Broken pipes are a major problem during the winter season that can cause serious havoc in our homes. More frustrating is when we have to leave our home due to these damages. Fortunately, most homeowners insurance policies help cover broken pipe damages if the cause is sudden and accidental. In other words, it protects you from unforeseen expenses caused by water damage and minimizes losses to your home and personal property.
It also pays for the additional living expenses in cases where you have to vacate your home for repairs to be made. However, there are cases where your home insurance may not be able to bail you out. For example, if the broken pipe happened gradually (such as corrosion, normal wear, and tear) or if it was due to negligence (such as lack of maintenance or heat in your home) your insurance company may not cover for it. Most insurers won't also cover the direct repair of your broken pipes.
However, if you feel your broken pipe didn't happen gradually or wasn't due to negligence, yet your claim is being unfairly delayed, know that our Texas attorneys are willing to help. At the Voss Law Firm, we offer free confidential consultations on all broken pipe claims.
Also, remember that the water damage from broken pipes significantly reduces the value of your property. Reason why you should have these three coverage in your homeowners' insurance policy.
1. Dwelling Coverage
This is the most important part of your homeowners insurance policy. It covers the repair and replacement of physical structures in the home including connected structures. For example, if a pipe suddenly breaks and damages a wall or floorboard, your dwelling coverage will pay for it. However, it may not cover the repair of a detached building in your home such as a separate garage.
Note that your dwelling coverage limits are based on the estimated cost of repairing or renovating your home. So it is best to check in with your insurance agent to know what's covered by your insurance company and your home’s replacement cost yearly, especially after making improvements. Additionally, your dwelling coverage limit will also determine the limit of the rest of your home insurance policy.
2. Personal Property Coverage
This policy reimburses you for any damage to your personal property such as clothing, electronics, furniture, or sporting goods in the event of a covered peril such as a sudden broken pipe during freezing weather.
This coverage pays you for the cleaning or replacement of your personal belongings no matter where it occurred. For certain luxury items such as jewelry, your policy may have a sub-limit to how much it can cover.
Additionally, personal property coverage is typically 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage limit. Which means if your dwelling coverage limit is $300,000, and your personal property coverage is limited to 50% of that fee, your personal property limit would be $150,000.
Finally, many policies allow for the actual cash value of a property to be covered rather than its replacement cost. But you can upgrade your policy to include full replacement cost coverage.
3. Loss Of Use Coverage
This can also be called additional living expenses coverage. This policy helps you pay for hotel, travel, and food expenses if you’re unable to live in your home following a peril. For instance, If a broken pipe leaves your home temporarily uninhabitable, your insurance company helps you pay for every living expense outside your home till your house is repaired or renovated.
Note that in most cases, your loss of use coverage depends on the limit on your dwelling coverage and it's usually around 20% of it. So it is better to check in with your insurance company as the limit differs for each.
How To File A Claim For Broken Pipes
The following are steps you need to take when filing a claim for water damage due to broken pipes.
Gather Lots of Evidence
After turning off the electrical switch in contact with the flooded area, take as many pictures as possible of every damage you can find. You can also seek the help of a public adjuster here if need be. He'll point out the various damages and how much it will cost to fix them.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you're done gathering evidence, you can either call your insurance company or fill out an online form detailing the claim you want to make. This is totally dependent on your insurance policy. But before filling out the form, make sure you read through it to know what is required of you.
Make Quick Repairs
Immediately you have an idea of how much it will cost to repair your properties, it is important you protect them from further damage by going ahead to repair them. But make sure you keep track of every penny spent while doing so. Once you are done, you can submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement. However, for extensive repairs, it is best you meet with your insurance adjuster before performing any repairs.
Finally, once you have filed a claim, your insurance company will send their adjuster over to evaluate the property damage. After the adjuster is done with his own assessment, and the report submitted, you may receive a reimbursement to pay for the repairs.
What to Do If Your Broken Pipe Claim is Denied
Sometimes the reason why your insurance company may deny your claim could be due to incomplete or incorrect information. When this is the case, you should go over the details of your claim and provide more evidence to support your case. Then go ahead and file an appeal.
Note that there's no time on your side when filing an appeal. So you want to do this as quickly as possible. Additionally, you can ask your insurer to send in another adjuster to assess the damage to your property again. This will reveal if there is any discrepancy in the first place.
When to Get Help With an Insurance Claim For Broken Pipes
We know that not all insurance companies are happy to help policyholders in the face of a disaster. This is because they are more concerned about improving their profit rather than supporting policyholders.
It is really painful when you have spent years paying into a policy only to be denied when you needed it the most. You deserve to be treated with respect especially when your claim is valid and covered by your policy.
That's why when you consult with our Texas attorney at Voss Law Firm, we don't rest until you get every compensation you deserve. So if you feel your claim is being unfairly delayed or denied, we are here to help. We will fight for you till you recover all your losses.
Contact Our Team of Insurance Claim Attorneys Here in Texas Today
With the help of our experienced insurance claim attorneys, rest assured you will get the same level of success with other policyholders in the past. And it all starts with the free confidential consultations we offer on all broken pipe claims.