Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage: When Added Protection Matters

Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage

You probably didn’t think you’d be grabbing for the phone so quickly just to call your insurance agent, asking how to add a Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage to your homeowner’s insurance policy. 

But, then again, you probably didn’t expect to hear about someone in the local community coming home to a downright (and literal) toxic discovery.

Upon returning home from a vacation in late October of 2022, an Ashland resident walked through her front door and right into an unimaginable headache- a blocked sewer line found in the street in front of her house had back-flowed sewage directly into her home. 

What added to the emotional toll, though, was a big question: Who pays for the estimated $250,000 worth of damage? 

Due to a state law limiting the amount allowed in damage reimbursement like this, the city has currently only been able to offer a $120,000 payout- less than half of the estimated damage. This has also come after a similar sewage incident in 2015, resulting in a $341,000 payout at that time. 

According to this resident, “It is terrifying that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t pay for this.” 

But then again, homeowner’s insurance can pay for this form of damage if the specific coverage is added to the overall policy. As with most all line items included in your policy, it’s worth becoming familiar with each before it’s too late- and knowing when more protection is needed and available. 

What is Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage? 

It is often assumed water damage discovered in the home would be covered in a homeowner’s insurance policy. The unfortunate reality is that there are many more details adding to the distinction of what may possibly be covered and what would need additional protection. 

Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage focuses specifically on the detrimental damage occurring behind and beyond the walls of your home. These are those leaks that can be small, but tend to go unnoticed, sitting just out of sight, and are only discovered once the damage has become so severe it makes itself known.  

When Do You Need Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage? 

With water damage reporting responsibility for nearly 20% of all property loss insurance claims, and costing the insurance industry $2.5 billion dollars each year, it’s good to know what is covered and under what policy. 

There are some versions of water damage covered in homeowner’s insurance policies- but, as always, every provider and every policy is unique. Ensure you receive clear, written communication of what is (and isn’t) covered in your personal homeowner’s insurance policy. 

Some of those more common grounds causing water damage that might be covered include:

  • – Rain or snow storm
  • – Water damage from extinguishing a fire 
  • – Vandalism 
  • – Plumbing: frozen, faulty, bursting, etc. 
  • – Leaking roof 

But, just like so many aspects that come with coverage, there are a few different defining elements. For example, how sudden was the event that resulted in damage? Is the damage internal? Has the water itself ever touched the ground outside? Does the damage put one of the three major areas of protection– your home, your belongings, or  your personal liability– in direct danger? 

But what is not covered in some standard homeowner’s insurance policies, and requires added coverage? 

  • – Water damage resulting from a flood (flood insurance is needed, especially in high risk areas)
  • Ground Seepage, or the damage that results from excessive water adjacent to a foundation wall and the added pressure forcing the water to “seep” through the wall
  • – Water or Sewer pipes back flowing into your home

What is Covered in Water Seepage or Leakage Coverage? 

The average age of water- network pipes in the U.S. is 45 years, with some of the traditional cast-iron pipes reaching more than 100 years old. An aging infrastructure carries with it potentially devastating risks. 

With the age and the rate of sewer backup incidents increasing by 3% each year, becoming aware of the growing risk and what can protect you are imperative to navigating to rising risk. 

Water Seepage and Leakage Coverage can help protect you in the situation that there is:

  • – Damage caused by an accidental, continuous seep or leak
  • – Damage resulting from an unknown or hidden issue occurring for 14 days or more 
  • – Damage caused by water or steam with a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning system or from within a household appliance

There is a lot that is held in those walls you call home. Figuring out how to protect it all, considering the risks surrounding you, is more than worth it- it will save some of the heartache and headache when you need call in for that added protection.

With so many details and options, there is a policy that fits you and your home. Give us a call and we can help you find it.

541.482.0831 Ashland

541.857.0679 Medford

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