Roberts Insurance Group Blog
Georgia homeowners are always asking, "am I covered for water damage"? In light of a huge influx of water damage claims over the past few weeks stemming from the severe winter weather in Texas and other states, we thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and clear this up for Georgia homeowners.
The answer: sometimes.
Of course with insurance, it can never be too easy or cut and dry. There are some cases where water damage is never covered. There are some cases where water damage is almost always covered. And then there are some cases where it will depend on the circumstances and the policy contract language. Let's look at each of these scenarios:
When is water damage NEVER covered on a Georgia homeowners policy?
Water damage will never be covered if the water is coming from the ground. If it is coming from the ground, it is considered flood water and would only be covered by a flood policy. In some states, some specialty carriers have added an endorsement for this but, as of now, there's not a Georgia home insurance policy that will cover flood damage or damage from ground water.
Even if you're not in a flood plain, your home can still get damage from ground water. How you might ask? Over the years, we've seen several claims that were subsequently denied due to the damage coming from ground water.
In a few instances, rain water was being redirected by down spouts to run up against the side of the home and foundation. Over time, this will allow water to seep through and begin causing damage to the interior of your home.
In other instances, cracks in the basement foundation of homes has caused water to be able to seep through.
This is one of the reasons you may want to consider getting a flood insurance policy to help protect your home in Georgia.
When is water damage ALMOST always covered?
If an outside force causes sudden and accidental damage to your home to allow rain water to leak through or if the sudden and accidental damage results in a broken pipe. Unless you have a poorly written home insurance policy with specific exclusions, damage like this will almost always be covered by your Georgia home insurance policy.
Another instance where water damage is almost always covered is when there is an accident. For example, you're filling up the bathtub, you run downstairs to get something while the water is running. You get distracted and next thing you know there's water coming through the ceiling. Unintentional accidents like this are almost always going to be a covered loss.
When is water damage sometimes covered?
Water damage has potential to be covered by a Georgia homeowners policy when the loss is due to freezing and unfreezing (weather). Most Georgia home policies state that this is covered as long as the insured has made an effort to maintain heat inside the home. If you go out of town and turn the heat off in the dead of winter, this might not be covered. But generally speaking, as long as you keep the heat on, this should be a covered loss.
Another situation that has potential for coverage is when there is a small leak that goes unnoticed. This will boil down to the policy language and the company you have your home insurance with. Some companies specifically exclude this type of leak. Others will cover this as long as the damage is addressed as soon as it is noticed. It is very important for you to read your policy, however boring it may be, to see if this is something that would be covered on your Georgia home insurance policy.
The Roberts Insurance Group is a Georgia Insurance Broker specializing in commercial and personal insurance for our clients throughout the state of Georgia. We help our clients lower their cost of insurance with our superior claim and risk management expertise and our extensive carrier access. We are in the business of building relationships with our clients to help them grow and succeed. Contact us today to see what we can do for your family or business.