Water damage to your apartment or house can be frustrating for both homeowners and renters. Especially if it’s sudden and causes damage to your personal belongings. As a tenant, you need to understand the scenarios in which your insurance covers water damage.

This article discusses when renter’s insurance protects you against additional living expenses, when insurance covers damages, and what kinds of water damage aren’t covered.

Personal liability and water damage

Renter’s insurance is a policy that protects tenants from risks by covering expenses related to unforeseen and unexpected circumstances. Insurance covers you in multiple instances when it comes to a water damage claim through protecting your belongings, reimbursing additional living expenses, and covering the cost of damages caused by an event.

Coverage for a water damage claim depends on the perils listed in your policy. Any damage caused by perils not listed in your policy won’t be eligible for a claim. However, while policies may not cover every instance, below are examples where water damage is covered:

  1. A standard renter’s insurance policy covers water damage occurring from leaks. It also includes damage to your personal belongings caused by accidental overflow and water discharge. If your ceiling leaks or household appliances like a washing machine leaks, and causes damage, your insurance will cover the costs. Your insurance policy covers costs associated with an overflow of a toilet, as long as it’s a one-time event.
  2. A burst pipe that leaks into your place of residence and causes damage is covered by your insurance policy. Additionally, if your pipes freeze and cause damage to your belongings, this is a covered peril under your policy. This coverage also applies to heating and cooling systems, pipes, plumbing, and sprinkler systems. However, these instances aren’t covered if you intentionally caused the burst pipe.
  3. APOLLO’s renter’s insurance covers flood damage. Additional coverage, such as the national flood insurance program, will also ensure coverage for losses from floods. If you live in an area where the risk of flooding is considerable, this additional policy is worth the extra cost.
  4. The liability coverage of your renter’s insurance will cover court costs, up to your policy limit, in the event you are sued by your landlord for water damage. Your insurance also protects you from the liability of damage caused to someone else’s belongings, such as when water from your apartment or leaks into your neighbour’s home.
  5. Insurance policies will also cover water damage from rain, windstorms, or hail, as long as you could not have prevented it. Some higher tiered renter’s insurance policies will also include coverage regardless if a window breaks during a storm or you accidentally left a window open.
  6. Sewage backups or water seepage from under a building are also covered by your insurance. If wastewater flows back into your unit, don’t worry your insurance policy will cover any damages to your personal property.
  7. If you have to move out of your rental because of the amount of water damage to the point it became unliveable, the additional expense of rental costs is covered by your renter’s insurance policy. Depending on your policy, it may also cover costs of relocation and commuting if you need to move farther.

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When doesn’t renter’s insurance cover water damage?

Renter’s insurance policies won’t cover damages caused by flooding, sewage backups, negligence, or water damage that occurs while subletting.

Below are some scenarios when you won’t be able to claim renter’s insurance in the event of water damage:

  1. Your policy will not cover losses caused by your negligence. Your renter’s insurance won’t cover damages if you left a window or a door open. If you forget to turn off a faucet or leave a toilet clogged, causing flooding to your home, then your policy won’t reimburse you for the damage. Your insurance is intended to cover accidental and sudden damage, not perils you created.
  2. Renter’s insurance won’t cover water damage that occurs while you are not living in your place of residence. It will also not cover any damages in the event you have sublet the unit you rent.

Learn: What Does (And Doesn’t) Renters Insurance Cover? & How to claim renters insurance?


Water damage is often an unforeseen and unexpected event that can cause costly expenses for you. However, renter’s insurance covers most claims for water damage depending on the kind of loss.

Renter’s insurance can protect you from personal liability and alleviate financial costs occurring from water damage. In short, renter’s insurance is worth purchasing to help protect you against costly repairs or replacing damaged personal property.

Related: The importance of home or renters’ insurance before holiday travels

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