Even though all water damage may look the same, insurance companies look at it differently. From a coverage perspective, such damage is either gradual or sudden.
Homeowners insurance covers sudden damage. For example, damage caused when a pipe under the sink bursts, damaging the hardwood flooring or damage resulting from rain when a tree branch fell and made a hole in the roof.
However, there’s one exception to sudden water damage coverage and that’s flooding caused by storms, hurricanes, melting snow, poor drainage, and ice dams which requires a separate policy. Coverage is available even when you live outside of a designated flood zone. Many of the losses caused by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area occurred in low risk flood zones.
Gradual water damage, however, may be a different story. A slow water leak under the sink may go undetected for a long time so that it’s determined to be gradual, and, therefore, not covered. It could be the same with a leaking washing machine water supply hose. When it’s finally discovered, there is damage to the floor and a wall.
If you have questions about “sudden” and “gradual’ water damage, please contact us at 617.698.7850 or by email.