Does homeowners insurance in South Carolina cover busted pipes? 

I’m a new homeowner in South Carolina. If I have a problem with my plumbing system and experience leaking or burst pipes, will my South Carolina homeowners insurance cover it? 

Answer:

The answer to this questions isn’t always abundantly clear. Whether or not your homeowners insurance covers busted pipes depends heavily on the circumstances surrounding your burst pipes. 

In many cases, your homeowners insurance in South Carolina will cover the water damage caused by the burst pipes, but will not cover the damage to the pipes or plumbing systems.

When does South Carolina homeowners insurance cover busted pipes? 

A: In general, homeowners insurance in South Carolina will cover water damage if it caused by:

  • Rain or snow
  • Plumbing (burst pipes, frozen plumbing, faulty plumbing, accidental overflow)
  • Water damage from extinguishing a fire
  • A leaky roof 
  • Accidental overflow of an appliance or fixture (toilet, sink, washing machine)
  • Mold that results from covered water damage
  • Vandalism

What am I responsible for in South Carolina?

A: Plumbing in particular is considered to be a home maintenance issue, and if your insurance company feels that you were at fault or failed to take precautions to protect your pipes, your claim could be denied. 

But in general, homeowners insurance covers damage due to broken pipes if their collapse is sudden and unforeseen. If water damage occurs gradually due to a leaky or rusty pipe that you should have been aware of and taken steps to fix, your may find yourself without coverage.

What exactly does my coverage protect against in South Carolina?

A: Keep in mind that your coverage will be for the water damage, not the plumbing system itself. So flooring, cabinetry, and other personal possessions that are damaged by the resulting water flow would be covered. What’s more, you’d likely have coverage for the destruction necessary to get to the plumbing system (e.g., digging a ditch in your garage or tearing through a wall), but not for the replacement of any pipes or plumbing equipment.

If homeowners insurance doesn’t cover busted pipes in South Carolina, what will? 

A: Your homeowners insurance policy in South Carolina will provide coverage for damage caused by the burst pipes, as well as any destruction to your home that is necessary to get to the plumbing system to make repairs. There aren't other insurance policies that cover busted pipes or other damage to your actual plumbing equipment.

Is there any other insurance to consider in South Carolina? 

A: Some policies, called earth movement insurance, may provide some coverage for pipes and other plumbing equipment that bursts due to earthquakes, landslides, or soil changes. Only people who live in certain areas would need this type of coverage, so it is not a policy that is widely purchased or available.

Article Reviewed by | Paul Martin

https://doi.sc.gov/613/Homeowners-Insurance

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