Plumbing leaks are a nuisance. Some might cause a small amount of damage.
But slab leaks are a different beast; they all but guarantee significant damage to your home. And should a slab leak occur in your home, you’ll need your insurance to help with an expensive and extensive repair.
But this then brings up a question you need to ask yourself: “Will my homeowner’s insurance cover slab leak repair or repay to repair the damage?”
The simple answer: “It depends.” It depends on your policy and the insurance company covering that policy.
Understanding Your Policy
Homeowners’ insurance policies cover physical losses that are a result of sudden and accidental damage. However, they can be selective about the kinds of sudden and accidental damage they cover. In general, these are called covered peril by insurance companies. Also, it is important that you understand the language used and how the insurance company intends to apply it.
Breaking Down the Wording
- Physical Loss: A physical loss means that something is damaged to the point of needing to be repaired or replaced. Now, depending on the company, this may only cover what they deem to be significant repairs. What is significant? That is also up to their interpretation.
- Sudden and Accidental: We all know that sudden means something that occurs quickly and unexpectedly. Because of this, your insurance company may cover damage from some types of slab leaks but not others. A leak that causes damage slowly over time could be denied coverage while one from a burst pipe may qualify.
- Damage: Insurance companies only pay to fix damage caused by covered perils. Fire, wind, hail, and water are all perils commonly covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. If you have a named peril policy, the perils covered will be explicitly listed; if you have an all peril policy, only the perils not covered will be listed, and anything not listed as not being covered should then be covered.
What all of this means is that your homeowner’s insurance policy will only cover a slab leak if it’s a sudden leak that causes a physical loss inside the home and your policy has water damage listed as a covered peril. If your slab leak does not meet all of this criteria, it’s likely that your claim will be denied.
What Should I Do If My Insurance Won’t Cover the Damage?
In this situation, your only option is to pay out of pocket or find a way to take out a personal loan to cover the damage so you do not need to shell out the full amount at once. In rare cases, you might find plumbers and contractors willing to work with you on a payment plan. However, it is important to note that even if your insurance company does cover your slab leak, it may not cover it in full.
What Will My Insurance Company Cover?
Every company and every policy is different. For example, some policies only cover damage to the home structure itself and do not consider the foundation to be part of this. Others will cover the foundation, but not the soil around it, which is often damaged before the foundation itself. Some will cover the damage in full while others will only cover so much of it. To know the answer to this, you need to fully understand your policy.
If You Notice Signs of a Slab Leak, Don’t Wait
While it may be tempting to clarify your policy first, you need to act as soon as you see signs of a slab leak. Immediately contact a plumber to identify where the leak is and repair it. They should be able to then tell you if you need to work with a contractor to make repairs to your home.
Signs of a slab leak include:
- Puddles of water on the floor
- Warped flooring
- Damp carpeting
- Warped baseboards
- “Hot spots” on the floor (from hot water leaks)
- An unexplained loss of water pressure
- An unexpectedly high water bill
If you live in Orange County, CA, or cities nearby, Orange Coast Plumbing is the plumbing team to turn to. We’ve been repairing slab leaks for decades and know how to fix them with minimal disruption to your home and life. If you notice any signs that you could be experiencing a slab leak, give us a call.