Rain Water Damage: Is It Covered By Insurance?
When severe storms or heavy rains cause flooding, storm damage, or water damage in Hunterdon County NJ, figuring out what's covered can be confusing. Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from rain? Unfortunately, the answer isn't as straightforward as most New Jersey homeowners would like.
Rain Water Damage Insurance Coverage
Luckily, there are times when your insurance covers water damage from rain. However, your coverage will depend on just how the rain entered your home and caused damage.
When Is Rain Damage Covered?
Rainwater damage is covered by insurance only when caused by a 'covered peril'. A covered peril refers to damages that your insurance company agrees to pay for, and is usually outlined in your policy documents.
Covered perils are damages that are sudden and accidental, meaning that there wasn't anything that you could've reasonably done to prevent the damage from occurring.
Examples of covered perils include:
- Tree falls on your home
- Tree branches damage your roof
- Hail damage
- Ice dam damages
- Wind damage
- Excessive snow weight
- Lightning damage
- Impact damage
So, there are times where rain damage is covered by homeowner's insurance. If a tree branch pierces your roof and allows rain water into your home, this would be covered. This is the same if hail damages your roof to the point that it allows rain water to leak in to your home.
When Isn't Water Damage From Rain Covered?
Water damage caused by rain will not be covered by your homeowners insurance when the damages could've been easily avoided or were caused by regular wear and tear. Additionally, standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding caused by heavy rains or storm surges.
Examples of non-covered rainwater damage include:
- Rain leaking through windows or doors due to poor maintenance
- Flooded basement due to heavy rains
- Flooding caused by raising water levels of lakes or rivers
- Rain that enters a corroded area of your home
- Rain damage that happens slowly over time, such as an ongoing roof leak
- Rain damage caused by mistake, like leaving a window open
While these examples are not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, some damages may be covered if you purchase a separate flood insurance policy through the national flood insurance program. This additional coverage will pay for the damages from flooding, which standard policies do not.
If your basement is susceptible to flooding during heavy rains and has a sump pump, additional sump pump coverage can also help in having water damage from heavy rain covered. This will cover you if your sump pump is too overwhelmed to pump out all the water or breaks when you need it.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From Rain? Yes and No
When you file an insurance claim to repair water damage from rain storms, coverage can be up in the air. However, if you can show that the damages were sudden, unforeseen, and weren't caused by your own lack of maintenance, you'll many times be covered. That is, unless the rain damage is caused by flooding. Then you'll need an additional flood insurance policy separate from your standard homeowners insurance.
Dealing With Flooding or Rain Water Damage in New Jersey?
When you’re dealing with flooding or rain water damage in Hunterdon County, NJ - SERVPRO of Greater Hunterdon County is Here to Help 24/7, 365 days a year.
Our team immediately responds to your call to begin rain water damage restoration services in NJ and prevent further damage or mold growth in your home.