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What type of damage is it? How much will this cost? And are any of those costs going to be covered by your Home and Contents Insurance? Before you end up wading through water in your living room or being drenched by a broken roof gutter, it’s best to know where you stand when it comes to water damage. We’ll take you through what’s covered, how to make a claim and tips on how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Sudden and accidental damage is typically what insurers cover when it comes to water damage. Burst pipes, overflowing appliances, sewer backup or storm damage to household items are just some of the types of events that are generally covered.
The important thing to remember is that the water damage has to occur unexpectedly or out of the blue.
On the other hand, gradual water damage caused by poor conditions or negligence may not be covered by insurers. It’s always best to read through the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of any Home and Contents insurance policy before purchasing so you understand the inclusions, exclusions, and limitations.
Depending on the type of cover you have, a policy is typically divided into three different kinds of water damage:
Let’s examine those first two a little more:
Typical inclusions and exclusions for storm and rainwater cover1,2,3,4
Also, you typically won’t be covered for any loss or damage to the following:
Typical inclusions and exclusions for escape of water cover1,2,3,4
You may also be covered for reasonable costs to investigate the escape of liquid if it is causing damage to your home or contents. If you don’t know the source of the water escape, then many insurers will pay reasonable costs to locate the source (but this doesn’t typically include any burst pipe or other leak source).
If you find yourself in any of the unfortunate situations mentioned above, then you may wish to investigate how you can make an insurance claim.
Once you’ve assessed (and hopefully contained) the damage, here are the next steps:
Some roof gutters can deteriorate and allow rainwater to seep through. Installing strong gutters could limit the amount of dirt, debris and bugs that typically build up over time.
Even if you notice a small leak, think about getting some sealant onto it or calling a plumber before it could become a real problem.
Tree roots can be the main cause of blockage when it comes to your pipes. Your garden beds and plants require a lot of water so it’s best to keep them far away from the house as possible.5
A good rule of (green) thumb is figuring out the maximum height of your trees – that's the same distance you should have in the ground for its roots.
Knowing your home inside and out is a good way to keep it safe. Do you know where your main water valve is for when it needs to be turned off? Either at the back of a house or on the ground floor of an apartment building is a good place to start looking.
While you’re at it, have a think about investigating the plumbing around your sinks and basins to make sure there aren’t any leaks or cracks. The same goes for your bath, shower and hot water systems.
Now that you know a little more about the effects of (and safeguards against) water damage, you can start comparing from a range of Home and Contents insurers. That’s where we can help!
Save time and effort by comparing our range of Home and Contents Insurance policies with iSelect.*