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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage From The Rain?

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Updated: Oct 13, 2023
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Homeowners insurance does cover water damage from rain; however, the extent of coverage depends on the type of flooding and the specifics of your policy. Typically, only sudden and unexpected rain-induced damage is covered, not gradual damage or flooding from external sources.

While home insurance offers protection against certain rain-related damages, it's essential to be aware of the exclusions. Consider exploring additional coverage options like flood insurance or sewer backup coverage to ensure you have a solid umbrella of protection in case you live in a rain-prone state.

How Homeowners Insurance Covers Damage From Rain

Homeowners insurance does provide coverage for water damage resulting from rain, albeit under specific conditions. Typically, the coverage is applicable when rain enters your dwelling due to a covered peril. Some scenarios where water damage from rain is covered include:

  • A severe storm or tornado causes damage to your roof or windows, allowing rain to enter and damage your home.
  • High winds during a weather event tear off part of your roof or siding, leading to rainwater infiltrating and causing damage.
  • A hailstorm breaks your windows or damages your roof, allowing rainwater to enter and damage the interior of your home.
  • A lightning strike causes a tree to fall, creating an opening in your roof through which rain enters and causes water damage.
  • An accidental fire requires firefighters to extinguish it, and the subsequent openings in the structure allow rain to enter and cause water damage.
  • A vehicle collision with your home creates an opening, allowing rain to enter and cause water damage.
  • Vandals or a break-in result in broken windows or doors through which rain enters and causes water damage.

Home insurance only pays for damage due to rain if it’s sudden and accidental. The specifics of how rainwater enters your home play a pivotal role in determining the eligibility for a claim. So, while homeowners insurance can cover water damage from rain, the circumstances surrounding the damage significantly influence the extent of coverage.

When Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover Damage From Rain

Home insurance usually excludes coverage for certain types of water damage from rain, primarily when the damage arises from gradual deterioration or external flooding. Here are several scenarios where homeowners insurance does not cover damage from rain:

  • Flash Flooding: Damage caused by flash flooding from heavy rains is typically not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies​.
  • External Flooding: Rainwater that results in flooding is not covered.
  • Pre-Existing Damages: The resulting water damage is not covered if rainwater enters through a pre-existing hole or damage in your home.
  • Water Backup: Standard homeowners insurance does not cover water backup from an outside sewer or drain. However, you can add additional coverage to your policy for this peril.
  • Gradual Damage: Water damage that occurs over time due to a leaky roof, for instance, is often not covered as it is seen as a maintenance issue.
  • Neglect: If it's determined that neglect or a lack of maintenance led to the water damage from rain, your claim could be denied.

The true extent of exclusions can vary from provider to provider, so it's essential to thoroughly review your homeowners insurance policy to understand your coverage for water damage caused by rain. You may also want to consider additional endorsements or policies like flood insurance to ensure comprehensive protection.

Additional Coverage Options to Protect Your Home From Rain Damage

If you live in a state prone to rain, it might be best to get more comprehensive coverage against potential damage. Here’s a closer look at some of these options:

  • Flood Insurance: Standard homeowners insurance policies often exclude flood damage, making it critical to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy, especially if you reside in a flood-prone area.
  • Sewer Line Coverage: Protect your home from the costly repair of sewer line failures with this additional coverage, which takes care of the expenses of fixing a broken sewer line.

By exploring additional coverage options, you can ramp up the protection for your home and belongings against rain damage. Have a chat with your insurance provider to understand if they offer any specific coverage options for rain damage and ensure you’re well-prepared for any rainy days.

Filing Insurance Claims for Damage Due to Rain

Experiencing rain damage can be disheartening, but knowing the right steps to file a claim can ease the process. Your homeowners insurance may cover certain damages caused by rain, and filing a claim in a timely and accurate manner is crucial for reimbursement. Here's a simplified guide on how to navigate through the claim filing process when the rainy season hits:


Document the Damage

You should take pictures and videos of all affected areas and personal belongings as soon as it's safe.This visual evidence will be invaluable when demonstrating the extent of damage to your insurer.


Temporary Repairs

Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Keep the receipts of any materials or services purchased as they may be reimbursable.


Contact Your Insurance Company

Notify your insurance provider about the damage as soon as possible. They'll provide guidance and initiate the claims process.


Keep a Claim Diary

Maintain a diary with dates, conversations and actions related to your claim. This will help keep things organized and can be beneficial during discussions with your insurer.


Review Your Policy

Understand the coverages, limits and deductibles in your policy to set realistic expectations regarding reimbursement.


Obtain Repair Estimates

Get multiple repair estimates from reputable contractors to clearly understand the repair costs involved.


Meet With the Adjustor

Cooperate with the insurance adjuster, who will assess the damage. Sharing your documentation and estimates can help ensure a fair evaluation.


Follow Up

Stay in regular contact with your insurer, ensuring all requested documentation is submitted promptly and inquiries are addressed in a timely manner.

How to Prevent Home Damage From Rain

Preventing damage from rain is not only about keeping your home in top shape but also about ensuring the safety and comfort of your loved ones. A few proactive steps can significantly minimize the risks associated with heavy rainfall and water damage. Here are some proactive steps you can take to protect your home from rain damage:

  • Maintain Your Gutters Regularly: Ensure gutters and downspouts are clear of debris to facilitate smooth water flow away from your home's foundation.
  • Inspect Your Roof Annually: Check for missing or damaged shingles and fix any issues to prevent leaks during rainstorms.
  • Seal Windows and Doors: Apply weatherstripping to windows and doors to prevent rainwater from seeping inside.
  • Install Sump Pumps: Place sump pumps in prone-to-flood areas to promptly remove any water that accumulates.
  • Extend Downspouts: Direct downspouts away from the foundation to prevent water pooling around your home.
  • Grade Your Yard: Ensure your yard slopes away from your home to encourage water to flow away from the foundation.
  • Plant Strategically: Plant trees and shrubs strategically to help absorb excess water and prevent soil erosion.
  • Check Drainage: Keep drainage areas clear and functioning to prevent water from pooling and causing damage.
  • Stay On Top of Repairs: Address any exterior home repairs promptly to prevent small issues from becoming big problems when it rains.

About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content director at MoneyGeek with over five years of experience analyzing the insurance market, conducting original research and creating content that can be personalized for every buyer. He has been quoted on insurance topics in several publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Mark earned a master’s degree in Economics and International Relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his economics and insurance knowledge to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.