Does Homeowners insurance cover water damage or earthquake damage?



Standard Insurance policies DO NOT COVER earthquake damages. If you would like to cover your home in the event of earthquake, you will need to buy a separate earthquake policy or add an endorsement to your current policy for an additional premium. However, it’s a different story for earthquake-prone areas where insurance companies are naturally hesitant to issue such a policy. You may need to go to an insurance exchange or high-risk pool to get this coverage.


The question on water damage is a bit more complicated. There are various instances that can fall under water damage. Some may be payable under the policy, some may not.


Here is a rundown of the various instances of water damage:


Floods. This is not covered in a standard policy. If you live in a flood zone and need flood insurance then you will have to get a separate flood insurance policy. This is a natural disaster and most homeowners’ insurance policies will not provide coverage for damage or loss due to floods.


Damage caused by a pipe bursting. In general, water damage from a pipe bursting inside your home will be covered by a standard home owner’s insurance policy.


Damage caused by a leaking roof. Typically when you are issued a home owners policy, the insurance company will require your roof not be any older than 20 years and in some cases a home inspector will be sent to inspect your home. If all looks OK, your policy will stay in force and any damage caused by a leaking roof will be covered.


All gradual water damage, including mold damage. In the same token, home owners insurance will not pay for any damage that is gradual, such as mold spores accumulating in your basement or damaged carpets/wood flooring due to a leaking hose from the refrigerator. The insurance will not pay to have the faulty leak repaired, as well as any damage that ensued from this leak.





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