What Restoration Work is Covered By Your Homeowner's Insurance:
What to Look Out For and Where to Find It
Because policies vary, there is no guarantee that yours will have the same coverage as others.
That being said, many homeowners want to have a good idea of what to expect from their insurance company when filing a claim for disaster restoration. Below is a general explanation of what we have seen be covered by our clients’ homeowner’s insurance policies.
Water damage may not be covered depending on the source.
We have seen customers' claims be denied for flood damage caused by outside water sources. This means that water damage from leaking window wells, cracks in the foundation, or from sump pumps is not always going to be paid for by the insurance company.
Old water damage or water damage from long term water sources is typically considered negligence and it also may not be covered.
However, sudden and accidental water or fire damage is usually covered.
Types of Water Damage Often Covered by Insurance Policies:
- Burst pipes
- Leaking plumbing
- Malfunctioning appliances (Washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators)
- Overflowing toilet, sink, or bathtub
- Water damage caused by children
Types of Fire Damage Often Covered by Insurance Policies:
- Malfunctioning Appliances (Toasters, clothes dryers, microwave ovens)
Types of Biohazard Damage Often Covered by Insurance Policies:
- Crime Scene
- Unattended death
- Medical emergency
- Infectious disease
Mold damage may be covered for up to a limit. $5,000 is a common example.
Mitigation, Clean up, Repairs, and Rebuilds: What is covered?
There are many parts to restoration work. Mitigating the damage requires different steps and professionals compared to rebuilding after the mitigation work has been completed.
What is Typically Covered by Insurance Policies?
- PPE (protective equipment)
- Protective supplies
- Tape, floor covering, plastic sheeting
- Materials that existed at the time of the damage and could not be salvaged.
- Insulation, drywall, trim, paint, paneling, etc.
- Appliances that existed at the time of the damage and could not be salvaged.
- The storage and care of belongings that were affected.
- Cleaning of affected belongings
- Disassembling (or detachment) and reassembling (or reattachment) of appliances, countertops, cabinets, etc.
Note that insurance companies work in terms of ACV or RCV.
ACV is the actual cash value of the item needing replacement. This means that the insurance company will pay for the item or material up to the amount of value it is determined to still have. That is the original value with use and depreciation subtracted from it.
RCV is the replacement cost value of the item. This means that the replacement value is unaffected by depreciation or use, so the insurance will pay for the full cost of the item.
If your policy mentions ACV but not RCV, it is likely that the value of all of your belongings will be covered as far as their actual cash value.
Check Your Policy
While rare, it is possible that an insurance company will not cover all of the costs and situations that are typically covered for our customers. Occasionally, insurance companies may cover more than what has been mentioned. The only way to know for sure is to check your insurance policy.
If you do not know how to check your policy, contact your insurance provider. You may be able to review your insurance policy online by logging into your insurance account. Many accounts give you access to a digital copy of your policy, but others have an option to request a physical copy.
If you have a question about what is covered, we advise that you first review your policy’s exclusion list because it is shorter and easier to identify what is not covered.
In any case, Flood and Fire Solutions has been working with insurance companies for years. We can help you with this process if you have questions.