Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Well Going Dry?

Having a private well on your property provides convenient access to fresh water. But wells come with maintenance responsibilities. If your well starts to run dry, you may wonder if your homeowners insurance provides any protection. Can you file a claim?

Unfortunately, standard homeowners insurance does not cover wells drying up due to natural causes. Gradual changes in the water table that reduce flow are excluded. However, if a covered event like a storm suddenly caused well failure, you may have limited coverage, minus your deductible.

Let’s take a closer look at how homeowners insurance addresses wells going dry and what steps you can take to restore your water supply.

Why Do Wells Run Dry?

Many factors can cause a well’s water supply to dwindle or disappear entirely. Common reasons wells go dry include:

  • Drought lowering the local water table

  • Development increasing demand on the aquifer

  • Collapse of the well shaft restricting flow

  • Natural shifts in underground water channels

  • Excessive pumping exceeding the recharge rate

  • Clogging from sediment accumulation

  • Freezing weather restricting water flow

Some of these causes happen gradually over time. But catastrophic events like storms or a lightning strike can also damage wells suddenly. The reason your well went dry determines if homeowners insurance provides coverage.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wells Going Dry?

In general, homeowners insurance does not cover wells drying up due to natural changes in water tables and aquifers that reduce flow. Why is coverage excluded?

  • Dry wells due to drought or natural causes are not sudden property losses.

  • Gradual changes in water supply are not unforeseen catastrophes.

  • Home maintenance like preventative cleaning should address sediment buildup issues.

Since the property owner could take steps to prevent the problem, insurers consider natural well failures foreseeable and excluded.

However, if a covered peril like a storm, flood, or lightning strike suddenly caused your well to stop flowing, you may have limited coverage to repair damage, subject to your deductible.

For example, if lightning struck and damaged your well pump, insurance would cover well pump replacement. Or if a flood collapsed your well shaft, repairs may be covered.

But these cases must involve direct physical well damage from a covered cause of loss. Your policy won’t pay to drill a deeper well if the existing one slowly ran out of water.

Well Coverage Limitations

Even with sudden well damage from a covered event, homeowners insurance claim payments are limited. Keep these restrictions in mind if filing a claim:

  • Only the direct cost to repair well damage is covered, not indirect costs like loss of water.

  • The well pump itself may have a coverage sublimit, such as $1,500.

  • Other structures like wells are covered for only 10-20% of your dwelling coverage limit.

  • Repairs beyond what is required to restore original function are excluded.

  • Only wells connected to your primary residence are covered. Unconnected irrigation or livestock wells have no coverage.

  • Your deductible applies, which could exceed the small covered repair cost.

Read your homeowners policy language closely to understand exclusions. Don’t assume a dry well alone entitles you to claim payment.

Tips for Restoring Your Water Supply

Since homeowners insurance likely won’t restore flow if your well runs dry due to natural causes, take proactive steps to replenish your water supply.

  • Lower and inspect the well pump – A water table drop could put the pump above water level.

  • Test the recharge rate – Calculate if pumping exceeds the aquifer’s natural refill rate.

  • Clean and flush the well – Remove obstructions and sediment reducing flow.

  • Drill the well deeper – Access lower water tables with a deeper borehole.

  • Hydraulically fracture surrounding rock – Increase water flow into the well.

  • Widen the diameter – Enlarge the borehole for greater capacity.

  • Dig a new well – Drill a new well to tap a more robust groundwater source.

  • Connect to municipal water – Run a line to your property if available nearby.

Address the issue promptly since households need adequate clean water. Temporary tank delivery or staying elsewhere may be needed while repairs are made.

Steps for a Well Failure Claim

If your well stops flowing due to a covered catastrophe, follow these steps for a homeowners insurance claim:

  • Document damage – Take photos and get repair estimates from well specialists.

  • File a claim – Contact your insurer explaining the sudden well malfunction from a covered event.

  • Provide documentation – Submit repair estimates, photos proving damage, and policy information.

  • Make temporary arrangements – Arrange drinking water delivery and a place to stay if water is completely out.

  • Make only covered repairs – Don’t pay for uncovered expenses without insurer approval.

  • Follow up on claim status – Contact your adjuster with any questions until settlement.

Even with coverage, it still pays to maintain your well regularly to avoid issues. Keep records proving routine care and damage causes in case questions arise over exclusions. Prevention is the best approach for avoiding dried up wells.

Key Takeaways

Does homeowners insurance cover wells going dry? Key points to remember:

  • Standard policies exclude gradual well failures from natural changes in water tables.

  • Sudden physical damage from covered perils may have limited coverage.

  • Claims are restricted to only repairing direct well damage, not overall water loss.

  • Other structures like wells have low coverage limits under 10-20% of dwelling coverage.

  • Preventative cleaning and maintenance help avoid problems not covered by insurance.

  • Restore flow through professional well repairs, drilling deeper, or connecting to city water.

While coverage for wells going dry is very limited, smart maintenance and quick response when problems arise can restore your water supply and avoid serious household disruptions.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?


Is a well covered under homeowners insurance?

Dwelling coverage: If the well pump is attached to your home, it’d be considered part of your home’s structure. Dwelling coverage pays out the replacement cost value of damage property. Other structures coverage: Other structures coverage protects structures that are detached from your home, including well pumps.

Will homeowners insurance cover well pump replacement?

Homeowner’s insurance will typically cover a well pump if it’s damaged or destroyed in a fire, storm, or other such event.

Does homeowners insurance cover drought damage?

If your foundation is damaged by one of these sources, your homeowners insurance policy will likely cover it. However, for most property and homeowners insurance policies, damage due to drought, natural shrinking, settling, and soil expansion may not be covered.

Does homeowners insurance cover foundation water leaks?

It will cover a foundation leak only if the leak occurred due to a covered cause. For example, if the plumbing in the soil surrounding the home leaks and cracks the foundation, the underlying cause is a covered plumbing issue. The foundation leak would be covered.

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