Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Rotting Wood?
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Understanding Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Wood Rot

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A home is a big investment, and having homeowners insurance provides financial protection against damage in the event a catastrophe happens. Rotting wood can be a major problem in homes, since this issue often leads to structural damage along the roof, floors, and walls. Homeowners insurance typically covers wood rot that’s the direct result of a covered peril, but it won’t always pay for claims associated with long-term neglect. Determining what your insurance policy will cover lets you know when you can file a claim to get help from your homeowners insurance policy.

Know Where Wood Rot Commonly Occurs

One of the biggest problems with wood rot is that it often happens out of sight. You might not know your house has rotting wood until a roof is being replaced or you choose to remove a wall during a home remodeling project. However, you can check for signs that rotting wood could be developing. Checking for signs of leaks around windows and appliances that use water can help you catch wood rot before it spreads.

Determine the Cause of Rotting Wood

If you do find rotting wood, you’ll want to find out if the source is covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Common covered perils include sudden problems a homeowner couldn’t normally foresee or prevent. For instance, wood rot that occurs from a leaking pipe behind a wall might be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. The same could be true regarding a water heater that suddenly springs a leak. Certain types of storm damage may also be covered, but you might need to check to see if you have flood insurance to get coverage for rotting wood that happens due to this type of natural disaster.

File Claims as Soon as Possible

Waiting too long could also cause your claim to be denied if it leads to the insurance company questioning how and when the damage occurred. Extensive wood rot might be caused by a long history of neglected maintenance, which isn’t typically covered by an insurance policy. If a catastrophic situation occurs, make sure to inspect your home carefully for signs of damage. For example, working with your insurance company to get coverage to replace waterlogged materials after a burst pipe could even potentially prevent wood rot from developing in the first place.

Take Steps to Prevent Wood Rot

Rotting wood can quickly destroy the structural integrity of your home. However, keeping up with household maintenance can prevent you from needing to worry about trying to file a claim. Plus, keeping your home in good condition makes it easier to prove when wood rot occurred because of a covered peril rather than neglect. Make sure to keep your water-based appliances in good condition, and address any signs of leaks right away. Keeping a sturdy roof and strong windows on your house also prevents water from making its way to the underlying wood in your house.

Make sure to check with your insurance agent so you know exactly what’s covered in the event of wood rot in your home. If you need reliable, affordable homeowners insurance, call on the experienced, trustworthy professionals at Altra Insurance Services. We can also provide you with renters, commercial, and car insurance. San Diego homeowners can learn more about our high-quality personal service by calling us today at (619) 404-6311.

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