make sure you know where this valve is located and ensure it is operable in case you need to quickly shut off your water.

Roof Leaks and Home Insurance

Roof leaks are covered by all perils home insurance policies if the leak was caused by an act of nature. An act of nature refers to events that occur suddenly and by accident such as storms, hail, ice buildup and fallen trees. If you have a named perils policy rather than an all perils policy, the event would need to be specifically listed on your declarations page.

However, neglect and lack of maintenance may arise in problems when you file claims. Insurance companies consider you to be responsible for maintenance of your roof. For example if you have a 30 year old roof missing shingles, an insurance company would consider this to be a lack of basic maintenance and may deny your claim. In addition, if you wait before filing a claim, damage such as mold or even the entire claim may be denied by your insurance carrier. Because of this is is extremely important to report roof leaks as soon as you discover them.

Prevention

It is in your best interest to have your roof inspected twice a year by a licensed professional. You can also speak with your insurance agent to determine the average age that others with similar roof types end up replacing them. Note how the location of your home can help determine the type and quality of your roof. For example, if you live in a northern climate, you will need to protect your home against the snow and ice. If you live in a tropical climate, you will need to protect your home from high winds. By properly protecting and maintaining your roof, you can ensure that if an accident does occur, it will be covered under your all perils home insurance policy.

Contact Us!

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have about your home insurance policy or coverage options. Just give us a call at 415-386-2283 or send us an email at [email protected]