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.
Owner of Paul Nelson Insurance, and resident of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties for 30 years.