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Does renters insurance cover water damage?
As a new renter, I’m curious about what all is covered under my insurance. Sometimes I worry about my plumbing system and the possibility of pipes breaking and causing leaks or even flooding.
I don’t want to get stuck paying for the broken pipes and any resulting water damage at the same time. Is water damage covered under standard homeowners insurance policies?
The answer is that it depends. Renters insurance covers named perils. Named perils are the threats or disasters that are listed in your policy.
Policies are specific when it comes to water damage, because certain types of water damage are covered and others aren't. The primary types of water damage that are covered by your policy include water that leaks from:
- Systems, like radiators and air conditioners
If your washing machine breaks down and causes water damage to your personal property, you're covered. You're also covered if the washing machine leaks and causes damage to a neighboring unit under your liability coverage.
On the flip side, flooding from external water sources (due to rainfall, etc.) is not covered. You need a separate flood policy to be protected when that happens. To discuss the distinctions in greater detail, talk to your independent insurance agent.
What kind of water damage is covered?
As I touched on above, renters insurance policies generally cover water damage caused by plumbing leaks or some sort of system or appliance failure. The general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that you're covered if the water damage is internal.
Remember, renters insurance only covers your personal property or potential liabilities. This means if the water damage is also to the unit (flooring, walls, etc.), your landlord is responsible for that loss.
Talk to your independent insurance agent to discuss what kind of water damage is covered in greater detail.
What kind of water damage isn't covered?
Flooding is excluded from your renters insurance policy. This means that if any of your personal property is damaged in a flood caused by water external to your home, you will have to pay out of pocket to replace it.
You can always purchase a separate flood insurance policy. You can discuss the pros and cons of a flood insurance policy with your independent insurance agent.
Is it possible to purchase insurance for flood damage?
As I mentioned above, you can always purchase flood insurance. The price of the policy will differ depending on various factors, such as where you live and the potential risk of flooding.
People who purchase flood insurance tend to be those in high-risk areas, but others purchase it, too. If you aren't sure whether you should, your independent insurance agent can help.