So, your sink leaks. There’s a puddle on your kitchen floor. You immediately ask – does my insurance provider cover a burst pipe?

It can be daunting to try and comb through all the paperwork from the insurance company to see if your policy includes sudden and accidental damage.

Most of us don’t know off the top of our heads whether our home insurance covers plumbing and electrical fixtures. But burst pipes don’t wait

That brings us to the all-important question:

Does home insurance cover plumbing problems?

Fortunately, the short answer is yes! A standard homeowner’s insurance provider covers sudden and accidental damage, such as burst pipes. The key term is accidental damage – meaning it wasn’t caused by oversight but by extraneous circumstances.

What is covered by home insurance?

Your insurance policy should have property coverage that includes:

  • Burst pipes or taps
  • Stormwater overflow
  • Flood insurance
  • Sewer backup and overflow
  • Water damage from storms, wind, hail, or snow

If plumbing problems have caused damage to your home, speak with your insurance provider before making any repairs. They will need to assess the damage and check your insurance policies before processing your claim. Make sure to take photos of affected areas as well for further evidence.
Once your insurance company has made its inspection, you can call a technician to handle your plumbing issues.

What isn’t covered by home insurance?

Not everything is covered by your insurance policy, however. There are some plumbing issues – particularly in the case of gradual damage – that may not be covered by your insurance company. These include:

  • Mould, mildew, and rot
  • Fixture corrosion
  • Plumbing leaks in pipes or taps
  • Blocked drains and gutters
  • Poor maintenance
  • Select structural damage

Double-check with your insurance provider to see if your home insurance policy covers these personal property damages.
Long-standing problems that you have knowledge of but ignore are also not covered by your insurance policy. For example, if you have a leaking pipe but choose not to have it repaired immediately, your insurance company may deny your claim.

Dwelling coverage

Your dwelling insurance is a clause in your coverage that includes any structural damage to your home, and this covers areas such as the walls, floorboards, ceilings, and roofs should they sustain damage due to plumbing issues such as water leaks.
This may also cover built-in appliances (such as a radiator or water heater).

Signs of plumbing issues

You may notice some signs of water leaks and other issues in your home, such as:

  • Discolouration or warping in the walls
  • Mould and mildew
  • Musty smells
  • Damp furniture
  • Water accumulation
  • Discolouration and cracking in furniture

If you find any of these occurring in your home, contact a technician and your insurance provider immediately. Do not let the problems linger – you could cause further damage without insurance cover.

Plumbing maintenance

Make sure you have regular maintenance on all your fixtures and pipes. Inspect fittings regularly, while a professional should see your Flexi hose at least once a year. If you’re leaving for a prolonged period, shut off your water supply.

When taking out an insurance policy for your home, ensure you thoroughly read the Product Disclosure Statement. This includes seeing if your policy will cover gradual damage or water leaks in your plumbing system.

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