The cold weather caused a pipe to burst in your home, and your wood floors were ruined by water. Will insurance cover pipe replacement for homeowners? It is dependent on your insurance policy.
Water damage can be covered under the insurance of homeowners, but it largely depends on the nature of the aquatic mishap. If the damage is caused by something unexpected or unforeseeable, such as a burst pipe, a leaking air conditioner, or a malfunctioning washing machine, the policy will usually cover it.
Different Forms Of Damage
However, if the cause is “gradual damage” that occurs over time, such as a leaky pipe or a crack in your home’s foundation, the insurance company may refuse to pay. It is sometimes difficult to know whether or not insurance for homeowners will cover plumbing or not.
All insurance policies exclude wear and tear problems as well as gradual harm. There may be some exceptions, however. For example, “resulting damage” could be caused by a cracked water tank, an exploding dishwasher, or, yes, a broken pipe. If a dishwasher explodes, the answer to “does insurance cover burst pipes for homeowners?” would be yes.
Damage from broken pipes is usually covered by homeowner’s insurance if it occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.
However, water damage that occurs gradually because of a leaky or rusty pipe is usually not covered.
If you believe that your claim has been unjustly denied, consider getting a second opinion from a licensed professional or a consumer advocacy organization that is familiar with your region’s insurance.
How Insurance Perceives Pipes
Most insurance companies would consider the plumbing of a home to be under normal maintenance for homeowners. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that pipes do not freeze, are kept unclogged, screwed tight, and generally maintained, and to be on the lookout for mold, mildew, or other signs of water damage that suggest a small crack, fracture of the hairline, or leak.
Generally, damage that gradually develops due to a slowly leaking, rusting, or deteriorating pipe is not covered. Leaky pipes are, however, distinct from broken pipes or burst pipes. The entire home could potentially be flooded by these gushers. So the damage and destruction they bring are covered, usually under your homeowners insurance’s all-perils section.
An insurance company could cite your negligence and deny your claim if you live in a northern climate and your broken pipe is a consequence of freezing due to a lack of heat in the home. Broken pipes must have occurred unexpectedly and by chance, and they could not have been easily avoided. The insurance company can see proof of a long-term leak and deny the claim if you ignore a leaking pipe and it subsequently bursts.
Important: Floods caused by internal causes, not natural disasters, are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. External or natural forces, such as rising waters or overflowing sewers, are covered by a separate flood insurance policy.
What Is Covered?
Some policies distinguish between damage that occurs after the event and damage that occurs before the event. If water damage from a broken pipe or appliance, for example, is listed as covered in your insurance policy, you may be reimbursed for some or all of the damages, even if they didn’t happen right away.
When a pipe bursts, homeowners insurance pays for damage to the carpet or rugs, the floor, the drywall, the paint, and other items. This coverage would also include any service needed to clean up the water, dry the home, and possibly prevent mold. Ironically, the cost of repairing or replacing the busted pipe or broken appliance, which is the source of the problem, is not covered.
How To Avoid Having A Water Damage Claim Denied
It is important to have your plumbing inspected on a regular basis by a licensed professional and keep records of repairs and the professionals you have hired to do inspections and maintenance over the years. In the event of a claim, these documents could be crucial.
Different portions of the plumbing in your home will have different life spans. Replace pipes which are beyond their intended life of service. In northern climates, leave your home’s heat on during the winter, even if it’s set to low, especially if you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time.
A water shutoff valve should be installed in every home, regardless of climate. Make sure you know where this valve is and that it is operable in case you need to shut off the water quickly.
What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied
If you were denied coverage for damage caused by a leaking pipe that you believe should have been covered, you should seek a second opinion from a licensed professional or a consumer advocacy organization familiar with insurance in your area.
Your insurance company’s ombudsman may also be able to assist you with your file review. For guidance or to file a complaint, you can also contact your state insurance commissioner.
The Bottom Line
If you’re unsure whether your insurance will cover water damage caused by a leaking or busted water pipe, talk to your insurance advisor, agent, or broker about the specific wording of your policy. As well as the type of coverage you have, you will have to review the exclusions of your policy.
Make sure that you understand all the coverage of your policy and have a good understanding of the exclusions and your responsibilities as a homeowner. Furthermore, each spring and fall, perform regular maintenance of your home to avoid surprises. Regular minor repairs can help you avoid heavy costs.
Also, make sure your home is underinsured. Make sure you buy the best insurance for your needs and, if you think you need it, remember to inquire about additional coverage.
If you feel overwhelmed and need help with finding the Best Plumber in CO Springs, give us a call.
Smart Living Home Repair Services
244 Madison Avenue , #1019
New York, NY 10016