You’ve made a delicious dinner, shared great company and are now starting at a sink full of dirty dishes. Luckily, you have a dishwasher that does the hard work for you. The dishwasher has been a staple of most homes since the 1970s. But what happens when your dishwasher springs a leak?
The following information will help you if your dishwasher causes more problems than it solves and discuss how home insurance may help
1. Get the Leak Under Control
If you walk into your kitchen and see water coming from under your dishwasher, the first thing you want to do it turn off the power to the dishwasher and then turn off the water. Usually, there’s a valve for this under the kitchen sink on the same side as the dishwasher. If you’re not sure or can’t access it, you can always turn off the main water line to your house.
Once there is no longer an active water leak, start contacting professionals. A plumber or leak detection company can identify and fix the source of the leak. It could be as simple as a clogged drain or something more serious like a cracked or burst pipe. Knowing the source and cause of the leak can be important when dealing with your homeowner’s insurance.
2. Get the Water Out
Depending on the size of the leak, a small amount of standing water can be cleaned up with some towels. But you can’t stop there. While it is important to get rid of any standing water, there may be water or wetness in places you can’t see. If you have a major leak, or your found water damage on your cabinets, walls, or floor, then you may need to call a water mitigation company.
Water mitigation companies are designed to deal with emergencies. They can respond quickly and after business hours in order to begin the drying process. These companies are equipped to dry out large amounts of standing water.
They also use instruments to detect water or dampness in hidden places, such as under and behind cabinets. These professionals can prevent further damage, such as mold growth. Generally, this is not a do-it-yourself job.
If you have enough damage to plan on filing an insurance claim, taking the above steps would be required under the policy of insurance.
3. Determine the Source of the Leak
Am I Covered by Insurance?
Reading an insurance policy is not something homeowners like to do for fun. While there are general principles common to most policies of insurance, the question of coverage for a specific issue will vary from policy to policy. In the case of a dishwasher leak, coverage will likely be determined by the cause of the leak.
Let’s deal with the bad news first.
Reasons Your Dishwasher Leak Might Not Be Covered
Your Dishwasher Broke
If the leak is the result of a faulty dishwasher, the damages will likely not be covered. This is because home insurance is not the same as a warranty. Even if your policy covers the cost of cleaning up the water, you are not likely to get a new dishwasher paid for by your insurance company.
Reasons That Are Likely to Be Covered
Your Leak Was Sudden and Accidental
If a plumber or leak detection company determines the leak was sudden and accidental, meaning not a result of wear and tear, it might be worth contacting your insurance company to file a claim. In addition to the cause of the leak, the steps taken to prevent further damage will be important when filing a claim with your insurance company. As part of that process, it would also be prudent to document with photos and keep all receipts for repairs.
Reasons That Could Go Either Way
Your Pipe Burst
If the leak was the result of a cracked or burst pipe not the result of wear and tear, your policy may provide coverage for the cost of repairs due to water damage, including cleaning up the water. However, insurance will not likely cover the cost to repair the plumbing system. The other wrinkle to this situation lies in the key phrase “wear and tear”. If the cracked or burst pipe failed due to normal wear and tear, then coverage can get more complicated. Your policy may cover the cost of cleaning up the water, but nothing else, or it may not cover anything at all.
A failed appliance can be a traumatic experience, but cooler heads will prevail if you are armed with information. This guide will give the tools to navigate a dishwasher leak successfully.