Cold weather can be a concern for homeowners since pipes can burst, causing water damage to a property. In order to file a homeowners insurance burst pipe claim, this type of coverage must be specified in the policy. Here's a look at what happens for homeowners when pipes get damaged by severe weather.
Different Types of Pipe Damage
Water damage could be covered in your standard homeowners policy, but since there are different ways water damage can occur, you must read and understand your policy carefully. It all depends on the underlying cause and whether or not the damage resulted from "gradual damage".
Your plan may only cover a pipe that breaks suddenly, but not necessarily if it were due to a cracked foundation or a long-term leak. The plan might also cover air conditioning leaks and problems with your washing machine, but it likely won't cover normal wear and tear issues. In some cases, homeowners might be covered for unforeseen damage from an existing problem.
Insurance agencies view plumbing as a normal maintenance responsibility for homeowners. It's up to the property owner to check pipes and protect them from freezing in the winter. Many homeowners hire professional plumbers to inspect their pipes periodically to make sure they aren't clogged or ready to crack.
Keeping your pipes clean from mold and mildew is another proactive step to prevent pipe vulnerabilities. Inspectors can ensure pipes fit tightly together and fix any small leaks quickly. If you file a claim that pertains to leaks, your insurer might ask you the last time you had your pipes professionally inspected.
Water Leak Homeowners Insurance
A standard homeowners insurance plan may cover a water leak, but it usually must be sudden and unforeseen. The longer the leak persists, the more likely it will not be covered, especially if the pipe is covered with rust. It is common knowledge that unrepaired leaks take a toll on piping over time.
Leaky pipes are often the result of the homeowner neglecting to perform routine maintenance and inspections, which is why such claims are often denied. Broken or burst pipes, however, typically are covered if the damage is completely unexpected, such as from a severe storm or an accident. However, if the insurer who investigates the claim finds evidence of a long-term leak or neglect, the claim will probably not stand up. If you file a claim that gets denied, first consider getting a second opinion from another licensed insurance agent or a professional consumer advocacy organization that deals with insurance in your area.
Filing a Claim for a Pipe Burst
Standard homeowners’ policies usually don't cover natural flooding but do cover flooding caused by a sudden pipe burst. It all depends on how the existing policy is worded, as each insurance agency designs its own plans. That's why you should periodically discuss your homeowners policy with your insurer, to know for sure what happens in worst-case scenarios. Whatever coverage you lack can be added to your plan before the disaster occurs.
When you file a claim for a pipe burst, you will need to document all the damage to floors, carpets, walls, and other parts of the home. It is important to have coverage that pays for draining the water, drying out the home, and ensuring mold and mildew don't set in. Make sure your water-related appliances are part of the coverage.
You never know when a pipe might burst, so it helps to check for burst pipe coverage in your homeowners insurance policy. Filing homeowners insurance burst pipe claims can be challenging. To learn more about getting the right homeowners insurance coverage, contact the experts at Fuller Insurance
in Southern California today. We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs.