Is Water Damage Covered Under My Homeowners Insurance?

The answer is yes…and no. It’s going to depend on what causes the water damage and where it comes from. We’re going to dive into a standard California homeowners policy to answer this. Your policy covers a “sudden and accidental discharge of water”. Here are a couple examples that would fall into that category:

  • A pipe bursts in your wall
  • Dishwasher hookup breaks off and pours water all over your kitchen
  • Washing machine pipe bursts

You can also get coverage for water backup (sometimes called sewer and drain backup). This won’t come standard on your policy, and must be added. It protects you if a toilet overflows while you’re on vacation, or if a sewer or drain backs up. You should add this coverage to your policy 100% of the time!

The key with these is that they happen suddenly, and they’re not a wear and tear issue. Which brings us to what’s not covered:

  • Wear and tear
  • Gradual leaks
  • Leaky faucets

All of these fall into the same bucket of being maintenance or wear and tear problems, and are not covered under your insurance. If your plumbing system is getting up there in age (15 years or more), make sure you have it checked regularly, and fix or replace any problems. Water damage can be dramatically expensive if not fixed quickly. We’re talking thousands or tens of thousands of dollars!

Damage from a flood is also not covered, but can be insured under a separate flood insurance policy. A flood is water that enters your house from the outside, unless related to a burst pipe.

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover a Mudslide?


Mudslide, mudflow, and earth movement are excluded on just about every homeowners insurance policy in California. Very rarely, an insurance company will offer optional coverage for mudslides, but it’s generally unavailable.

Mudflow is different than a mudslide, and the difference can often times be murky. According to FEMA, Mudflow is defined (in part) as “A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water.”. The difference is a mudslide is more of a dramatic collapse of earth down a mountain side, and mudflows often occur with other flooding conditions. To help protect your home against mudslides, make sure any retaining walls are adequately maintained, and there is plenty of vegetation on nearby hills. Having a healthy amount of tree and plant roots is one of the best ways to keep the soil surrounding your home sturdy and in place.

While there are very few options to insure against mudslides, the good news is you can purchase coverage for mudflow and earth movement. Flood insurance has coverage for mudflow, and earthquake insurance has forms of coverage for earth movement. Policies for each generally start at around $100/yr., and will vary based on your home’s location and specifics.

Water

Difference Between Water Damage And Flood Damage, And Are You Covered?

The simple answer is a flood is from water that originates outside the home, and water damage comes from inside.

Water damage typically comes from an overflowed toilet, sink, or a burst pipe. Is water damage covered under your home or renters policy? It depends, and is often tricky. First off, you need to check with your insurance carrier to see if they offer any coverage for water damage under your policy.

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Bag

Are Your Personal Belongings Covered While In Your Car?

Depends on the insurance policies you have. Full coverage car insurance covers your car, and depending on your policy, you may have limited coverage for permanently installed after-market parts (sound system, in-dash navigation, nicer wheels and tires, etc.). There is no coverage for your personal belongings under your car insurance policy though.

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Damaged Roof

What’s The Difference between Replacement Cost and ACV?

Replacement Cost and ACV are the two coverage options for insurance policies that include personal property or building coverage on your homeowners, renters, or business insurance. They dictate how your property is valued for a claim payout, and work very differently.

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