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Does Flood Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?

September 23, 2020

Flood insurance is designed to cover most water damage to your home or personal belongings, so many homeowners think that this insurance will cover damage when your pipes burst. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily true.

A flood insurance policy is designed to cover damage caused by natural flooding. Different areas of the U.S. are at varying risks for floods. In some states, flood insurance may even be required in high-risk areas. But this means that unnatural flooding—such as burst pipes—are not covered.

Exceptions to the Rule

Of course, like with most insurance policies, there are exceptions to what flood insurance does and doesn’t cover. If your pipes burst because of a flood, the damage may be covered. You will need to be able to prove that the accident was directly caused by a natural flood, however.

There are also other instances where a flood insurance policy may not provide compensation.

Negligence is frequently excluded from causes that lead to damage to your home or belongings. For example, say a flood sweeps in and fills your basement with standing water. Once that is cleaned up, mold begins to grow. You either don’t notice it or wait to treat it when you have the money. The mold grows and eats away at the integrity of your walls.

In this case, there is a chance that your flood insurance policy will not pay for the damages. If damage to your home can be avoided (such as treating mold as soon as it arises instead of waiting for it to cause damage), a claim will most likely be denied. However, if a flood causes standing water and there is no way for you to return to the home due to the flooding disaster, most damages (including mold) may be covered.

What Covers Burst Pipes?

Although flood insurance won’t cover most sewer or pipe-related issues, this doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of luck. Many home insurance policies offer additional coverage, called water backup coverage. This insurance provides compensation for damages caused by issues with your water backup or sump pump from unexpected bursts and other issues. Negligence is still not covered under this insurance.

Be sure to ask your insurance agent about what is covered under your policy. Not having the right coverage for a disaster can mean losing a lot of money to repair or rebuild.