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Law Offices of Fred L. Valentine, Jr.


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Real Estate

Mechanic's Lien

What is a slab leak?

A slab is another name for the concrete foundation some homes are built upon. Water and sewer lines often run below the slab. A slab leak can result if those lines break or deteriorate and release water under your home's foundation.

Are repairs covered by homeowners insurance?

If a peril that's covered by your homeowners insurance policy results in a plumbing leak under your slab creating a slab leak, your homeowners insurance policy might help pay to tear out and replace the slab and repair the water damage to your home. Covered perils typically include risks like fire, wind, explosions and falling objects. So, for instance, if a tornado damages your home and the slab, resulting in a slab leak or slab damage, a homeowners insurance policy that covers wind damage will likely help pay for repairs.

Two types of homeowners insurance coverage may apply in this type of situation:

Dwelling coverage

Dwelling coverage helps pay to repair damage to the structure of your home. If you have a slab leak, it may help cover the cost of removing the slab and replacing it after the plumbing is repaired, but probably will not pay to fix the plumbing itself.

Personal property coverage

Personal property coverage helps pay to repair damage to belongings in your home. If your leaking slab causes water damage to your furniture, for example, personal property coverage may help pay to repair or replace it.

Keep in mind that you'll typically need to pay your deductible before insurance kicks in to help cover the rest — up to the limits stated in your policy.

Again, it's important to remember that homeowners insurance will only help cover damage caused by a peril listed in your policy. Homeowners insurance generally does not cover maintenance issues or wear and tear. So, if a slab leak results when tree roots damage your plumbing, or from plumbing lines that are simply past their prime, a typical homeowners insurance will not pay for repairs. However, you may be able to add separate service line coverage to your homeowners insurance policy. If you have that coverage, it can help pay to repair damage to a service line.

How to tell if you have a slab leak

A slab leak can be difficult for the average person to detect until the home begins to exhibit signs, according to Angie's List. Those signs may include increased water bills, the sound of water running, the loss of water pressure, damp baseboards or wet carpets and floors. If you suspect you have a slab leak, it's a good idea to hire a professional who can determine if there is a leak and where it's coming from, says Angie's List.

Hopefully you'll never experience a slab leak, but it's a good idea to recognize the signs and understand under what circumstances homeowners insurance may help. Your insurance provider can help you review your policy and answer questions about what risks it covers.

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