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Are Basement Leaks Covered by Home Insurance?

When you find a leak in your basement or foundation, you want to know that you’re protected. Will your provider cover the necessary repairs?

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If you’re looking to protect your home from damage, you’ve likely spent a lot of time thinking about your homeowner’s insurance. While every plan is different, you’ll ideally want to invest in coverage that keeps you safe not only from your everyday problems but also from the problems that creep up when you least expect them. 

Basement leaks and flooding, for example, are difficult to get a handle on, especially if you don’t know what kind of signs around your home might give this damage away. Luckily, there are times when your homeowner’s insurance will help you recover from the damage leaks can do to your home. Unfortunately, you won’t always be able to rely on this coverage to bring your home back into a state of happy repair. 

leaking wall

Breaking Down Basement Leaks 

Your basement can start to leak for a myriad of reasons, including an unstable foundation, poor grading, leaking pipes, and clogged drains. More often than not, though, hydrostatic pressure plays a role in the slow development of leaks throughout your basement. 

Hydrostatic pressure builds up outside of your home when it rains or as water pools around your perimeter. This water can force the materials making up your basement to change temperature size on a molecular level. Those materials can eventually crack due to the stress that hydrostatic pressure exerts against them. In turn, more moisture can make its way into your basement, exacerbating the problems you’re already contending with. 

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Protect You from Basement Leaks? 

If you find yourself dealing with leaks throughout your basement, you’ll want to do what you can to see that damage repaired in a timely manner. While you can work with area contractors to estimate just how much repairs may cost, you may still want to file an insurance claim to see if you can’t balance out the expense. 

While each homeowner’s insurance plan is going to differ, there are some claims that most providers will always honor. These often include leaks caused by: 

  • Faulty water heaters 
  • Broken or burst pipes 
  • Piping problems 
  • Large appliance malfunctions 

That said, your insurance provider may not offer to help you right off the bat. If you can trace your leak to an appliance within your home, your provider will place the initial responsibility for your leak on the manufacturer. So long as the appliance in question is under warranty, the manufacturer will have to pay for both a replacement and any repairs your home may need. 

Providers will take responsibility for these kinds of leaks only if the warranty you had has expired and it can be proven that the appliance in question was the sole cause of leaks throughout your basement. Not only, then, will your provider be able to accept your claim, but they can also either replace the damaged appliance for you or provide you with the means to do so yourself. 

When Won’t Your Insurance Provider Cover a Basement Leak? 

There are some cases in which an insurance provider will see fit to deny your claim for coverage after basement flooding or leakage. These leaks are often caused by problems outside of your home and can include: 

  • Environmental leaks – Hydrostatic pressure, as mentioned, can build up outside of your home more easily if you live in a marshy or otherwise damp area. If you forgo waterproofing measures that might otherwise keep unwanted water out of your home, you may find yourself dealing with what is known as an environmental leak. If an insurance provider traces the leak in question back to the ecosystem in which you live, they’ll be less likely to provide you with the funds you may need to restore your property. 
  • Leaks caused by the weather – In a similar vein, insurance providers are reluctant to approve claims citing rain as the primary cause of a basement leak or flood. 
  • Basement seepage – Seepage and leaks have similar effects on the structural integrity of your home. However, providers are more likely to cover leaks caused by an internal appliance than they are to consider the damage seepage can do to your property. Most contractors and insurance providers classify seepage as the creep of water into your home long after it’s rained or flooded in your area. Providers specifically may work to outline the soil conditions around your home that led to this kind of damage, allowing them to pin the cause of your leak on external forces instead of on any failures they may otherwise have to compensate for. 

Repair Basement Leaks with Help from Local Contractors 

Are you contending with basement leaks, flooding, and other kinds of damage? Don’t try to take on repairs alone. Instead, reach out to the professionals at AFS serving Huntsville, AL. Together with these pros, you can assess the damage in your home and repair it quickly and efficiently. If you want to get ahead of water damage, you can even invest in basement waterproofing measures. Reach out today for a free quote on the services you need to keep your home watertight.

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