Most people know that homeowners insurance covers damage to a home from fires, natural disasters, and theft. But what about when a pipe bursts and causes water damage? This is a common question that many homeowners have, and the answer is...it depends. Each policy is different, so it's important to read your specific policy to see what is covered. However, in most cases, water damage caused by a burst pipe will be covered. Our Texas attorneys at The Voss Law Firm explain what to do if you find yourself with a burst pipe.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Line Breaks?
Insurance is designed to cover sudden and unexpected events, not gradual damage that occurs over time. This is why most homeowners insurance policies will not cover water line breaks unless the line has undergone sudden, significant damage. For example, if you were to dig in your yard and accidentally damage the water line running from your meter, repairs and cleanup would likely be covered by your insurance policy. However, if a water line breaks on your property due to age, regular wear and tear, poor initial installation, frequent ground temperature changes, shifting soil, or damage from pests or encroaching tree roots, the break and resulting water damage wouldn’t be considered sudden or unexpected and wouldn’t be covered by your regular insurance policy. If you’re concerned about the possibility of water line breaks on your property, you may want to consider purchasing a separate insurance policy that specifically covers this type of damage.
If a water main break occurs, it is the responsibility of the city or town to fix the break. However, the home owner is often held responsible for the repair or replacement of the water main supply line that is connected to their house. If damage occurs to your home as a result of a public water main break, you should contact both your municipality and your insurance company. Your municipality will likely have procedures in place for dealing with such an incident, and your insurance company will be able to tell you if you are covered for damages caused by a water main break.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Frozen Pipes?
When a pipe bursts, the resulting water damage can be extensive. If you're lucky, the damage will be limited to a few wet spots on the ceiling or floor. In other cases, water can cause extensive damage to walls, floors, and furniture. If you have homeowners insurance, you may be covered for the cost of cleaning and repairs. However, if you turned off your heat when leaving your house for a few days, causing the pipes to freeze when outdoor temperatures dropped, your claim may not be covered. In this case, you would be responsible for the cost of repairs. In order to avoid this situation, it's important to make sure that your pipes are properly insulated before leaving your house for an extended period of time.
Types of Coverage for Broken Pipes
It's important to check with your insurance representative to verify that water damage is a covered loss under each of your policy's components, such as dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and loss of use coverage. By doing so, you can be sure that you're properly protected in the event of a water damage emergency.
Dwelling coverage is the main component of a home insurance policy and it can help pay to rebuild or repair the physical structure of your home. In most cases, dwelling coverage will also cover detached structures on your property, such as a garage or shed. Insurance companies typically offer different levels of dwelling coverage, so it's important to choose an amount that will cover the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home in the event of an insured loss.
If you own personal property, it's important to have insurance coverage in case of a covered loss. Whether your belongings are damaged at home, in your apartment or while you're traveling, personal property coverage can help pay for professional cleaning or replacement. This type of coverage is usually included in standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. However, the amount of coverage and the types of losses covered may vary depending on your policy.
Loss of Use Coverage
This type of coverage can help pay for the additional costs you incur for reasonable housing and living expenses if a covered event makes your house temporarily uninhabitable while it’s being repaired or rebuilt. So, if a burst pipe has caused covered damage to your home, making it unlivable, this coverage could offset things like hotel expenses and boarding for your pet while your home is repaired or rebuilt. That way, you can focus on getting your home back to normal without worrying about the financial burden.
Insurance Denied my Claim
If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, consulting an attorney to explore your legal rights and options is absolutely essential. A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation to determine if your insurer acted in bad faith, help you file a lawsuit, and protect your rights and interests throughout the litigation process. Let the skilled insurance claims attorneys with The Voss Law Firm, P.C. review the case. We’ve helped countless policyholders understand their rights and fight bad faith insurance practices. Ready to find out what we can do for you? Complete our online contact form or call our office at 888-614-7730 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.