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Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Man at home dealing with neighbor flood leak

Certain types of water damage are covered by renter’s insurance, while others are not. In a nutshell, what is covered depends upon the type of water damage sustained. Renters should understand their policy to know what types of water damage are either covered or excluded.

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What is renter’s insurance water damage coverage?

Renter’s insurance water damage coverage is intended to protect the policy holder’s personal belongings that are destroyed by water intrusions. Insurance also covers the property belonging to others in the unit. What this type of insurance does not cover is the rental property itself.

What are common causes of water damage?

A rental unit is susceptible to a host of various types of water damage, which may even be caused by neighbors or the tenant. A renter in the unit above might, for example, forget to turn off the water, leading to an overflowing bathtub and damage to the unit below.

Faulty appliances also cause water damage. A leaking refrigerator, flooded toilet and ruptured water pipes are common culprits when it comes to water damage in rental properties. The leaks can then attract mold spores; mold and mildew growth are likely to result.

Natural disasters, like hurricanes, can lead to water damage, especially if the unit is located on the lower level of the building. Similarly, torrential rainstorms can deposit copious amounts of water at ground level, leaving bottom-floor properties vulnerable to flooding.

Does renter’s insurance cover flood damage?Man at home dealing with neighbor flood leak

When flood damage occurs as an outcome of flooding, renter’s insurance will not cover it. In order to protect personal property, renters who live on a floodplain or in areas prone to flooding are encouraged to purchase separate flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Does renter’s insurance cover personal property?

Renter’s insurance covers water damage to personal property, like expensive beauty items stored under the sink. A $175 hair straightener, for instance, will be covered by renter’s insurance if the apartment springs a sudden leak under the sink where the tool is stored.

Essentially, the cost of replacing the water damaged item is covered by renter’s insurance. However, in order for coverage to be applicable, the water discharge must have been sudden and accidental. In the aforementioned example, the leaky sink is an unanticipated plumbing issue and is therefore covered.

Another example of a sudden and accidental discharge of water is when the washing machine unexpectedly malfunctions and spews water all over the apartment floor. Any personal property damaged by the water from the faulty machine will be covered by renter’s insurance.

A third instance when renter’s insurance will cover water damage is when personal property is damaged by burst water pipes. A furnace might suddenly stop working in a rental home, leading to the pipes freezing and breaking. Renter’s insurance will cover the resulting water damage.

Does renter’s insurance cover water damage to neighboring units?water damaged ceiling next to  window

Water damage may also start from one rental unit and spread to a neighboring one. When water leaks from one apartment and damages personal property in a unit in close proximity, renter’s insurance can be used to protect one’s finances from the cost of replacing the neighbor’s damaged property.

An upstairs neighbor’s negligence may lead to a leaky ceiling in the unit below, for example. If the dripping water damages furniture, the tenant below can file an insurance claim. In this case, the renter below is not liable for damages since the individual is not responsible for causing them.

What types of water damage does renter’s insurance not cover?

Certain types of water damage are excluded from renter’s insurance coverage. Water damage that is an outcome of backed up sewers or drains may not be covered. If a backed-up toilet releases sewage into the unit and destroys belongings, the tenant will pay out of pocket to replace the items.

The tenant must purchase separate sewer backup, septic backup and sump overflow coverage in addition to the standard renter’s insurance in order for the insurer to cover the cost of replacing personal belongings in the event damage occurs from a sewer backup.

A renter who is responsible for allowing water damage to occur will not be reimbursed by renter’s insurance. For example, a tenant might leave the window open during a thunderstorm, allowing the rain to saturate the furniture. Insurance will not cover the resulting water damage or mold growth.

What types of coverage is available during natural disasters?

Under certain conditions, renter’s insurance will protect a tenant’s property from rain and storms. A fierce storm may hurl projectiles through the window, breaking it and allowing rainwater to seep inside. In this case, a renter may seek reimbursement from the insurer for the water damage.

A violent storm may destroy a rental property and leave it uninhabitable. Renter’s insurance will cover the renter’s costs of temporary living expenses or until the individual makes suitable living arrangements elsewhere. Without renter’s insurance, residing in a hotel would be an expensive alternative.

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Water damage is a serious issue and should be promptly addressed. Any delay in resolving water damage can result in the rapid spread of ruin. When you are confronted with a water damage emergency to your home or business, consult with ServiceMaster.

As a professional water damage restoration company, ServiceMaster is positioned to remove all excess water from the rental property and return it to its pre-loss state with speed. Skilled technicians use advanced equipment to extract all moisture and thoroughly dry the premises.

Water damage is stealthy and spreads fast. It is notorious for causing enormous structural damage and weakening building components. When this type of destruction occurs, the technicians at ServiceMaster provide quality reconstruction services to restore the structural damage.

ServiceMaster is a local, reputable water restoration company. We proudly serve the residential and business communities of Southeast and South Central Nebraska. Our experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to emergency water damage restoration needs.