Is Water Damage Covered by Ohio Homeowners Insurance?

Water damage is one of the most common reasons for Ohio homeowners insurance claims, but it’s also the most misunderstood policy detail. The definition of water damage isn’t always what the homeowner expects it to be, and they may end up with no coverage when they need it most.

The first and most important thing to understand about Ohio homeowners insurance is that flooding is not considered water damage. Flood insurance is offered by the federal government, and is an entirely different policy than a homeowner’s insurance policy. If a flood damages your home you will not be covered unless you have flood insurance in place.

A much more common type of water damage in the home is the malfunction of an appliance that’s hooked up to the water supply. If the hose on a washing machine breaks, for instance, and releases hundreds of gallons of water into your house where it ruins ceilings, flooring, furniture, and other possessions, it is almost certainly covered by Ohio homeowners insurance. Some parts of the cost of putting your house back together again are not covered, however. For example, if you call an emergency plumbing service to make repairs on your leaking washing machine, the cost of repairing the machine is not part of your insurance coverage. Only the damage caused by the machine will be covered by a standard homeowners policy.

Not all repairs that stop leaking water are disallowed for a claim. If you have a copper plumbing pipe burst due to freezing weather, both the water damage and the repair to the pipe is covered by a standard homeowners policy. Plumbing that is installed permanently in your home is treated differently than an appliance and its accessories. If a hose that attaches an appliance like a washing machine ruptures, it’s treated as part of the appliance. If a copper pipe that feeds the washer develops a leak inside the wall, it’s treated as part of the house.