If your washing machine is leaking, you may be looking at making a water damage claim on your home insurance policy. If your washing machine is leaking damage can be minor or major depending on how long the machine has been leaking. Water can be extremely destructive to a home causing damage to flooring, walls, carpeting, and tile. In addition, you may be dealing with the cost to purchase a new appliance if your washing machine is leaking.
Water damage claims that happen if your washing machine is leaking are among the most common types of home insurance claims. Here we will look at what to do if your washing machine is leaking and the basics of how your insurance policy works to cover water damage.
My washing machine is leaking. What went wrong?
An accident where your washing machine is leaking is not uncommon in the insurance claims world. Many homeowners have accidents and water damage claims due to a water driven appliance not working or having a malfunction.
Some of the most severe claims from an appliance leak happen when a homeowner is out of town. Imagine coming home from your vacation and finding a flood in your home because your washing machine is leaking.
Most claims involving washing machines stem from the water connection hose malfunctioning. This is the hose that attaches to the water source to fill up your washing machine. If the hose breaks, comes loose or otherwise malfunctions, you can be in for a water damage claim.
If my washing machine is leaking, does my insurance policy cover it?
A water leak in your home – from any source – is considered a water damage claim. Although every policy is different, in general, home insurance policies cover water damage in a few instances:
- Water damage related to a storm: For example, if a hailstorm broke your skylight and rain came pouring into your kitchen causing water damage, your home insurance policy would apply.
- Water damage related to a sudden and accidental discharge: Water damage that stems from a sudden and accidental discharge would include damage that occurs if your washing machine is leaking, but only if the leak happened suddenly and was accidental. In other words, if your washing machine is leaking due to a maintenance problem and has had a slow leak for six months your home insurance policy will most likely not cover the damage.
If my washing machine is leaking, what type of damage do I have?
There is a saying in the insurance world that every claim is adjusted based on its circumstances. So, it is difficult to say if everyone who has a washing machine leak will have coverage under their home insurance policy.
If your washing machine is leaking slowly and has been doing so for several months and you have not noticed, there may not be coverage under your policy. Most home insurance policies exclude coverage for water damage that is caused by an ongoing leak. So, if your washing machine is has a slow leak from the appliance itself, you may have a denied claim on your hands.
On the other hand, let’s say you start your washing machine and then go out for the day. When you get home, you discover your washing machine is leaking from the hose. The leak has flooded your laundry room and kitchen. In a case like that where your washing machine is leaking, and it is a sudden leak – out of nowhere – your home insurance policy will likely cover to clean up any water damage.
Out of pocket costs if your washing machine is leaking
When you have a water damage claim because your washing machine is leaking, you can expect to have some out of pocket costs. Even if your insurance policy agrees to pay for the resulting water damage from the leak, you will still be responsible for your deductible. It is also unlikely that your policy will contain coverage for the washing machine itself. Depending on what happened to it you may also have to pay to repair or replace the appliance.
What to expect when your washing machine is leaking, and you make a claim
With any water damage claim, time is of the essence. The longer a leak goes on, the more water damage it will cause to your home. A typical water damage claim involves several main components:
First Notice of Loss (FNOL): An FNOL is a report that is filed when you put your insurance company on notice that something has gone wrong. An FNOL is usually completed over the phone. It is a conversation between you and your insurance company when they collect the details of the loss.
Remediation: Depending on the extent of the damage, your insurance company may send a remediation team to help remove the water and dry out the home.
Investigation: Part of the claim adjustment is the investigation. The investigation includes your insurance company determining how the accident happened and if it is covered under the policy.
Settlement: If there is coverage for the damage under your home insurance policy, your insurance company will propose a settlement to pay for the repair or replacement of damaged property. A claim settlement is made up of the cost to repair the damage minus any deductible.
How to avoid washing machine leaks
When a plumbing accident occurs, and no one is home to notice the leak, water can flood your home in a short time. Today’s homeowners can protect themselves from water damage claims with leak detection services. The most straightforward services include a sensor you attach to the appliance. The device reads moisture and humidity. If it reaches a certain level, it sends a message to alert the homeowner.
Proper maintenance is also key to avoiding washing machine leaks. Inspect your water-based appliances every month. Make sure all the water connections are secure and dry. Inspecting the appliances and hoses will enable you to detect a problem before it causes significant water damage.
If your washing machine is leaking and you need help with a water damage claim, contact Bulldog Adjusters. We are claims experts that work for you!