Pipe Bursting is Usually Covered by Homeowners Insurance, But There’s Loopholes

by Jeff Oetting / 06 January 2017 / No Comments

What if an unfortunate event occurs within your home? Your first thought is to file a claim. You’re 100% positive that your homeowners’ insurance will cover it, since it is indeed, covered by homeowners’ insurance. However, upon filing your claim, it gets denied. Is it illegal? No. Your insurer has the right to do so.

This is the case with bursting pipes in the winter.

Generally, water damage from a pipe that burst inside your home is covered by the standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Also, if an outside pipe burst, that should be covered as well, as long as you can prove that the damage is a result of the pipe bursting.

Here’s where it gets tricky, though. If the pipe bursting is due to poor drainage, which is a non-maintenance issue, your insurer has every right to deny your claim. It can also be denied if your insurer believes that you’re the responsible party for the pipe bursting, to begin with.

Quite unfortunate, we know. Pipes burst due to freezing, for the most part. If you don’t take care of your home properly, your agency can even pull the “negligence” card as a reason for denying your claim. Although, in some cases, your insurance will pay for the water damage that is a result of pipes bursting. But, the pipe repair itself will be in your hands.

Another possible event is pipes bursting due to them being old and corroded or attached to an appliance that broke down. If this is the case, it counts as normal wear and tear, which homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover.

At this point, the best thing you can do is learn how to prevent your pipes from bursting in the first place. Here are 5 ways that you can prevent this incident from occurring, and save money.

 

Preventing Winter Pipe Bursts

 

1)    It can help to have 1 or more faucets running water very slowly at all times when it is extremely cold outside. This is due to water preventing the freezing of pipelines when it is running through the system.

 

2)    Take a trip to the store and buy heat tape. This can be installed and will warm pipes to prevent freezing. And although you can buy this yourself, you may need the help of a plumber to learn the best way to utilize this tool.

 

3)    Find and seal all air leaks near electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes to prevent cold air from coming into your house and causing pipes to freeze.

 

4)    Direct warm air to the parts of your house that are usually cold in the winter. In this case, you can start with your basement and look for pipes near the exterior of your home. These areas need warming the most.

 

5)    Ensure your hose is no longer connected to your outside faucet. If it is connected, water cannot drain out of your hose Bibb, which will lead to freezing and breaking of the device.

 

While there are more ways to prevent this expensive repair from occurring, these are 5 essentials tips you can utilize now. You can always call a licensed plumber to come out to your home and give you more direction as to what actions you should take next.

About the author:

Jeff Oetting, President of Bob Oetting & Associates has been helping families plan for their futures for the past 23 years. Jeff holds an MBA from Eastern Illinois University. In addition to working with his clients to help develop insurance strategies tailored to individuals and families, Jeff is also an instructor in the College of Business at Eastern Illinois University. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager.

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