On average, 10 water damage occurs in houses and apartments every day in the USA. The reasons for this are diverse. In the vast majority of cases, a burst water pipe causes damage to the building. Leaky inlet and outlet pipes on household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and boilers are among the main causes of water entering floors, walls, and ceilings. Compared to the water damage caused by a broken pipe or by moisture penetrating the building fabric from the outside, broken hoses are quite easy to repair yourself. However, if the problem is not recognized for a long time, leaky washing machine lines can also cause lasting damage. The big question is: who will take care of and who will pay for the removal and repair?
What to Do in The Event of Water Damage?
The most important thing is to turn off the water supply as soon as you see the damage. To be on the safe side, the power in the affected room should also be interrupted, or at least electrical devices in the vicinity of the source of damage should be disconnected from the power grid. Then it is important to remove the water.
Depending on the amount, you can do this yourself, or you need support from professionals who, for example, pump out full cellars. Only then should you devote yourself to securing your facility so that it does not suffer (further) damage and then document the damage to furniture, floors, and walls caused by the water – the neighbor should also be considered, whose apartment is or may be below your own borders on your own. At least one should check whether water damage occurs there too. Ideally, the damage report also includes photos so that the insurer can prove if, for example, laminate has swollen.
What Insurance Pays in The Event of Water Damage?
In principle, 3 different insurances can be used to reimburse water damage: liability, building, or household contents insurance. Which of these applies exactly depends on the specific type of damage and the ownership structure – it makes a difference whether you are a tenant or owner, how exactly the water damage to the house came about, and which parts of the building furnishings are affected.
What Damage Does the Building Insurance Cover?
Building insurance takes effect for homeowners when pipes and supply installations have caused water damage to immovable parts of the building (e.g., parquet). That means not only water pipes and pipes but also heating, air conditioning, and sanitary installations, as well as water extinguishing systems.
What Damage Does the Household Insurance Cover?
If tap water damage occurs to the moveable equipment (including loosely laid floor coverings such as laminate and carpeting) and the furniture due to leaks from the washing machine or the dishwasher and sprinkler systems, the home insurance of the building owner is responsible.
What Damage Does the Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance takes over if the water damage affects the neighboring apartments. Also, liability is responsible for tenants if one is complicit in the cause of the water damage and the landlord asserts claims.