Home Insurance and Water Damage

Home Insurance & Water Damage: Preventing Repairs with a Water Detection System

Home Insurance & Water Damage

Consider this scenario, you return home after a day of golfing, and hear the sound of gushing water. You try to remember if you mistakenly left a faucet running, as you search the house for the source of the water. You enter the living room and discover a water pipe has burst, water is pouring through your ceiling causing water damage to your ceiling, walls, furniture and floors. This scenario, while frightening for any homeowner, is unfortunately more common than most people think.  In fact, “The #1 Source of Property Damage is non-weather related water losses.” (3) Luxury homes, with their custom upgrades and features represent an even greater potential financial loss than standard homes.

Common Causes of Home Water Damage

  • Bursting or Leaking Pipes-Pipes that leak or burst may be the most common cause of water damage. Toilets and drains being backed-up or blocked can cause pressure within the pipe, causing it to leak or burst. Tree roots growing into the sewer lines in the yard, and malfunctioning garbage disposals are other common reasons why a pipe may burst or leak. Aging or rusty pipes are also more likely to leak and/or burst.
  • Plumbing System Problems- Pipe joints and hoses that connect your sinks or toilets being lose or not fully attached can cause leaks. Some plumbing leaks occur within the walls of a home and are more difficult to detect.
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances- dishwashers, hot water heaters, washing machines, and refrigerators can malfunction or deteriorate over time.
  • Water Buildup-A crack in the concrete foundation of your home can allow moisture to collect. Areas of your home where water may buildup include basements, crawl spaces and attics.
  • HVAC Systems– Systems within your home such as your ventilation, heating and air conditioning can all contribute to water damage, if not maintained properly. (1)

The Costs of Water Damage

Water damage is a major cause of home insurance claims and can be very costly to repair. The cost to restore a home after it has been damaged by water varies based on several factors including, the size of the affected area of the home, the extent of the damage and the materials and water type. Typically, there are three categories of restoration:

  1. Category 1 is the least expensive to clean up and involves clean water from a faucet or supply pipe.
  2. Category 2 is gray wastewater with minor contaminants. This type of damage results from overflow from an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine.
  3. Category 3 is black water. This type of water damage involves water containing sewage or other toxic debris. (2)

Typically, after a water event has occurred in a home, a restoration company will inspect and evaluate the home and will take steps to determine the source of the problem and the extent of the damage. Furniture, wood, and plaster absorb and retain water, and steps must be taken to either dry, sanitize or remove these items before mold and rot can set in.

Repairing your home after it has incurred water damage can be expensive, “The average interior water damage claim payout is $65,000.”(3) While the costs of repairing your home after it has been damaged, by water may be covered by your home insurance, it’s often the time it takes to repair the home that is harder on the homeowner. The time it takes to repair a home with water damage depends upon how long it takes the effected material to dry out, how extensive the damage to the affected area, as well as the availability of contractors. However, Chubb Personal Risk Services Claims Division reports that, “the average time clients are out of their home after additional living expense is activated is 3 Months.” Having to live somewhere other than your own home for three months while repairs are made would prove challenging for any homeowner.

home insurance and water damage

Prevent and Protect Your Home from Water Damage

The best action you can take to protect your high value home from the potentially devastating effects of water damage, is to prevent it from happening in the first place. A water leak detection device, installed by a plumber directly onto your water line is, “an automatic water shutoff valve that detects water either by monitoring flows in the pipe or by detecting water on the floor.” (4) When irregular flow (most likely caused by a leak somewhere in your plumbing or pipes) is detected, the device will alert you first, and then shut off the water supply to your home to help minimize damage.

To learn how a flow-based water leak detection device works, watch this video from our premium partners Chubb Insurance.

Installing a water leak detection device, is an important step in protecting and preserving your home. Luxury homeowners insured through our partners at Chubb Insurance may also receive a discount off the price of the device and their high value home insurance, by choosing one of four Chubb preferred devices. Chubb Insurance recommends Flo by Moen, Phyn Plus, Sentinel Leak Defense, and Flo Logic. Your Private Client Group Advisor can help you choose which water leak detection device, is right for you and will help you take advantage of any discounts you may be entitled to.

Let Our Team Protect What You’ve Built

McSweeney & Ricci’s Private Client Group provides custom worldwide insurance solutions to accomplished individuals and families through our partnership with select premium insurers, who specialize in protecting successful clients. Our professional advisors will craft a custom home insurance plan and can advise you on a water leak protection device to protect your home. Our team delivers concierge-level service, white glove claims service and trusted advice. For more information on home, car, watercraft, or collections & valuables insurance contact the risk professionals in McSweeney & Ricci’s Private Client Group by calling 1-844-501-1361 or submit for a complimentary insurance quote on our website.


Blog Post “Home Insurance & Water Damage” Sources:
  1. The Water Damage Experts. “Water Damage Causes”
  2. Home Cost Helper.com “Water Damage”
  3. Chubb Personal Risk Services Claims-https://www.chubb.com/us-en/individuals-families/agent-marketing/water-coverage/index.aspx?utm_source=prs_agent&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=preventing-water-damage-20200909&utm_term=agentemail2&utm_content=visit-the-center-now
  4. https://waterheroinc.com/guide-to-automatic-water-shut-off-valves/