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Leaks, water intrusion and mold

Water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims.  

It’s important to make sure you have the right coverage before you encounter a leak or find mold in your home. Talk with your insurance agent or broker if you have questions about your coverage for water damage. If water damage happens, follow the instructions in your policy to ensure a smooth claims process. 

Types of leaks and water damage 

The cause and timing of water damage will have a significant impact on the odds of your claim being approved. There are generally two different categories of water damage:, sudden and accidental leaks and gradual leaks. Sudden leaks are usually covered, whereas gradual leaks may not be in some cases. 

Sudden and accidental leaks 

An accidental leak such as leaking plumbing or a broken washing machine will typically be covered by your policy as long as you report it to your insurance company in a timely manner and take the recommended actions for fixing the leak. Burst pipes, including frozen pipes, will generally be covered as long as you kept the home properly heated. 

When your roof is damaged by a storm or an accident like a fallen tree, you’ll be required to fix the damage in a reasonable amount of time to prevent additional water from entering the home. Additional water damage caused by a delay in repairs won’t be covered. 

Gradual leaks and water intrusion 

Most homeowner policies will not cover gradual leaks such as water leaking from a faucet, or water damage from a leaking foundation, cracks in walls, or gaps between building materials.  

Mold coverage 

Most standard homeowner policies don’t cover damage caused by mold, fungi, rust or rot. Insurers generally consider mold and rot a home maintenance issue, unless it was caused by water damage that is covered by your policy. 

If you have rot or mold growing in your home, check your policy or ask your agent about possible coverage. Some insurers provide a limited amount of mold coverage. 

If you don’t have mold coverage, you may be able to buy mold coverage by adding an endorsement. 

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