Does Homeowners Insurance Cover All Rain Damage?

Feb 15, 2021 | Personal Insurance

We’ve often wondered when our weather-beaten and rain damaged homes will be covered by our homeowners insurance policy. 

Reliable coverage

You can rely on your homeowners insurance policy for certain kinds of water damage caused by rain. However, it all depends on how the damage occurred. For example, your insurance policy will usually cover the damage if a storm opens a hole in your roof, causing water to leak in and destroy essential personal property. However, coverage is limited when there is water damage due to lack of maintenance.

You also have other options for additional protection even though homeowners’ policies don’t cover flood damage. You can have coverage for floods with the help of the National Flood Insurance Program and that can make a huge difference when the water starts to rise in your location.

Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from rain?

Home insurance usually covers water damage from rain if it enters your home due to a covered peril such as a windstorm that rips a hole in your attic and the rainfall gets in. However, a basic policy won’t cover flooding.

Key points:

  • A basic policy usually covers water damage from rain if it enters your property due to damage from another covered peril such as a windstorm.
  • Any damage from rainfall that is abrupt and accidental may be covered like if a tree suddenly breaks your window and water gets in. However, your insurance company won’t cover gradual damage like rain leaking into a hole in your roof over time.
  • If your home floods due to heavy rain, the damage won’t be covered. You would be needing a separate flood insurance policy to pay for any damage due to flooding.

If rain causes damage to your home or personal property, you may be covered by your homeowners’ insurance depending on your situation.

Whether you’re covered or not depends on how the rain enters your home and the type of damage it causes. A basic insurance policy will generally cover water damage from the rain if an extreme weather condition causes the rain to enter your property. The same situation as if an ice dam causes a part of your roof to collapse and rainfall gets in and damages your personal belongings. Any kind of rain damage that’s related to another covered peril, such as a window that got smashed during a break-in would also be covered.

However, rainwater that results in a flood would not be covered. Also, rain that gets in through a pre-existing hole in your home would also not be covered. Rain damage caused over time due to negligence is also, unfortunately, not covered. In general, if the rain damage is due to poor maintenance of your home and roof, they won’t be covered.

What kinds of rain damage does homeowners insurance cover?

There are several kinds of damages caused by water that is covered by your home insurance policy, including damages that are caused by rainwater that enter your home. However, coverage is dependent on the circumstances involving the rain damage. Homeowners’ insurance will usually only cover if the rain entered your house was due to a covered peril.

When rain gets in from storm damage

In case a strong gust of wind caused by a thunderstorm knocks over a tree, punches a hole in your roof, and rainwater pours into your home for half an hour, you’ll be most likely covered.

Wind-driven rain

Wind-driven rain is rain that goes into your home due to high winds or during a storm. A tornado or hurricane can also cause rain to enter your home leading to different degrees of damage to your property and personal belongings. You’ll be covered for the damage if the wind-drive rain damages your home’s structure or personal belongings. However, kindly remember that if your home floods due to heavy rain, you would not be covered by basic home insurance.

Rain, snow, and ice dams

Your homeowners’ insurance will cover damage to your personal property from the weight of rain, snow, and ice. If an ice dam forms on your roof and your roof suddenly collapses leading to rain and ice entering your property, you would be covered for both the damage to your roof and for the damage caused by the rain. The same thing goes for your home, personal belongings, and other covered structures on your property in case they are damaged by the weight of rain, snow, or ice.

Furthermore, ice dams can make snow melt on your roof and the water will re-freeze into large icicles across your sidewalks. This could cause stress for you. The water can cause damage to the interior of your home including the ceiling and walls. Your home’s insurance will provide you protection when water damage results suddenly and unexpectedly from a change to the protective shell of your home due to this ice dam situation.

Mold

Rain that enters your home can cause mold and your home insurance can cover removing the mold depending on how the rain got inside your house. Your homeowner insurance will most likely cover the damage as well if a tree branch cracks your window and rain enters your home and causes mold to grow into your drywall. They will cover it since the initial damage was sudden and it was caused by a covered peril. However, if you have neglected to maintain your leaky roof and rains enter your top floor causing your ceilings to have mold, your homeowners’ insurance will not cover it since the water damage was only gradual and the result was a cause of neglect and poor maintenance.

Vandalism

Vandalism is covered by most basic home insurance policies. This includes if your house is broken into while you’re away from your home and rain comes in through the broken door and damages your personal belongings. However, they will not cover it if you haven’t been inside your home for 60 days or more unless you have a vacant home endorsement in your insurance policy.

One more example is if the picture window in your living room is broken by vandals while you’re away on vacation and when you arrive house, you find heavy rains have resulted in water damage. Your homeowners’ insurance policy will help you cover the expenses to make repairs and restore your home.

What kinds of rain damage are not covered?

There are a few instances when rainwater damage would not be covered by your home insurance. This includes the following:

When the water damage is gradual

If rainwater enters into your basement through cracks in the foundation or if water flows through an egress window over time, the damages won’t be covered by your basic homeowners’ insurance policy.

Rain that causes floods or storm surge

Unfortunately, a basic homeowners insurance policy won’t cover flooding. If heavy rain causes your basement to flood, the damage caused would not be covered. You should purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your house against floods and storms. You can purchase this through the same insurance company that also insures your home.

Rain that enters through a corroded structure

Your insurance company won’t cover the repairs if rainwater enters your home through an already leaky or damaged roof. Your home insurance won’t cover associated losses if any time a poorly maintained structure causes rainwater to damage your property since those structures must be in good condition prior to the event to be qualified for coverage.

Rain damage that happens over time

It won’t be covered if rainwater damage that develops over a period of time is neither sudden nor accidental. When you neglect rainwater in your home for weeks or months, the damage could get worse and new problems can arise. Your insurer may hold you responsible for damage that developed over weeks or months if rain slowly drips in through a leaky skylight and you try to file a claim for damage that developed over a period of time.

Rain damage caused by neglect

Your homeowners’ insurance if the rain damage is your fault. A few examples are when you left a window open or if the rain damage was caused by an issue you knew about and failed to repair it. One more example is if a poorly maintained roof can unleash a flood of rainwater into your house, it won’t be covered. When your roof isn’t maintained well, it can lead to disrepair and you won’t be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. Your insurance companies won’t cover the damage if they were caused by your negligence. When rain enters your home through a poorly maintained structure, the rain can cause several damages to your home. However, if the neglect is the initial cause for the rain entering, it won’t be covered.

Further information about flood insurance

Your basic home insurance policy doesn’t offer protection for damage caused by floods. However, through the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Most floods in the country don’t result in a Presidential Disaster Declaration. As people who own homes experience flooding shouldn’t rely on government disaster aid. You may be able to file a claim for flood damage with the National Flood Insurance Program with active coverage given the right instances. Here are just a few ways this flood insurance policy will protect your house.

What does the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) cover?

The National Flood Insurance Program can help offer you a lot of peace of mind if you’re living in a flood-prone area.

Here are some of the things that are covered by the insurance program.

  • Your home’s foundation and staircases attached to it
  • Your home’s plumbing and it’s electrical systems
  • Your property’s fuel tanks and the fuel within them
  • Solar panels and related energy equipment
  • Well water pumps and storage tanks
  • Water heaters, sump pumps, heat pumps, and furnaces
  • Built-in appliances like dishwashers as well as refrigerators, stoves, etc.
  • Cisterns and the water they contain
  • Carpeting that’s permanently installed over unfinished sub-flooring or unattached garages 
  • Drywall, wallboard, paneling, cabinets and bookcases Window blinds

What’s not covered under the National Flood Insurance Program

Not all flooding causes are covered by the insurance program. It’s important to be aware to know what are the things that are not covered. 

Some of the following ways that are not covered are stated below:

  • Any currency, valuable papers like stock certificates and precious metals
  • Preventable mold or mildew damage that’s unrelated to the flood
  • Earth movement events even if the flood caused the damage
  • Cars and other self-propelled vehicles
  • Trees, plants, wells, decks, patios, septic systems, pools
  • Financial losses that are the result of your business being interrupted by the flood
  • Additional living expenses needed while home is being repaired
  • Loss of use or access to the property

How much does flood insurance cost?

The average flood insurance policy costs around $700 yearly according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, always keep in mind that the average flood insurance claim costs around $39,000. Your actual rate will all depend on where you live, your property, and other factors so we suggest that you talk to us to learn more about purchasing National Flood Insurance Program coverage.

Flood safety and protection tips

It’s time to act fast when your neighborhood is under a flood warning and watch. It’s so essential to plan ahead since floods can cause power outages and limit access to and from your area. Here are some ideas to help you weather the storm causes floods in your area:

  1. Learn to prepare beforehand. Create a natural disaster kit and store this in a protected area away from potential floodwaters. Include an emergency wind-up radio, batteries, flashlights, and also protein bars.
  2. Learn to be aware of changing conditions. As floodwaters continue to rise, new warnings and details about flooded areas will be reported. We suggest downloading a weather app that references several weather sources. This is an answer for getting the forecast right and can make a huge difference when floodwater starts to rise.
  3. Move your important personal belongings out of harm’s way. Relocate your family heirlooms, expensive electronics, and other important items that can be relocated. Store them in a safe area away from the potential risk of floods.
  4. Create a communication tree. Sit and talk with your family members about ways that you can stay in touch during a power outage or weather emergency. Use your social media to set up a friends list so you’re ready when you actually need it.

Ask us any questions

Now that you have learned about if your homeowners’ insurance covers all rain damage, kindly ask us questions about the things that are not clear to you, especially when it comes to homeowners’ insurance in Denver, Colorado. Please do not hesitate to call or email us! Don’t also forget to check out our blog for other informative articles on homeowners insurance. Have a great day!