4 Water Damage Risks Probably Not Included in Your Home Insurance

Apr 2, 2018

 With the last wave of extreme winter weather coming to an end, snow is finally melting everywhere. As we get ready for spring, we need to make sure that our houses are safe from melting snow and possible flooding. Understanding what is excluded from your insurance policy can help you prevent it from happening and make a decision on whether you need extra coverage. Below are four water damage risks that are usually not covered by home insurance policies.

1.  Water Infiltration

Water infiltration is when heavy rains seep into the house. This could happen for several reasons including water seepage through the roof, a broken window during a storm, and overflowing gutters. But if strong winds broke a window causing water to seep in, you’d still be covered.

Tips to Prevent Water Infiltration

  1. Schedule gutter maintenance twice a year. Spring and fall are the best seasons to do this.
  2. Cut any trees that are touching your roof and repair any damaged roof shingles.
  3. Make sure all of your windows close firmly and close them all once you hear of an upcoming storm.
  4. Use window well covers to keep water out of window wells.

2.  Water Overflow

Imagine having your fully-furnished basement complete with a sound system and a home theatre damaged as snow melts and water overflow sand seeps through to the basement. This peril is usually not covered by common home insurance policies. Water overflow is dangerous as it could harm furniture and belongings as well as the infrastructure of the house.

Tips to Prevent Water Overflow

  1. Shovel snow away from the building.
  2. Check walls and the foundation for possible leaks and fix any cracks.
  3. Clear the drainage areas on your property.
  4. Install a water pump to direct the water to street drains instead of your basement.

3.  Roof Collapse

Depending on your insurance company, roof collapsing from the weight of snow or ice could be excluded from your home insurance policy.

Tips to Prevent Roof Collapse:

  1. Calculate the weight of snow your roof can handle. A roof in a good condition should be able to support 20 pounds of snow for every square foot.
  2. Use a roof rake with an extendable handle to remove the snow. Do not climb up the roof and make sure you stand far enough from the snow you’re pushing with the rake. Shovel the snow away from the building when you’re done to prevent it from seeping into your foundation when it melts.

4.  Vacant Houses

If you leave your house to go on a vacation your house is considered unoccupied. If you move somewhere else, your house is then considered vacant. There is typically no coverage for water damage, theft, or vandalism in both these cases.

So if you plan on leaving your home unoccupied for a while, make sure you:

  1. Talk to your broker about your policy.
  2. Arrange for someone to check in on your house and make sure your heating is maintained if you’re going on vacation.
  3. Obtain a vacancy permit from your insurer to make sure your house will still be covered If you’re going away for more than 30 days.

 

Make sure your home is always protected and covered under your home insurance policy. Depending on your house and your insurance company, you might want to add additional endorsements for water infiltration, sewer backup, or overland water endorsements to your home insurance. Contact us today and we will be happy to set you up with the perfect insurance plan.

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