What Water Damage Coverages Should You Consider?

The intent of home insurance is to provide coverage for your home or belongings if they suffer damage or a complete loss. When you make a home insurance claim, the coverage provided is based on the event that caused the damage, also known as a “peril.” One of the most important perils homeowners should evaluate on their policy is water. There are five types of water loss, four of which are classified as water damage and insurable on a home insurance policy. The last type of water loss is flooding and is typically not offered on a home insurance policy but insured on a separate flood insurance policy. It’s important to know these types of water losses to make sure you are confident in your overall insurance plan.

Sudden and Accidental Water Coverage

Sudden and Accidental Water Damage describes a situation similar to a burst pipe, an appliance malfunction, or any unexpected release of water or steam. For coverage to apply, the two main components that need to be clear in the cause of damage are “sudden” (not over a period time) and “accidental” (unexpected).

Seepage and Leakage Water Coverage

Seepage and Leakage damage is from a continuous, often small, leak over time (check your policy for specific timelines allotted for coverage). Sometimes known as “slow leak coverage,” this damage generally occurs within the plumbing system resulting in a slow leak from a pipe inside the wall, shower pan, A/C pan, or even a leak in the roof. These types of situations often go undetected until the damage is so extensive that it becomes apparent through a collapsed ceiling or a severely damaged wall.

Water Backup and Overflow Coverage

Water backup occurs when water enters the home through plumbing entry points such as sinks, toilets, and bathtubs, and is typically caused by heavy rains and the backup of storm drains or sewers. Sump pumps, used for basements, are sometimes excluded from home policies but can be added, if desired.

Foundation Water Damage Coverage

The last water damage coverage you can include on your home policy is foundation water damage. This coverage is extended when the foundation is damaged from one of the three water damages or from the repairs in response to the water damage.


Coverage for flood damage, or damage to your home and belongings due to rising water, will be found on a flood insurance policy. As one of the most severe perils, coverage for flooding should strongly be considered as part of your overall personal insurance plan. Read more about flood insurance coverage in this blog post.

Consider all of these important coverages when building your proper insurance plan. Evaluate your deductibles, or the amount you pay before your insurance takes over, and your coverage limits, the maximum amount the insurance company will pay, to ensure you have sufficient coverage.

To learn more about our insurance plans, for both business and personal use, connect with our team at stewartinsurance@stewart.com and visit stewartinsurance.com.