Water Damage Claim
Escape of Water
Water damage claims are covered under your insurance policy under the ‘Escape of Water’ peril and are extremely common. In fact, they are probably the most common type of claim that we encounter.
The escape of water peril covers you for any accidental escape of water from any fixed water apparatus. Usually, this will be from a burst pipe from somewhere in the home and this could be caused by freezing, cracking, bursting or overflow from heavy rains.
The severity of a water damage claim is not always easy to determine by the average home owner. A small stain in the corner of a ceiling may seem harmless but may actually be indicative of further serious damage elsewhere.
This is why it is important to get a professional loss assessor to come in and assess the level of damage as any level of water can cause structural damage, rust, mould, rot or mildew problems.
Oftentimes, trying to assess the damage yourself and attempting to handle the claim with insurers can be extremely time consuming and stressful. Insurers will try to keep the cost of your claim to a minimum which may result in you not having enough money to complete your repair works.
Insurance companies may also sometimes wrongly deny an insurance claim which is perfectly legitimate. We do this work for you and help to ensure that all of our clients are protected and receive full compensation for their insurance claim.
What is considered a water damage claim?
When water leaks from anything that is considered a ‘water apparatus’, either inside or outside your home, then any resulting damage caused by that water escape will be covered by your insurance policy.
Water damage can also fall under the accidental damage insurance peril. An example would be a child leaving a tap running which causes a sink to overflow.
Common Causes of Water Damage
The most common water apparatus that typically leaks would be a pipe contained somewhere within the home. However, other common examples of water apparatus which cause water leaks include:
- Shower trays
- Dish washers
- Washing machine
- Kitchen appliances
- Attic water storage tanks
- Wash hand basins
- Roof valley’s
- Water pipe
- Water tank
If a storm damages your roof and causes water to seep in to your home, this will not be regarded as a water damage claim but will actually be covered separately under the storm damage peril.
However, any damage caused by the water that leaks in to your home from the damaged roof will be covered. This includes any damage to other interior damaged items such as wall plaster, ceiling plaster, floor finishes etc. Any damage to personal possessions will also be covered provided you have a separate contents policy in place.
Types of water damage not covered by homeowners insurance
Whether your homeowners insurance covers water damage depends on the source of the water that caused the damage. Here are three instances in which your homeowners policy will not provide coverage:
- Maintenance issues / wear and tear
Generally speaking, if water leaks from any water apparatus or pipe, the damage should be covered. However, most insurers won’t cover damage from gradual deterioration or wear and tear (the cover is intended for sudden, unforeseen damage).
For instance, sometimes water damage can occur from faulty seals in a bath or shower. Under some policies, this would be regarded as general wear and tear and hence, the damage would not be covered.
It is also important to note that insurers will pay for the water damage caused by the leaking apparatus or pipe but not the pipe itself. Hence, if your water storage tank in your attic leaks or overflows, the insurance company will pay for the damage that ensues from the water escape, but not for the cost of replacing the water storage tank.
However, this is usually a very small expense in relation to the overall claim. The main issue will be dealing with the damage caused by the water leak to surrounding finishes.
- Flood Damage
In Ireland, flood damage is covered under most homeowners insurance policies. However, oftentimes, home insurance claims for flood damage can be excluded, particularly if your house is situated close to a river or flood plain.
Hence, if you want to make a home insurance claim for flood damage, then it it is important to check the wording of your home insurance policy to check whether it is covered.
Common Water Damage Questions
Can I carry out water damage restoration on my own?
Yes you can. However, if the problem resurfaces down the line and you then decide to make a claim after having already carried out the repair works, the insurance company will not look favourably on this and may even turn down cover altogether.
Does house insurance cover water leak detection?
Yes, you are covered under your home insurance policy for what is called ‘Trace and Access. This is the cost associated with finding and sourcing where the leak is coming from. This may involve digging up part of a floor or cutting out a section of ceiling to locate the source of the leak.
Does house insurance cover water damage?
Yes. Provided you can prove that there has been an escape of water from a ‘fixed water apparatus’ such as a pipe, dishwasher, roof valley, radiator, water storage tank etc.
How does a water damage claim work?
First, you must prove that there has been an escape of water from a ‘fixed water apparatus’ such as a pipe. You must then report this to your insurance company.
The insurance company will then inspect the damage to your home and provide you with an offer of monetary settlement.
Instead of dealing with the water damage claim yourself, many people decide to hire the services of a professional loss assessor who will handle and negotiate your claim for you. We at N.J. Carroll & Associates can provide this claims service for you and take a lot of the stress and hassle away from you.
Should I make a water damage claim?
If there is noticeable damage, even it is small, you should contact N.J. Carroll & Associates for advice to see whether the damage is covered and whether it is worth making a water damage claim.
Are gradual leaks covered in a water damage claims?
It depends. The insurance company will not provide cover for a water leak which results from faulty seals around a shower or grouting which has fallen into disrepair.
Leaks of this nature usually occur over a more gradual period of time but these are typically regarded as a maintenance / wear and tear issue and are usually not be covered by the insurance company.
However, if it is the case that a pipe or other water apparatus begins to weep slowly, then this should be covered.
Can I carry out emergency repairs?
Yes, you are entitled to carry our emergency repairs such as repairing a leaking pipe so as to stop any further water damage.
Insurance company versus loss assessor what’s the difference?
Loss Assessors Ireland
N.J. Carroll & Associates provide a thorough and efficient claims service and will always act in your best interest. We are one of the most experienced loss assessing firms in Ireland having been in business for over 30 years.
Please do not hesitate to contact us today and one of our experienced Loss Assessors and claims handlers will talk you through the process of how to go about handling your water damage claim.