One of the most significant risks of home damage in a hurricane is water. Water is easy to see if it’s standing water that’s flooding your home. Other water problems aren’t as easy to see.
Another type of water damage you may have in your home is hidden water damage.
What is Hidden Water Damage?
Hidden water damage is water that is destroying your home that you can’t see. It leaks into your home out of sight to damage your home from the inside out.
Hidden water damage can cause mold, rot, and other problems in the home. When hidden water causes damage because of a hurricane, will your insurance cover it?
Does Hurricane Insurance Cover Hidden Water Damage?
Hurricane insurance may cover hidden water damage. While it is unlikely that a traditional homeowner policy will cover hidden water damage from a hurricane, a separate policy or coverage specific to hurricanes may cover hidden water damage.
The exact coverage depends on the wording of the specific policy. There may be circumstances where the damage is not covered, like damage that results from neglecting routine maintenance or wear and tear that is not addressed before the hurricane. However, in general, you may find coverage for hidden water damage through your hurricane insurance.
Signs of Hidden Water Damage After a Hurricane
Any of the following may be indicators of hidden water damage after a hurricane:
- Loose shingles
- Other roof damage
- Discoloration on the ceiling or walls; signs of water on the walls
- Other standing water and flooding in the home
- Flooring that has become uneven or oddly shaped
- Damage to plumbing
- Spots that are damp and do not dry
If you see signs of hidden water damage, do not ignore it. It can cause additional damage to your home. In addition, the more time that passes before you report the damage, the harder it may be to make your claim.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hidden Water Damage?
General homeowner’s insurance is unlikely to cover hidden water damage from a hurricane. A homeowner’s policy may cover some types of hidden water damage. For example, an unsuspecting leaky pipe that causes damage is often covered.
However, most types of hurricane flooding do not fall under standard homeowner’s insurance. Damage caused by a lack of maintenance is also not covered. The owner must have a separate policy to cover flooding damage, including hurricane losses.
Why is hidden water damage harmful after a hurricane?
Water that seeps into the walls from a hurricane can cause mold that severely damages a home. In turn, mold can cause health issues. The wood can rot, and the rot can spread in the home.
Hidden water damage can occur in a home in several ways. A leak that can’t be seen from an appliance can cause problems. Plumbing leaks can be hard to detect. External water sources can also enter the cause and cause internal damage.
Source: ABC11, Hidden Danger
How does hidden water damage occur after a hurricane?
There are a few ways that hidden water can occur from a hurricane. One way is from roof damage. The shingles may not be completely torn off but can be damaged. That can be enough to allow water to leak in. When you inspect the roof, you should look carefully for micro damage that may not be visible from a distance.
Another way that hidden water damage may occur is from the pressure that can be put on pipes. Even without direct impact, pressure changes during a hurricane can cause plumbing to warp and fail. These failures can cause hidden water damage that you may not immediately notice.
Help With an Insurance Claim for Hidden Damage Following a Hurricane
If you have hidden water damage following a hurricane, it may be covered by your hurricane insurance policy. It’s important to review your policies and determine coverage, whether it is your hurricane insurance, homeowners insurance (unlikely), or policy coverage specifically for hidden water damage. When you understand what’s covered, you can determine your damages and the process for making a claim.
At Insurance Claim HQ, our law firm helps you hold the insurance company accountable when you need a fair result for your insurance claim. We offer a range of services designed to help policyholders get results when they have an insurance claim. Contact us today for your consultation.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.