Understanding what your homeowners insurance policy does and doesn’t cover can seem complicated, especially when evaluating what kinds of damage to the home fit an insurance company’s definition of “structural” damage.
If you have a cracked bathtub you’re hoping you can make an insurance claim to repair it, unfortunately, this will most likely have to be an out-of-pocket expense. Knowing you have an expensive repair to pay and that your insurance won’t cover it can be stressful, so it’s important to understand what home insurance covers and what financial protection your policy provides.
What Kinds Of Damage Does Home Insurance Cover?
As a general rule of thumb, standard home insurance policies will provide financial protection in cases of “sudden and internal” damage.
If you examine that phrase to determine what kinds of coverage home insurance is meant to offer, it can be easier to understand why your cracked bathtub unlikely won’t be covered, as well as figure out which claims you should or shouldn’t make in the future.
What Does Your Insurer Consider “Sudden”?
In order for damage to be considered sudden, it has to be the result of a “covered peril” on your policy, such as theft, vandalism, fire, windstorms, etc. Also, it can’t be the result of damage that has built up over time or is the result of your negligence.
For example, while damage to your belongings in your home as the result of a windstorm would likely be covered in most cases, your claim could be denied or approved for less reimbursement than you expected if wind-storm protections like hurricane shutter failed because of wear and tear over time or because you never installed them at all.
In the case of your cracked bathtub, its maintenance is considered your financial responsibility, and your insurer will not reimburse you or cover the repair or replacement of a crack that resulted from years of use.
What Does Your Insurer Consider “Internal”?
While you might look at a bathtub and consider it part of your house because you easily can’t pick it up and walk away, it’s doubtful that your insurer does.
The elements of your home that are considered “internal” are things like:
- Structural components (support beams, staircases, etc.)
Of course, for all of these elements, the damage cannot be from normal wear and tear and must be the result of a “sudden” peril that is listed as covered on the policy. Either way, your cracked bathtub misses the mark to qualify under damage that your policy will cover.
What Will Your Insurance Cover If Your Bathtub Cracks?
While your cracked bathtub itself won’t be covered, that doesn’t mean your home insurance policy can’t be of any use to you in this situation.
If the cracked bathtub results in water damage and the original cause of the crack wasn’t an excluded peril listed on your policy (such as an earthquake), any water damage to the rest of your home that results is likely to be covered.
However, if you don’t take care to repair the crack in your bathtub adequately, keep in mind that that could spell future issues filing a claim for water damage later down the line. If an adjuster determines that you didn’t properly address the original problem and your cracked bathtub causes water damage again, your insurance company may deny any future claims with the same cause.
Make sure to stay up-to-date on what your policy covers so that you know if your policy is an exception to the rule. In the event that you need to make a claim on covered water damage, contact your insurer as soon as possible so that your claim can be assessed in a timely manner and won’t risk being rejected by your insurance company.