Insurance claims stress out many people as they do not understand the process as well as the terms and conditions of the contract with the insurance company. Homeowners Insurance, in most of the cases, covers ‘Resulting Damage’ for broken pipes if the said damage has been sudden or accidental. Most of the insurance contracts don’t cover wear and tear which is gradual damage occurring on the pipes. The problem is severe and leaves homeowners stunned because if the pipes leak, it can create massive tension by flooding 250 gallons of water per day according to State Farm. To understand this dilemma in a more refined way, people need to study how these policies protect the homeowners.
There are three simple ways where homeowners can get protection for damage caused by busted and leaking pipes.
- Dwelling Coverage: The basic structure of the home is protected under this category. That includes carpeting, flooring, walls, etc. Any sudden leak busting a pipe causing damage to the above-mentioned structure can be claimed under the homeowners’ insurance.
- Property Coverage: This category covers personal property like clothes, electronics, furniture, and similar other appliances. Homeowners suffer heavy losses in cases of busted pipes as the flooded water damages expensive items that may or may not be entirely personal but eminently important to the homeowners.
- Loss of Use: Many times when homeowners face unusual situations when their busted pipes make the place not livable as per the normal standards due to which they have to move to a hotel for a few days until their home is repaired. The expenses for the same and also for food and various other legit reasons shall be covered under this category.
It becomes extremely crucial that homeowners get their plumbing and piping checked by a licensed professional regularly to avoid gradual wear and tear of the pipes so that if anything unforeseen happens, the insurance companies do not have a reason to reject their claims. This step is important because different portions of the plumbing and piping have distinct life spans.
How Insurance Companies View Pipes and Reasons Why They May Deny Coverage
Most insurance companies would consider a home’s plumbing to be under normal homeowner maintenance. However, the key point over here is that the property owner is responsible for making sure that pipes do not freeze, are kept unclogged, screwed tight, or have a general check over other signs of water damage that might suggest cracks, hairline creeks, and leakages. Thus, the insurance companies would undermine the reasons precisely and if the water leakage could have been prevented, then they may deny the coverage.
Damage from Unresolved Maintenance Issues or Lack of Maintenance
It is important to note that water damage that results from normal wear and tear or a lack of maintenance by homeowners will not be covered. For instance: ignorance of water leakage or delay in addressing the issue can give a chance to the insurance company to deny the reimbursement stating lack of maintenance for such denials.
Water Backup from an Outside Sewer or Drain
A leaking toilet is covered in the coverage whereas a flooded or backed up sewage system or if water backs into the home through an outside sewer or drain.is not covered. However, on the other side, most insurance companies offer this coverage as an affordable option that can be added to the policy if sought for. Thus, it is advisable to consider this option as sewage damage can be significantly hazardous to the family which can lead to massive destruction of houses and properties in the long run.
The major reasons for flood damage are heavy rains, an overflowing body of water, or snowmelt rising to a high level that can enter the house or overload the plumbing system. Unfortunately, damage through flooding is excluded from homeowner insurance policies. It is again advisable for the house owners to evaluate the house’s flood risk by viewing the flood maps of the residential region and consult the insurance agent to decide whether flood insurance is a pre-requisite or not.
The only purpose of the homeowners’ insurance policy is to protect the family and home in the event of any home disaster. Thus, understanding all the coverages on their policies and having a good grasp of the exclusions, as well as their responsibilities becomes all the more crucial for homeowners. In addition, perform regular maintenance of your home every spring and fall to avoid surprises. Regular small repairs can help you avoid large expenses. Another cautionary advice for the people in the Northern climates would be to turn on the heater if there’s a leak if the homeowners plan to leave for a certain period of time. Lastly, homeowners should not skip on insurance. They should purchase the best insurance for their needs and inquire about extra coverage if they think they need it. Also, people should not forget to go through the exact wording of their insurance policy with their agents to avoid any kind of discrepancy in the future if there is any water damage.