Most homeowners don’t know what is in their insurance policies. You should grab your policy and sift through it with a fine-toothed comb. Does homeowners insurance cover a water leak under my slab in the garage?
The primary concept of homeowner’s insurance is to cover accidental, unforeseen, unpredictable accidents, disasters or crimes. The house insurance covers your home, land and contents. It also provides you with personal liability coverage.
Insurance companies understand that water damage is a common occurrence. Therefore, most insurance companies will provide some provision for water damage. The real challenge is how your insurance adjuster interprets the coverage.
A leaky pipe could cause a lot of damage. It might start as simply an annoying drip. If you don’t fix it early, it could be a disaster.
It could rupture and damage your carpeting, personal belongings, furniture and sheet-rock. You also might need to hire mold remediation services, if your basement floods.
A water leak under the slab in your garage is a bit trickier. Chances are that it could be your fault or the city’s fault. This could damage your tools, equipment and vehicles.
There is also the question of a sewer-related leak. If the leak is on your property, it might still be paid. If it is due to municipal sewer failure, then the city must pay the repair bill.
If the leak is under your garage slab, then it is still part of your property. You should have the right to property under the ground. These might be listed as mineral rights in your title. Therefore, the insurance company determination might hinge on other factors.
Wear & Tear
If your pipes were defective under the garage slab, then the insurance company is likely to cover your water damage. The insurance adjuster will protect you when the pipe manufacturers had some design flaw.
If you did not properly maintain your plumbing, then you might be at fault for the water leak. If the insurance adjuster believes that you were negligent, the company might not pay for any water damage.
Check your title for any inspections. Did an inspector verify that the garage slab was up to code? This could be used in your defense.
Keep Plumbing Records
What can you do? Hold onto any plumbing maintenance, service and repair records. This could be used in courts to show that you tried to conduct regular maintenance.
Each state varies, so check your insurance policy. You might be able to add the Named Coverage of garage slab water damage to your policy.