You can suffer water damage to your home due to burst pipes or heavy rainfall. In certain cases, water damage is covered by your insurance, in other cases you have to pay for the damage yourself. Due to climate change, extreme weather seems to be happening more and more often in our country. The storms are more intense and the rain showers also seem to be much heavier compared to before. In periods when many storms and heavy rainfall occur, the total damage can easily run into millions of euros within a few days. Of course, you can also experience water damage due to burst pipes and flooding. The insurers’ policy conditions describe when you can sue the insurer and when you must bear the claims yourself.
Which insurance covers water damage?
You can insure yourself against damage to your home and its contents by taking out contents insurance for the items in your home, and buildings insurance for the house itself. Items in your house that are not nailed to the house are covered by home contents insurance, and items that are attached to the house (for example the kitchen) are covered by buildings insurance. If you have a rental home, you only need to take out contents insurance. The landlord takes care of the insurance of the house itself.
Water damage and insurance
In the past, there were different types of coverage. Nowadays, almost all insurers carry extra comprehensive hazard insurance or even all-risk coverage. With all risks coverage, matters that arise due to a sudden external calamity are insured, unless they are excluded in the policy conditions. The extra comprehensive hazard insurance only covers incidents described in the policy conditions. To determine what the insurer will reimburse and what it will not, you must consult the conditions.
Compensation for water damage
Sudden breaks in the water pipe or a waterbed are covered. A bath that you let flood through your fault is not covered. The damage must be unforeseen. However, not all unforeseen circumstances are insured. Flooding is still not covered by any insurer. If this happens to you, you can rely on the Damage Compensation Act for Disasters and Major Accidents. However, you have no certainty that you will be fully reimbursed for the damage, as it is a compensation scheme.
Damage due to storm
The policy conditions have separate conditions in the event of a storm. A storm is a strong wind with at least wind force seven. Damage to the house or contents is not insured in the event of strong winds without a storm. The house must be able to withstand such weather conditions. If you have taken out all risks cover, you may be entitled to a payment in certain cases in the event of a strong wind (not a storm). There is often a risk with storm damage. The amount may differ per insurer, but they often apply a deductible of two per mille of the insured amount.
Due to poor maintenance of the house, an incident that is normally insured may not be covered. This is the case if the damage is caused by poor maintenance. In the event of damage caused by poor maintenance of the roof, the damage is no longer unforeseen and the insurer will not pay out.