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Frequently Asked Insurance Questions

Your questions answered

Water Damage

Most policies make a distinction between water damage and flood damage. Your standard homeowner policy will cover water damage caused by problems such as burst pipes and backed-up plumbing. It most likely won’t cover flood damage caused by problems such as rising waters or oversaturated soil.

For example, if your basement floods as a result of a plumbing problem, then the provider should cover all related costs. On the other hand, if your basement floods because a river near your home overflowed its banks, then you won’t be covered unless you’ve taken out a specific flood insurance policy.

COVERED NOT COVERED
  • Roof and window damage
  • Backed-up plumbing or burst pipes
  • Basement floods caused by burst pipes
  • Rainwater seeping in through soil
  • Basement floods from overflowing lakes
  • Mudslides

Fire Damage

Fire damage is almost always covered by a standard homeowner policy. The cause of the fire usually does not matter, unless it was intentionally set by the homeowner. Your provider will pay for all the fire-related damages, including cleanup of smoke damage and water damage.

In addition to paying for the structural cleaning after the fire, your insurance company will also pay for related costs such as water extraction, contents restoration, and reconstruction. They should also pay if you are forced to move out of your home for a while due to the damage.

Storm Damage

Standard policies will cover damages caused by winds and tornados. They will also cover some kinds of rain and snow damage. If your roof or window was damaged and snow or rain entered through the opening, they should pay for the costs of cleanup.

When it comes to rain damage, the rules that apply to water damage still apply. If the rain causes a lake to overflow, then you won’t be covered. Similarly, if the soil around your house becomes oversaturated and water starts entering your home, then you’ll have to cover the costs yourself.

COVERED NOT COVERED
  • Snow and ice
  • Rain, wind and tornados
  • Floods
  • Mudslides

Mold

The costs of mold remediation will be covered if the damage was caused by a “named peril” specifically listed in your policy. The remediation costs will not be covered if the cause of the damage is excluded from your policy.

If a pipe in your home bursts and the water damage eventually leads to mold growth, then you should be covered because most policies include pipe bursts as a covered problem. On the other hand, standard policies do not cover mold growth caused by negligence or flooding.

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