Does homeowners insurance cover water main break?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, there are approximately 240,000 water main breaks every year in the United States.
Many of the water mains in older neighborhoods were installed more than 50 years ago and some were more than a century ago. Materials used in the construction of these aging water mains are likely near the end of their effective life, making them highly susceptible to leaks and breaks.
Is a broken water main covered by traditional homeowners insurance?
When it comes to water-related damages in your home, the cause of the damages is essential in determining insurance coverage.
In the case of a water main break, because the source of the water originates from local municipal water supply system on public land, the cause of damage is considered external to homeowners property and therefore excluded in the standard homeowners insurance policy.
What does homeowners insurance cover when it comes to water damage?
For water that originated from within your dwelling, such as pipe bursts in the kitchen or water heater rupture, most standard homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for these sudden and accidental events.
For water that originated from sewer line or as a result of sump pump failures, there is also the optional water backup coverage. With this optional coverage, if the sewer line backs up and causes sudden water discharge inside your home, your coverage will take care of the damage as well as restoration and additional living expenses relating to the claim.
Is there any insurance option to cover a water main break?
Yes, in the scenario where water damage originated from external sources to homeowners' properties such as:
- Water main break
- Neighbor's above-ground swimming pool
You may be covered by flood insurance.
According to the official National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website: "Flood insurance covers losses directly caused by flooding. In simple terms, a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties."
Flood insurance is a government backed insurance and is offered by NFIP under the Federal Emergency Management Agency, most commonly known as FEMA.
If you live in an older neighborhood that may have an aging water main, it may be a good idea to consider adding flood insurance to your homeowners insurance policy.
Learn more about flood insurance.