Does a Homeowner’s Policy Cover a Flood started by a leaking pipe?

A leaking copper pipeQ: Dear Sherri, A pipe im my upstairs bathroom wall is leaking and has flooded my first floor living room and kitchen. Do I have coverage on my homeowner’s policy or do I need a flood policy?

A: Dear Swimming in Queens, Great question and one that I am often asked. Technically, what you had was NOT a flood. Therefore, your Homeowner’s policy will cover this loss as this loss would be considered “water damage.” What’s the difference? A flood is defined as “rising and overflowing body of water.” If your toilet becomes an overflowing body of water, I suggest the culprit visit a doctor. Anyway, here are a few examples of flood damage and water damage:


Water Damage

  • A broken water pipe floods your home.
  • A heavy rain soaks through the roof allowing water to damage your attic, ceiling, ect.

  • Flood Damage

  • A nearby river, bay, ocean or even a stream overflows
  • Due to heavy rain the soil can’t absorb the water quickly enough
  • The city’s water mains burst on your street


  • So if you ever have any type of water damaging your home, call your agent to find out if it is “water damage or a “flood”. Better yet, just get flood insurance and be protected either way. Wishing you and your home stays nice and dry.

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