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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage Leaking Plumbing in Big Bear?

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating


If you own a house, you most likely have homeowners insurance too. It can help protect your house, which is probably your biggest investment, from natural disasters and other damages. One of the most common threats homeowners face is water damage. A simple broken pipe can cause irrecoverable damage to your house.

According to a November 2019 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, during the period between years 2014 and 2018, the latest data available, 2.05% of the houses filed water damage and freezing claims, with an average cost of $10,849. The report also states that about one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year.

The question is, does your homeowners insurance cover water damage? If yes, what types of damages can it cover, and can it pay your local Big Bear plumber for repairing those?

Let’s see.

What Water Damage Homeowners Insurance Covers in Big Bear?

Usually, a home insurance policy offers the following two types of coverages:

  • Dwelling Coverage: This will cover the damage to the structure of your house due to water leakage or freezing.
  • Property Coverage: This will cover your personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronics, damaged by a water leak.

“Sudden and accidental” is the term you should remember when you think about the damage covered by your homeowners insurance. In short, your insurance policy will cover damage caused by a sudden plumbing malfunction or broken pipe.

For example, if your washing machine supply hose suddenly breaks down, your insurer may cover the damage. In some cases, where a plumbing leak occurs inside drywall, your insurance policy may cover the water damage claim as soon as the damage becomes evident.

However, you have to inform the insurance company immediately after you have identified the damage. Your insurance adjuster will verify if the damage caused by a slow plumbing leak is fresh or not. If your claim is approved, the insurance company may send an authorized Big Bear plumber to repair the damage.

The claims process and the amount of coverage will vary based on your policy. In most cases, deductibles will also apply along with coverage limits on your claim. Make sure to get a policy that can cover the cost of your potential damage.

What Water Damage Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover in Big Bear?

Your homeowners insurance policy will not cover a few types of water damages caused by leaking plumbing or any other issues. If the water damage is caused by negligence or the lack of maintenance, your insurance policy will not cover it. A few common examples include not turning up the heat during winter, not repairing a leaky kitchen faucet, or ignoring a plumbing joint leak coming from inside drywall.

Most home insurance policies will also not cover water damage due to natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and heavy rains. You may need to take out a separate flood insurance policy to cover such damages.

Your policy is also less likely to cover mold damage. However, in some cases, if the damage is caused by plumbing leaks covered under your policy and if you file the claim in the stipulated time-frame, you may be reimbursed for the damage.

Most policies will also not cover water damage caused by backed-up sewage systems or drains. Water damage due to leaks from swimming pools or any other structural parts of the house, including seepages in the foundation, are also not covered by most policies. If you see any such damages, you will need to call a Big Bear plumber on your own.

Understanding the Scope of Homeowners Insurance for Water Damage

Water Damage Coverage Details

It’s vital to grasp the nuances of water damage coverage provided by your homeowners insurance in Big Bear. While most policies cover “sudden and accidental” damage, understanding what this encompasses is essential for homeowners. For example, water damage from a burst pipe is typically covered, but what happens when damage is due to a slow leak that has been neglected?

To ensure clarity, here are some typical situations covered under most policies:

  • Overflow and Discharge: Damage from a washing machine overflow or a dishwasher leaking suddenly.
  • Storm-related Water Damage: Although not all natural water-related damages are covered (like flooding), damage due to rain entering through a hole caused by a tree fall might be covered.
  • Accidental Overflow: Water damage from a sink left running that overflows is usually covered.

Exclusions You Need to Know About

Understanding what your policy does not cover is just as important as understanding what it covers. Common exclusions include:

  • Ground Seepage: Water that seeps into a home from the ground is typically not covered.
  • Poor Maintenance: Damage resulting from unresolved maintenance issues, like a known leaky faucet, is generally not covered.
  • Flood Damage: Standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage. This type of coverage must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer.

Add-on Coverage for Enhanced Protection

Consider additional endorsements that could save you thousands in the long run:

  • Water Backup Coverage: This can be added to cover sewer or drain backup, which is not covered under standard policies.
  • Enhanced Dwelling Protection: Increases coverage limits for the building structure, useful if standard limits are too low to cover a major water damage incident.

Proactive Steps to Protect Your Home

Regular Maintenance Checks

Routine maintenance is your first defense against water damage. Here are some key tasks:

  • Inspect Appliance Hoses and Pipes: Regularly check hoses to appliances like your washing machine and dishwasher. Replace any that show signs of wear or leakage.
  • Look for Hidden Leaks: Check under sinks and behind toilets for any signs of slow leaks.
  • Inspect Roofs and Gutters: Ensure your roof is intact and gutters are clear to prevent water from infiltrating during a storm.

Smart Home Technology

Incorporate smart home technology to catch leaks before they escalate:

  • Leak Detection Systems: Install systems that monitor home water usage and detect unusual flows that could indicate a leak.
  • Automatic Shutoff Valves: Consider installing an automatic shutoff system that stops water flow if a leak is detected, minimizing potential damage.

Making a Claim: Steps for a Smooth Process

Document Everything

From the moment you notice water damage, document every detail:

  • Take Photos and Videos: This provides undeniable proof of the extent of damage and helps in detailing lost items.
  • Keep Records of Communications: Save all emails and notes from conversations with your insurance company.

Choosing the Right Repair Service

Selecting a reputable repair service is crucial:

  • Licensed Professionals: Always choose licensed professionals for repairs. This ensures that work is up to code and often required by insurance policies.
  • Warranties and Guarantees: Opt for services that offer warranties on their work, providing additional protection and peace of mind.

Prevention Is the Best Policy

Plumbing leaks, especially in the hard-to-detect areas, can cause serious damage to the structure and integrity of your house. You will also need to spend a considerable amount of money as such repairs are often costly. That’s why preventing plumbing leaks is the best way to mitigate these problems.

Make sure to regularly inspect hoses and water connections for various appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and refrigerators for leaks. Check pipe joints and connections periodically as well.

Drain the water heater at least twice a year to clear mineral buildup inside the pipes. If you see any damage, even a minor one, call a Big Bear plumber or repair it yourself immediately.

During the winter, make sure to keep the heat up, and insulate the pipes to avoid freezing and thawing damage, especially in colder areas. You should also replace damaged pipe insulation immediately. Also, make sure to talk to your insurance agent before buying a homeowners policy to understand what it does and doesn’t cover.


As you may already know, water damage can prove extremely detrimental to the structure of your house. Make sure to keep checking for potential plumbing leaks before they turn into a disaster. You can also ask a trusted Big Bear plumber to inspect your plumbing periodically. Hopefully, this post will help you buy a suitable homeowners insurance policy and prevent you from spending excessively on plumbing repairs.

Call the Best Big Bear Plumbers Now!

Bear Valley Plumbing & Heating is one of the best plumbing service providers that can also help make repairs covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Our experienced plumbers will provide you with the best possible without breaking the bank. Call us today on (909) 584-4376 or contact us online to schedule an appointment or talk to our experts about your problem.

If you are looking for a Big Bear plumbing, heating & air conditioning contractor, please call (909) 584-4376 or complete our online request form.