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Protecting Your Home From Leaks: Will Home Insurance Help?

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020


Insurance for basement leaks

Imagine this: you come home from a long day at work and something in your home smells off. You head down into the basement and you see it: standing water pooled around one of the corners of your basement.

Your instinct may be to panic, but you don’t have to. Basement leaks are a pain to deal with, but more often than not, you can reach out for help. Your homeowner’s insurance may be able to cover some of the cost of repairs, depending on what kind of leak you’re dealing with.

While everyone’s homeowner’s insurance is different, let’s take a look at some of the leaks that insurance providers tend to cover and which ones you may have to deal with on your own.

What Causes a Basement Leak?

It can feel like basement leaks appear out of nowhere, but this isn’t actually the case. Most basement leaks are the result of long-term hydrostatic pressure build-up. That kind of pressure puts both your basement and your foundation under significant stress. Most homes are unable to withstand that pressure in the long term and instead will crack to try and accommodate it.

Other reasons your basement may begin to leak include:

  • Cracks in your walls
  • Unstable foundation
  • Poor grading
  • Leaking pipes
  • Clogged drains

What Leaks Are Covered By Your Home Insurance?

When, though, can you reach out to your homeowner’s insurance provider for help repairing a leak? More often than not, your insurance provider will honor claims regarding the following leaks:

  • Leaking water heaters
  • Broken or burst pipes
  • Piping problems
  • Large appliance malfunctions

Most insurance providers are going to recommend that, if a broken appliance or piping job is still under warranty, you reach out to the appropriate contractor or business for a replacement. However, if your product breaks outside of its warranty, you may be able to rely on your homeowner’s insurance to provide you with the funds for a replacement. Not only that, but most homeowner’s insurance coverage will help you attend to any internal damage caused by your leak.

What Leaks Aren’t Covered By Your Home Insurance?

You may have noticed that most of the leaks in the previous section were internal leaks. Homeowner’s insurance will vary, based on the provider you’re working with, but it’s easier for a claim regarding internal leaks to be accepted than a claim for external leaks.

With that in mind, most providers operating out of Colorado Springs, CO, will reject claims regarding:

  • Environmental leaks – Come the end of winter, Colorado Springs may see significant snowmelt and heavy rain. The hydrostatic pressure that builds up during this time may readily cause your already-stressed basement to crack and leak. Unfortunately, if the snow or rain is to blame for your leak, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damages or repairs.
  • Weather-related leaks – In a similar vein, most providers in Colorado Springs, CO, won’t be able to accept claims that have to do with leaks caused by the local weather.
  • Seepage – Sometimes, though, it’s not the weather or the environment that cause your basement to break open. If your area has gone without rain for a while, the soil around your home may shift, exposing previously safe parts of your foundation to groundwater. If water starts to seep into your basement for no apparent reason, most insurance providers are going to request that you seek out an inspection before filing your claim. If a basement repair contractor identifies your leak as an external leak, your provider may not be able to provide you with the funds you need to cover the necessary repairs.

Determining whether or not your leak qualifies for coverage can be a stressful experience. However, it’s always better to reach out to a local contractor than it is to wait for your leak to disappear. The longer you wait to treat a leak, the more severe it’s going to get.

If you’re trying to save money while dealing with a leak, make your financial situation known to your contractor. Most of the time, the initial inspection your home undergoes will be free, and you can agree to a payment plan that’ll lower your costs over time.

Above all else, don’t lose your basement to a leak. Reach out for expert advice and assistance as soon as you can.