Water Damage FAQ
Whether it’s a flood from a nearby river, a burst pipe, a hole in the roof or a leak in your water heater, water damage is insidious. Hardwood floors swell and buckle, wood starts to rot and the pungent smell of growing mold makes us fear that we’ll be trashing all our belongings.
But there are different kinds of water damage, at least in the eyes of insurers, so when you go looking for the most reasonable Illinois homeowners insurance quotes you need to know the difference.
Water damage that comes from internal sources, like a roof leak, pipe break or leaky water heater is almost always covered by homeowners insurance. The key feature is that it is caused by something inside your home. But it’s not always covered so be sure to check your policy careful.
A flood is an entirely different thing. It’s something that comes from an outside source: a river that crests its banks, a creek, a mudslide—in some parts of the country a flood might even be caused by an unusually big rainstorm. It’s not that unusual.
But a standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover flood damage. For that kind of coverage, you need special flood insurance.
If you’ve ever had a leak, you know that mold is not just disgusting, it’s a health issue. There’s been a tremendous amount of publicity about that. And even if it doesn’t smell, it can impact your home’s value.
To keep mold from taking hold, wet areas should be immediately cleaned up. The drip pan to your refrigerator is often forgotten; it should be cleaned regularly.
Some homeowners insurance policies do cover mold, but the distinctions can be fine. The big question is ‘what caused it?” Some policies will not cover mold damage if it was caused by a flood or if you forgot to turn your bath off. That’s considered negligence.
But if you’ve got a broken pipe, your policy may just cover it.
When you buy or renew your homeowners insurance policy you’ll want to check your policy carefully. How does it deal with water damage and mold? Will you need a separate policy? It is always better to be safe than sorry. In fact, it might be a good idea to check your policy right now just to be sure.