How do you remove water from the basement

Water damage

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Which insurance covers the costs and how do you behave correctly

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A break in the water pipe, a leaky drain in the dishwasher or an incorrectly connected washing machine - water damage can quickly occur in the house or apartment.

It is best to document the damage early and comprehensively so that your household insurance can get an idea of ​​the damaged household effects and the home insurance of the affected parts of the building. Depending on the cause and the affected objects, different insurance companies are responsible for water damage.

Here you can find out everything about water damage - what can I claim, which insurances will cover the damage and how to behave correctly in an emergency!

Information on home contents insurance from CosmosDirekt can be found on the product page.

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Is the topic of rent reduction interesting for you as a tenant? In many cases, you are entitled to a rent reduction in the event of water damage. We have put this topic together for you in our exclusive and free guide.

How to claim a rent reduction claim

At a Water damage you have a good chance of rent reduction. You can find out more in our guide.

Water damage - who pays what damage?

Water damage is one of the most common cases of damage in Germany. Around 3,000 water damage is reported to insurers every day. The causes and effects are very different. Sometimes it's a burst pipe that floods the hobby room, sometimes a downpour or a defective seal on the washing machine that causes a flood in the basement. In the case of damage, it always depends on the exact circumstances whether an insurance covers the water damage. And which insurance ultimately pays out depends on how and where the damage occurred.


  • The resident's household insurance replaces water damage to movable furniture and household items.
  • The owner's home insurance will reimburse water damage to the apartment or building.
  • If the neighbor suffers water damage, the neighbour's liability insurance will cover the costs.
  • Water damage caused by natural disasters or storms (e.g. floods, flooding, etc.) is covered by natural hazard insurance.

In many cases, you have one Water damage one in your apartment Rent reduction to. However, the correct procedure is particularly important here. Our guide to rent reduction helps you follow the right steps and points out what to look for.

What does the household insurance pay in the event of water damage?

The home contents insurance replaces damage that on furniture and other movable things arise in your home. However, not all conceivable circumstances and risks are covered. The water damage must be directly related to the following installations:

  • Pipes for drinking water and sewage
  • Line system in house and apartment
  • Connected hoses from washing machine, dishwasher etc.
  • Hot water and steam heating system
  • Air conditioning, solar and heat pump heating
  • Sprinkler and sprinkler systems

Water damage is insured by the household contents insurance if it was caused by the improper leakage of tap water. The causes for this can be varied. The actual insured event, however, is not the leak itself, but the effects of the water on the household effects at the place of damage. The insurance cover also extends to cases in which tap water penetrates the apartment from the outside and causes water damage to the household effects.

The following water damage is usually not included in the insurance cover:

  • Damage from splashing and cleaning water
  • Damage from rising groundwater
  • Damage from backwater in the sewer system

With the comprehensive insurance coverage of our household contents insurance, you not only protect your household effects against water damage, but also against theft, robbery or vandalism, for example.

What does the building insurance pay in the event of water damage?

If the property itself is affected by water damage, the residential building insurance will cover it Costs for repairs and maintenance and other consequential damage from. This includes, in particular, damage to the building or its permanently connected components as a result of water leaking from sanitary and heating systems. Thus, damage to the building fabric, such as. B. on the floor or on the walls - in contrast to household insurance, which protects the furnishing of the house.

Water damage in an unoccupied house or a little-used apartment insurers only take over if certain criteria are met. Vacant buildings are generally not insured. These are buildings that are either currently being built and are not yet ready for occupancy or that have been cleared out due to major renovation measures and cannot be inhabited at the moment.

In the event of a longer absence: Homeowners insurance only pays if you have a conscience Duties have followed. This applies both to your own four walls, for example if you are going on a holiday lasting several weeks, as well as to gazebos and holiday homes that you rarely use. A prerequisite for water damage to be regulated by the building insurance is that regular inspection of all water-bearing systems.

If you rarely stay in your holiday home and cannot comply with the monitoring obligation, it is best to close all water-carrying systems and empty them before leaving.

Water damage from neighbors - this pays for the liability insurance

Did you Neighbor over you one Water damage and if this affects your home, then he will have to pay you compensation. Payment of these costs takes over the liability insurance of the neighbors. However, liability insurance does not replace your own water damage; household insurance or building insurance is responsible for this. The same applies to you: In the event of water damage in your apartment that affects the neighboring apartment, you should have liability insurance that will cover these costs.

With our liability insurance calculator you can easily calculate your insurance premium online and then take out our private liability insurance.

Natural hazard insurance - additional protection against natural hazards

Even as a natural event, water can develop a destructive force. Tens of thousands of households were affected by the record flood in June 2013. In Germany alone, more than 180,000 claims have been reported to insurers. Cost factor: almost 2 billion euros. The federal government later put the total damage at around 6.7 billion euros.

If a flood causes the basement to run full of water, building insurance and household contents insurance only pay for this water damage if a special additional insurance has been agreed: the Natural hazard insurance. For example, after a flood or heavy rain, it bears the repair costs in and around the house, pays for the renovation of the building or reimburses the replacement price for destroyed belongings.

With natural hazard insurance, you can protect yourself against numerous natural events:

  • flooding
  • earthquake
  • landslide
  • Snow pressure and avalanches
  • Backwater

The natural hazard insurance is available as Addition to household contents and residential building insurance possible. You cannot take out this insurance separately.

With CosmosDirekt household contents insurance and homeowners insurance, you can insure yourself against natural hazards for a small additional amount.

The difference between home insurance and personal liability insurance

It can quickly happen that household insurance and liability insurance are confused when it comes to water damage. The following applies: If I cause water damage in my apartment myself, my own household insurance must be addressed. If the water damage also causes damage to neighboring apartments, then this is a case for your own personal liability insurance.

Check which insurance is responsible for settling claims:
Damages caused by
What insurance pays?
Own tap water

Household insurance, home insurance

Foreign tap water

Personal liability insurance of the polluter

sewageHousehold insurance, home insurance
(only in the event of damage to the house or apartment)

Natural damage insurance


Natural hazard insurance

Consequential damage and claims settlement by the insurance company

Pay household and building insurance in addition to the actual water damage, there may also be additional damage Consequential damage. The residential building insurance covers consequential damage, provided this can clearly be traced back to the water damage. For example, if the water damage triggers a short circuit that causes a fire, the building insurance pays this consequential damage. The building insurance can also cover hotel costs if the apartment is temporarily uninhabitable after the water damage. In the case of consequential damage, too, it is important to record it precisely with photos and to report it to the insurer immediately.

How long it takes for the insurance to complete claims settlement depends on various factors and is different for each insured event. In addition to the extent of the damage and the repair costs incurred, the most important factor is how quickly and in detail you have reported the damage to the insurer.

Water damage: what to do?

Just turned on the washing machine - and suddenly the whole kitchen is under water. Quick action is now required:

1. Turn off the water supply
In the event of a pipe burst or something similar, you have to immediately cut off the water supplyso that the damage does not become even greater than it already is. This means closing the relevant shut-off cocks. If that doesn't help, turn off the main water tap in an emergency. Note: turn the tap clockwise.

2. Turn off the power
Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. To prevent a short circuit and possible consequential fires, turn off the power supply in the affected area. To do this, either flip the corresponding toggle switch on your fuse or unscrew the screw fuse.

3. Eliminate water
As soon as the damaged area is secured, you can start cleaning up. First of all, this includes removing the leaked water. You can pick up this with the help of dry cloths, for example. With larger amounts of water, it is advisable to use a so-called wet vacuum cleaner. If the volume of water leaked out is very large, you should use the local fire Department communicate. With special pumps, this can, for example, suck the water out of a full basement room. Note: In an emergency, contact a specialist company to initiate a damage reduction and to carry out the first measures, such as an emergency repair.

4. Save household items
When you've removed the water as best you can, you should bring endangered household effects out of the damaged area. This applies in particular to carpets, chairs, tables, cupboards and other pieces of furniture or furnishings. For example, you can prevent your kitchen furniture from swelling on the plinth if a broken hose from the dishwasher has flooded the kitchen. If certain pieces of furniture cannot be transported, you should at least raise them. Improvised feet made of styrofoam or plastic parts have proven their worth, as these materials are waterproof. Wood or cardboard is not recommended. If these materials get wet, they also swell - this not only increases the damage, but there is also an additional risk of mold!

5. Document the damage
It is advisable to keep documentation for the subsequent claims processing. At the latest after removing the leaked water and securing the household items, you should use the Photograph the actual damaged area. All damage to objects should also be documented in detail. Important: Photograph all objects from different angles so that the insurance company can later get an authentic impression of the water damage. It is also important for you that all damage is really recorded. If something is thrown away during the later drying phase, you no longer have any proof that the item was really affected by the water damage.

6. Report water damage to the insurance company
After the detailed documentation of the Damage you should do this immediately Notify insurance. Depending on the tariff, the insurance will even support you with a specialist company for drying and repairs. The insurer also provides information about which other documents are required to settle the claim. If you are not the owner of the building, the landlord or property manager must also be informed.

Water damage in the rented apartment - who pays?

Is the Tenant responsible for the water damage, pays his home insurance for the furniture and movable objects in the apartment, provided that it is a question of tap water damage. The tenant's household contents insurance can also cover the costs of overnight stays in the hotel or the storage of furniture. If the water damage also affects neighbors, the tenant's liability insurance is responsible for these costs. This is also responsible if the building was affected by the water damage.

Is the The landlord responsible for the damage pays their homeowner insurance for the repair of the building and the building fabric. In this case, tenants can claim damage to household items as compensation from the landlord. As a tenant, you can also reduce the rent appropriately. Due to the noise from drying equipment or the uninhabitability of the apartment, the Rent reduction legitimate in many cases and alleviate any inconvenience.

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