A broken water main can cause enormous problems for homes. Some broken water mains can cause underground flooding especially if it is not repaired immediately. Unfortunately, because water mains are located in a community-owned area, your homeowners insurance provider may deny any responsibility for it.
What is a Water Main?
For those who are living in a densely populated area, your water supply will most likely come from a municipal source. It is delivered to you via a “water main” which are pipes that are embedded underground around your neighborhood. The water is then delivered to your homes through a series of spurs and pipelines.
At each property, the line that delivers the water from the “water main” is installed with a meter. This meter is typically the termination point between your home’s water line and the water main.
There are events, however, that breaks in the water main can also cause damage to your home. For example, a break in the main line that caused flooding into your property. Unfortunately, because this is a problem with the water main and not within your property, your insurance policy may deny your claim.
In this case, if you are certain that the damage is caused by a water main, contact your local town or municipality immediately. Inform them about the damages in your home and give them repair estimate costs. In some cases, proving this may take a long time you may need to show evidence that the damage is caused by incoming water from the water main malfunctioning, having defective equipment or contractor’s negligence.
Covered Vs. Uncovered Damage
Standard home insurance will only provide you with specific water damage related problems. Typically, these issues are related to bad weather or to any pipes after the meter leading to your home and within your home. For example, you accidentally hit the pipes within your property while digging around your garden and it causes damage to your home, your insurance will cover for this damage.
Another common scenario is leaking pipes due to sudden events, any damage that it may cause to your home will be covered by your insurance policy. In most cases, water damage will only be covered if the event is sudden or accidental.
To improve the protection of your property against water damage, it is best that you secure your home with flood insurance. Many homeowners, especially those that are not located in low-lying areas will take their chances and not get flood protection. Unfortunately, this may not be a good move especially if faced with uncertainties such as a water main break.
It is also crucial that you become familiar with how the water works in your home. Typically, water main issues are easy to spot such as your neighborhood losing water for a time. In this case, make sure to check your surrounding area. Look for wet surfaces, sagging spots around your foundation bulges on your walls and immediately report any to the municipality. Responding to the damage as soon as possible will save you the trouble of having to file for claims.