If rainwater penetrates your home and causes damage, does it count as water damage according to your homeowner? In most cases, water damage is covered from rain if the rain enters the property through a covered hazard.
If, for example, your home is exposed to hurricane damage, hail or wind and rain then enters through the exposed area, your homeowner's insurance can cover any subsequent damage. However, if floods enter the home through an exposure and cause damage, this falls under a separate type of damage and would require supplementary flood insurance to provide coverage.
Some common examples of covered sources of rain damage include wind-driven rain, snow and ice ponds, mold and vandalism. In the case of mold, if rain enters your home through a covered hazard and is not treated in time, it can lead to mold developing and causing more damage. If your home is vandalized and there is an exposure through a broken window or door that rain penetrates through, most homeowners will cover. If the property has been vacant for some time, there can be no coverage if there are any vacancy clauses in your insurance.
There are several cases where water damage from rainwater is not covered by a standard insurance for homeowners. As previously mentioned, water damage from floods or storm surges falls under a separate flood insurance. Another example is that rainwater penetrates through a damaged or compromised structure that is poorly maintained or neglected. The insurers do not cover damages that were due to homeowners neglecting the terms of their property structure. This includes rainwater that collects over time and is not addressed by the homeowner.
We have created a white paper on rain damage for policyholders with information on cases of rain damage. One of the most important things policyholders can do is maintain the maintenance of the property to avoid your insurance company denying your claim due to negligence. It is also a good idea to make temporary repairs to cover exposed areas so that rain cannot enter the home. Be sure to keep receipts for materials or services used to make these repairs, as your insurance company may reimburse you for these costs depending on your insurance.