Plumbing is an essential part of your home, but one you may have unpleasant experiences with. We all know plumbing to be the water in your home, but it's also your sewerage and potentially your gas. Issues with plumbing may be caused by storms, wear and tear, and other events can be a source of frustration.
When it happens, you may only realise the damage when everything goes awry: plumbing leaks could result in seepage or mould forming on your walls, your toilet could overflow, the shower could stop working, and your washing machine might run into problems, too.
While it's always a good idea to make sure you check the plumbing regularly plumbing problems can crop up. As a homeowner, you will be responsible for regularly inspecting and maintaining the plumbing along with other fixtures in your home.
A homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers plumbing problems such as leaks caused by accidents like pipe bursts or seepage from malfunctioning equipment like air conditioners. For example, if your roof were to leak due to hail damage or a tree falling, you may be able to file a claim on your home insurance policy.
If you find damage in your home caused by plumbing issues, you should speak to your homeowner’s insurance provider before making emergency repairs. Your insurer will seek to assess the damage before processing your claim, although your policy may not cover any additional damage caused. Taking photos of the damaged areas may be useful in case you need to back up your damage claim with evidence of accidental damage. Once your insurer agrees, you can call a professional to make emergency repairs.
When you file a claim for compensation, an assessor appointed by your insurance provider will visit your home for an inspection. If the assessor finds that the damage is caused by negligence or wear and tear, your claim will likely be denied. If you disagree with the assessor, you can request an assessment by another professional not affiliated to your insurer. If the cause of the damage is confirmed as an accident, your homeowner’s insurance provider may reimburse you for the necessary plumbing repairs or request a preferred builder to make the necessary fixes. Your insurer may let you hire a builder of your choice if your policy allows it.
If your policy doesn’t cover any of these potential situations, water damage may not be covered. Reading the insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) can give you a good idea of what the policy covers. However, if you find your policy isn't equipped to handle what you think your home needs protection for, consider shopping around for a new home insurance policy that does.