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Woman with umbrella catches water in bucket

Temporary message about water damage

Jan 15, 2024
4 min reading time

Water damage from extreme weather has become increasingly common recently. This can cause significant damage to your home and other possessions. Want to know which damages are and are not covered by your insurance and what preparations you can make to prevent them as much as possible? Then read the following blog.

Home and contents insurance

When assessing, insurers first look at what caused the damage.

  • Precipitation includes: rain, hail, snow.
  • Indirect precipitation causes damage due to flooding of ditches, canals and quays due to heavy precipitation.

You are insured against water damage in two ways: with contents and building insurance. The building insurance applies to immovable property, such as your home, garage, shed or office building. With building insurance you protect these buildings and everything that is part of them against water damage.

And contents insurance applies to all other movable items: simply everything you would take with you if you were to move. So your furniture, artwork, lamps and clothes. Those items in your home are insured with contents insurance. Important to remember: water damage is covered by default on the most common home contents insurance policies.

What does my insurance cover?

Exactly what your home contents insurance pays for depends on the coverage and product you've chosen. Various forms of water damage are covered, ranging from damage from frozen pipes to unforeseen circumstances such as sewage rising through the toilet or a leaking water bed. Severe precipitation, including rain, hail or snow, and leakage to gutters or the roof, may also be covered.

Want to know exactly what you are entitled to in the event of a claim? Then the policy terms and conditions are important. Do you find them complicated? Then ask your personal advisor to find out for you. Your advisor has experience in sorting out terms and conditions.

What does the insurance not cover?

The insurance does not provide coverage in the following situations:

  • Water damage due to overdue maintenance.
  • Water damage caused by negligence, such as because windows, shutters or doors were open.
  • Water damage during a remodel.
  • Water damage caused by natural disasters, such as a levee breach. In such cases, you can rely on the Disaster Damage Compensation Act (WTS) to recover damages from the government.

And my car?

Water damage is often not limited to homes; cars are also vulnerable objects. If you are insured with third-party insurance, the damage will be at your expense. In the case of force majeure damage, such as damage caused by extreme rainfall or flooding, then it may be covered by third-party limited liability car insurance or all-risk insurance. Review your policy to verify what is and isn't covered. Can't figure it out? Then ask your personal advisor for help.

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What can you do to prevent water damage?

Although you cannot prevent all damage, you can do the following to reduce the chance and mitigate the consequences.

  • Regular inspection and cleaning of gutters.
  • Closing skylights in absence.
  • The use of drip trays under the washing machine.
  • Shutting off outdoor faucets in the winter.
  • Regularly inspect the boiler (or have it inspected).
  • Checking kit seams in kitchen, shower and toilet.

What should you do in the event of water damage?

In the case of water damage, there are four steps to follow.

  • First, the cause of the damage must be addressed immediately.
  • Then the damaged items should be dried, without repairing them, so that an expert can assess the damage.
  • Report the water damage to your insurance company. The insurer will determine how the damage will be settled. An expert may come by to determine together the extent and cause of the damage.
  • Is the cause insured? Then the insurer will pay out the established claim amount.

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