Freezing Pipes Burst! Am I Covered?
Baby its cold outside! Winter often brings temperatures that plummet well below freezing. When water turns into ice, it can expand by up to 9%. This causes increased pressure on the pipes in your home which can result in pipe leaking or bursting.
Even a small, 1/8th inch leak can spill more than 200 gallons of water a day. The result can be significant water damage to your home and thousands of cleanup costs and repairs. Will your insurance cover the damage? It depends.
Will Homeowners Insurance Pay?
The cost to repair the pipes themselves is not covered under a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. However, the damage resulting from a pipe burst likely will be insured. Most policies will pay for the following:
- The cost to access the burst pipe.
- The cost to dry out the carpets, floorings, and wallboard.
- The cost to repair damaged property.
- The cost to restore access floors or walls used to access the pipe.
- The additional living expenses if you were unable to live at home while repairs are made.
While you will shoulder the cost of the plumber to repair the broken pipe, the higher costs of repairing damaged property will be paid by your insurance company.
How to Avoid Pipes from Freezing
The best insurance for freezing pipes is preventing them in the first place. Here are a few steps to take to avoid a freezing pipe burst in your home:
- Wrap pipes in heat tape
- Keep garage doors closed
- Temporarily use a space heater
- Remove attached hoses from faucets
- Install an alarm to alert you of power failures
- Keep the thermostat above 65 degrees Fahrenheit
- Allow water to trickle from indoor faucets overnight
- If away for more than a couple days, ask a neighbor to check on your home
- If away for longer than a couple days, shut off your water and drain the pipes
Insurance should only be a part of a greater home risk management plan. Taking proactive steps in preventing a loss is always the best approach. When a claim does happen, your insurance company will be ready to step in and make you whole again. If you would like to learn more about the best and most affordable homeowners’ insurance policies available in today’s marketplace, or to receive a quote, contact our office anytime.