Whether or not you can claim residential plumbing services under your home insurance policy depends on the specific details of your policy and the circumstances surrounding the damage. In general, most home insurance policies will cover water damage caused by burst or frozen pipes. However, it is important to review the specific terms of your policy to understand what is covered and what is not. Insurance policies and coverages vary by company, region, and state laws.
Home Insurance Exclusions
It is important to note that some policies may have exclusions for certain types of water damage. For example, if the damage was caused by a flood or other natural disaster, your policy may not cover the cost of repairs. In some regions, you can purchase flood insurance as a separate policy, but the cost of flood insurance is often prohibitive.
Another exclusion may come into play if the damage was caused by negligence or lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied. Scheduling annual plumbing inspections and taking care to winterize your pipes in late autumn is typically the only regular maintenance required beyond random or unexpected damages.
To determine whether or not you can make a claim for burst or frozen pipes, it is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after the damage occurs. You will need to provide details about the cause of the damage, the extent of the damage, and any steps you have taken to mitigate further damage. Taking steps to reduce additional damage is important. For example, failing to shut off the water at the leak may be determined to be negligence, and could limit or eliminate any coverage you may have deserved. When a pipe bursts, call for emergency plumbing services to prevent additional damage.
What You Can Claim
If you have costs associated with mitigating the damage, you may be able to claim them as an emergency repair. It can benefit your position to take photos before and after every step of the repair process, beginning with the initially broken pipe.
What You Cannot Claim
A home insurance claim will not pay for pre-existing damages, rot, mold and mildew. This is because some homeowners have allowed their plumbing to leak for extended periods that result in decayed ceilings, walls, and floors. A burst pipe may be covered under your policy, but home renovations are not.
Related Insurance Claims
Storm damage or other types of incidents can cause plumbing problems that are covered by your homeowner’s policy. In some cases– such as a reckless driver, or your neighbor’s tree falling on your home– May be covered by someone else’s insurance policy. If you have a plumbing leak, flooding, or other plumbing problems that you believe are caused by someone else, contact your insurance company and ask them how to proceed.
Know Your Policy
In order to ensure that you are fully covered in the event of burst or frozen pipes, it is important to review your home insurance policy on a regular basis and make sure that you have adequate coverage for your specific needs. You may also want to consider adding additional coverage options, such as flood insurance, if you live in an area that is prone to flooding or other natural disasters. The key to successfully making a claim for burst or frozen pipes is to act quickly, provide detailed information to your insurance provider, and work closely with them to ensure that your claim is properly processed and handled.
Home Warranty Coverage
In addition to the possibility of being covered by your insurance policy, you may be able to file the claim against your home warranty if it is still in effect. Unlike insurance, a home warranty is typically a one-time purchase that covers home appliances and essential systems for a prescribed period of time. In most cases, home warranties are bought at or near closing on the property and last for between 2 and 5 years.
Residential Plumbing Services
Qualified plumbing contractors are your best course of action when a pipe breaks, whether you have home insurance coverage, a home warranty, or will be paying out of pocket. Plumbers are experienced in emergency shut-offs, and may be able to talk you through the disconnect over the phone and before contractors arrive on location to repair the problem. Unless you are experienced in home plumbing repairs, call an experienced contractor as soon as you discover the leak.
Summertime Plumbing Issues
The vast majority of broken pipes outside the home occur during the Spring and Summer months. Rather than being caused by inclement weather, warm weather broken pipes are typically the result of digging related to new construction or landscaping.
This type of damage is not generally covered by a home warranty or homeowners’ insurance, but it does underscore the need to vet any contractors who perform work on your property. A contractor that is licensed and insured would be responsible and capable of repairing any damages they make. On the flip side of the coin, uninsured contractors may pass the damages on to you, generating additional costs because of unprofessional workmanship.
The best course of action is to have the work area checked by a utilities locator before the job begins. Locators will locate and mark underground lines such as gas, water, and sewer. With the lines marked, contractors can more easily perform their work without the risk of utility-related damages. Depending on the type of lines being located, the utility company may furnish location services for you. Gas lines, for example, are typically located by a contractor working for the utility company, and it is done that way because your gas company would rather do location services than face the potential dangers and costs if a gas line is upset during digging.
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating
Ehret Co. Plumbing & Heating provides 24/7 household plumbing services for homes and multifamily buildings. We pride ourselves on our professional and quality work. Contact us through our online contact form or call us at 510-528-4292 for residential plumbing services any time, any day of the week.