Homeowners insurance may cover well pump failure or damage that is caused by a covered peril, like a lightning strike, windstorm, or fire. But if it breaks down due to general wear and tear, overuse, or from mechanical or electrical failure, homeowners insurance won’t cover the cost of repairs.
Homeowners insurance covers many kinds of unforeseen damage and loss, but generally won’t cover systems and appliances that break down due to a lack of maintenance. As the homeowner, it’s your responsibility to take care of the general upkeep of your well water system with routine maintenance checks.
That said, you may be able to add additional coverage to your policy to protect your well pump against mechanical or electrical failure.
Home insurance may help pay for repairs to your well pump if it is damaged by a covered peril, like fire or weather-related damage
Home insurance won’t cover your well pump if it is damaged due to wear and tear, old age, or mechanical and electrical breakdown
You may be able to add coverage to your policy or purchase a home warranty to protect your well pump against mechanical and electrical breakdown
When does homeowners insurance cover well pump failure?
Depending on the type of well pump you have, it may either sit above ground or deep underground beneath the well itself. Insurers classify well pumps as either attached to your home and part of the dwelling coverage component of your policy, or detached from your home and part of other structures coverage.
Home insurance can help pay for repairs to your well pump if it’s damaged by a covered peril, but because well pumps are commonly submerged in the earth, they aren't typically at high risk for sudden and accidental damage. That said, well pumps can be above ground, and there are causes of well pump failure that home insurance does cover.
Homeowners insurance may help pay for well pump repair or replacement if it is damaged by fire. If your well pump is located in your basement, for example, and your house catches on fire, home insurance can help pay to repair the well pump, as well as the rest of the damage.
Homeowners insurance does cover lightning strikes, so if your above ground well pump is struck by lightning, it may be considered a covered loss. If a lightning strike results in a power surge that fries your well pump, home insurance may cover repairs for that too, but it'll depend on your insurer and policy.
Home insurance covers weather-related damage, like wind, hail, or snowstorm. For example, if a hail storm damages your well pump, or if your well pump gets swept away in a windstorm, home insurance can help pay for the repairs or replacement of the pump.
Damage from falling objects, like trees, may be covered by home insurance, but only if the tree was healthy (not diseased or dying). If a healthy tree falls on your above ground well pump, home insurance may help pay to replace or repair it.
Homeowners insurance covers damage from vandalism, break-ins, and riots. If someone vandalizes, tampers with, or damages your well pump out of malicious intent, home insurance may help pay for the repairs.
When does home insurance not cover well pump failure?
Well pumps may fail due to low water levels or a buildup of sediment, neither of which are covered by home insurance. There are several other types of damage that could lead to well pump failure that home insurance will not cover:
Normal wear and tear
Mechanical or electrical breakdown, like if a power surge or outage results in well pump failure
Maintenance issues or lack of upkeep
Earthquake or any kind of earth movement
How does home insurance pay for well pump damage?
How home insurance will pay out for a covered loss will depend on if your well pump is attached to your home. Well pumps are either covered by dwelling or other structures coverages in your policy.
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. Other structures coverage also pays out RCV, but has a coverage limit of 10% of your dwelling coverage.
Check with your insurer to see if your well pump is considered to be part of your house or an additional structure.
Additional coverage for well pumps
As we mentioned earlier, home insurance won’t cover well pump failure due to wear and tear, maintenance issues, or mechanical or electrical failure.
Well pumps run on electricity, so it’s not uncommon that a power surge could result in the electrical failure of a well pump. That’s why adding equipment breakdown coverage to your homeowners insurance is essential — otherwise you could be left paying hundreds to thousands of dollars for a new well pump.
Equipment breakdown coverage
Equipment breakdown coverage is an endorsement that you can add to your policy to protect your home’s systems and appliances, including well pumps, in the event of power surges, mechanical and electrical breakdown, and improper installation.
Equipment breakdown coverage works similarly to a home warranty, except it is much cheaper, costing around $25 to $50 annually for $50,000 worth of coverage.
Learn more about equipment breakdown coverage
A home warranty is a service contract that can pay for repairs to your well pump and other appliances if they break down due to wear and tear or age. A home warranty is separate from your home insurance, you’d purchase the warranty from a warranty company and pay that company monthly premiums.
It’s important to note that home warranties can have some drawbacks, there’s a lot of fine print and exclusions when it comes to what is covered and what isn’t. They can also cost around $300 to $600 a year. If you have the option of adding equipment breakdown coverage to your home policy, that may be the more affordable option for protecting your well pump and other systems.
Learn more about how home warranties work
How do I know if my well pump is damaged?
There are several signs that may reveal your well pump is damaged:
Muddy, cloudy, or discolored water
Low or no water pressure
Bad tasting water
Expensive spike in your electric bill
If you notice any of the above signs, it may also be a different part of the well system that is damaged. Make sure to check the well tank and pressure switch, too.