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Texas Department of Insurance
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April 11, 2024

What insurance do you need for water damage?


Just a couple of inches of unwanted water in your house can cause extensive and expensive damage. Most home and renters insurance policies cover water damage—if the water comes from inside the house.

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What’s the difference between water damage and flood damage?

Flood damage is caused by water from a rainstorm or a body of water that suddenly rises over a dry area and into your house.

Water damage in your house comes from pipes, water heaters, washing machines, refrigerators, and other devices that hold water.

What does “sudden and accidental” mean?

Most home policies say they cover “sudden and accidental” water damage. That means a water leak or overflow that happens suddenly, and accidentally. It’s not a leak that’s been dripping for a long time. If you notice a leak that’s caused damage, file a claim right away with your insurance company.

Are water leaks from fish tanks covered by home policies?

Not usually. Home policies cover plumbing and appliances, but not fish tanks or water tanks you use for drinking water. If you want to insure a fish tank, talk to your insurance agent or company.

Are mold and mildew covered by home policies?

Mold is covered if it’s on something that your home policy would replace. If mold is on walls, for example, your policy will pay to have that torn out and replaced.

Home policies don’t cover mold remediation, which is when a company comes into your house and finds and removes mold. If you want coverage for possible future mold remediation, talk to your insurance agent or company.

Should I make repairs if I have water damage in my house?

Make enough repairs to keep the damage from getting worse. If a window breaks or there’s a hole in your roof and water is getting in, cover the window or roof with boards or tarps. Keep your receipts too because your insurance company should reimburse you.

What other tips do you have if I get water damage?

  • Take pictures of the damage. Your company will ask for them.
  • Don’t make permanent repairs until an adjuster has seen the damage and said it’s OK.

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