Leaky pipe? Busted washing machine hose? Hot water heater blow out? You are covered for the damage caused by all of the water on your brand new hard wood floors, right? Well.....maybe.....
Water losses and claims from water damage are skyrocketing in Florida. As such, insurers are placing more restrictive guidelines in their underwriting manuals and policies to combat this current problem. Like it or not, this is where we are and all we can do now is understand it and plan for it. A couple of things that insurers are doing that you need to be aware of:
1.) Water Damage Exclusions: Some insurers will flat out exclude all coverage for any water damage claims based on the age of your home OR even the location of where you live. These carriers may then offer you a "limited water damage" buy back of $10,000 in coverage.
2.) Constant / Repeated leakage or Seepage: Many insurers now place a 14 day limit on when you need to identify and report your water damage for coverage to exist.
3.) Vacant / Unoccupied Home: Many insurers will now exclude water damage coverage if your home is vacant or unoccupied for 30 days or more and a loss occurs.
So, what should you do?
There are a few things that I recommend to my clients when it comes to water losses:
1.) Annual Plumbing Inspection: Many plumbing companies have packages available to come into your home and conduct a whole house inspection. They will inspect all water sources, drains, hoses, and also re-caulk all sinks, tubs and showers. This is similar to another blog I wrote recommending an annual roof inspection.
2.) Know your policy! Understand the limitations of your policy as it relates to water damage.
3.) Home Watch: When you are not at home for an extended period of time, hire a professional home watch company to monitor your home and report back to you any potential issues.
4.) Leak Detection Technology: Look into leak detection technology that can automatically shut off the water to your home in the event of a leak.
Now more than ever, we all need to become more vigilant in properly maintaining our homes to ensure we have the coverage we need when we need it.
Call an agent at Galt Insurance Group today to discuss and review your policy.