Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Well Failure?

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  • Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Well Failure?

Well failure and repair are covered by homeowners insurance if the damage or failure was caused by a covered peril, such as lightning or a hurricane. If the well is attached to your home, it would be covered under your policy’s dwelling coverage. If it’s not attached to your home, it would be covered under your policy’s other structures coverage, which is usually 10% of the dwelling maximum.

However, not all forms of well failure are covered. If the failure or damage to your well occurred because you failed to properly take care of it, your policy wouldn’t provide coverage. Similarly, a well failure due to general wear and tear from usage — including with both the well and its parts — won’t be covered.

Since millions of Americans still rely on a well to get their household water, some insurance companies may offer an equipment breakdown rider or endorsement, which is an additional form of coverage provided for wells and other utilities on your property. If your insurer offers a rider or endorsement for additional coverage, it likely won’t break the bank and may only add $100 to $300 to your homeowners insurance premium per year.

If your insurer doesn’t offer an equipment breakdown rider or endorsement, you may want to invest in a home warranty for your well. As always, it’s a good idea to consult your insurance agent to figure out which type of additional coverage is best for you.

4 Common Types of Well Failures and Their Coverage

If your home relies on a well as its primary source of water, any malfunction or breakdown could be devastating — and costly. Homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $5,000 to fix their well, depending on the issue at hand.

While small repairs to your home’s well can set you back a few hundred dollars, the average well pump replacement costs about $1,500 and the average cost to replace the well itself can easily top $4,000. So let’s take a look at some of the most common forms of well failures and what kind of coverage you can expect from your home insurer.

Wear and Tear

As we previously mentioned above, well failures or damage due to wear and tear or neglect aren’t covered by your homeowners insurance policy. As a homeowner, you’re responsible for ensuring your well is in working order so that your home is constantly supplied with water.

If your well fails because you neglected to maintain or fix it, your insurer will hold you liable for the failure and, therefore, will not pay to repair or replace it. Similarly, wells — like any other appliance in your home — have a lifespan. Albeit, the average lifespan of a well can be anywhere from 30 to 50 years.

If that well is at the end of its lifespan, similarly to your roof, your insurer is not responsible for its coverage since it could break down any day. If your well is more than 20 years old, it’s recommended to get it inspected once a year to ensure it’s working properly. Doing so could stop the failure before it begins.

Earthquakes & Ground Movement

Earthquakes have become fairly common on the west coast of the United States and have had smaller impacts on the rest of the country. Unfortunately, damage caused by earthquakes — or any other form of ground movement — isn’t covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

To get well coverage for earthquakes, you’d have to invest in a separate earthquake insurance policy, which is much more common in California and other west coast states. If you live in a state that’s prone to earthquakes, we highly suggest you invest in earthquake insurance because standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover any form of earthquake damage to your home or belongings.

Other forms of ground movement like erosion and sinkholes are typically excluded from coverage as well. However, if your well failure is caused by a sinkhole that also affected your house, you may be covered. It’s always best to consult your insurance agent to figure out the exact coverage details of your unique policy.

Collapsed Well

If your well collapses due to a covered peril, such as a hurricane or tornado, you’d likely have coverage and your homeowners insurance would likely pay to repair or replace your well. In this instance, you’d simply have to pay your deductible and your insurer would take care of the rest.

Dry Well

If your well runs dry, there’s a great chance that either the well has had an issue or, if you get your water from a spring, the spring has dried up. Again, if the well runs dry due to a covered peril, which is quite unlikely, you’d be covered.

However, the most common cause of a dry well is that the spring used as a water source has run dry. In this scenario, it would likely be due to natural causes and you wouldn’t be covered. At that point, you’d either have to consider finding a new source of well water or converting it from a well and tap into the city’s system.

How to Get Water Well and Septic Insurance

If you already have a homeowners policy in place but don’t have coverage for your well, the easiest way to get coverage is by adding an equipment breakdown rider or endorsement to your policy. If your insurer doesn’t provide one, you may want to invest in a home warranty or search around for another carrier.

Or you could try out Clovered. We make finding homeowners insurance with said riders and endorsements super easy. Just put your home’s information into our easy-to-use online quoting tool and we’ll find a policy that fits your needs — and your budget — in minutes.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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