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Is Your Water Heater Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

As a homeowner you know that at any moment something could go wrong. Your electricity could short circuit, your pipes could burst, your water heater could fail. The fear of something going haywire is a part of owning a home. But what happens when that water heater does inevitably fail? Are you covered?

Most insurance policies will cover damages to the home itself. In this instance, any repairs needed for the home or furnishings within that may have been hurt in the event of a water heater leak should be covered.

The real issue you may be facing financially is covering repairs for the water heater itself. It all depends on your policy as some homeowners insurance policies will cover the plumbing bill. Others may not. To know your situation best, check your policy and see if you’re covered.

Damage To Your Home

As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to know your insurance policy as each one varies. Most home insurance plans will cover the cost to repair any damages caused by your water heater to your home.

If the issue was accidental and unexpected then you will likely be covered by your insurance. But if the water heater failed due to wear and tear from old age then you will be responsible to cover repairs as this is considered maintenance which falls under the homeowner’s responsibilities.

In the case that your water heater fails and causes damage to your home, you should be covered for any losses occurring during the cleanup process. This includes water removal, cleanup of debris, replacement of any structural components compromised, and any damaged furnishings. Be sure to file a preliminary claim before you hire a cleanup specialist. Failing to do so could cost you your chances of a successful claim.

Water Heater Repair

The cost of replacing your water heater after it failed will probably need to be covered by you. Some insurance policies may cover this, but most homeowners insurance policies will not pay to repair or replace your water heater.

When searching for a cleanup specialist or plumber to handle the water heater itself, try to find the best price. You might find yourself rushing to hire the first cleanup specialist you come across as the water damage is a pressing emergency but try to relax and take your time searching through quotes as the price for the cleanup may be covered by you.

It might also be tempting to stop the flow of water or to start repairs yourself, but it’s recommended that you hold off so that the plumber can see the full extent of the damages. This may come in handy for filing a claim as well so you aren’t faulted for any accidental damages you may cause during the cleanup process.

Act Now – Not Later

Most water heaters come with a warranty that lasts anywhere from 3-6 and sometimes 10 years. If your water heater is under warranty and fails, you may be covered for costs to replace the heater. Whether you have a tankless water heater or the unit with the tank, if you’re coming to the end of your warranty, then it may be smart to check the status of the water heater. See if it’s still in good shape. Better to search for a replacement now while you have the time rather than searching once it’s already failed.

The most important thing is to know your own policy. Seeing if you are covered for damages caused by a broken water heater can prepare you now for when it does fail. Some homeowners insurance policies might not cover damages caused by your water heater and you may find yourself paying for both your home and the water heater replacement.

Check your water heater warranty to keep up to date on how much longer it’s covered to be repaired or replaced. If you’re coming to the end of your warranty, check the status of your water heater. Again, it’s better to know now before it’s an emergency.

Finally, as with most insurance claims, your deductible will come into play with repair costs. If the cost to repair is less than your deductible, then the insurance company will not cover any repairs. This means that if your deductible is $1,000 and repairs are $800, you will have to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket.

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