5 Things You Should Know about Coverage of Broken Pipes in Home Insurance Policy
When it comes to home insurance, several people are confused about whether their home insurance covers water damage. However, the type of water damage decides the answer to this. Slow damage due to water takes place over a long period of time. It could be due to a leaky pipe or some other cause like a crack in the foundation. This kind of damage is a typical cause for insurance claims.
Most home insurance policies don’t cover wear and tear, and slow damage. However, you can find “exceptions”. E.g. “resulting” damage may be caused by a cracked water tank, pipe or washing machine.
1. Resulting Damage – What is it?
Resulting damage differs from initial damage. E.g. if water damage caused by a broken pipe or appliance is mentioned in your insurance policy as covered, you may get compensation for some or all of the damage taken place, but the expense of replacing the damaged pipe or purchasing a new appliance won’t be covered.
2. Views about Pipes
Most insurance companies consider a home’s pipes to be under standard homeowner maintenance. The homeowner has the responsibility for replacing or repairing the broken pipe. But, leaky pipes are not the same as broken pipes that may flood the whole home. Such a flood is covered by an all-perils policy. A flood due to rising water would need separate flood insurance coverage.
If you live in a cold climate and your pipe breaks due to freezing because of a lack of heat in the home, your insurance company could consider it as your negligence and reject your claim. Broken pipes, in order to be compensated, should happen abruptly, by accident and mustn’t have been easily preventable. If you’ve ignored a leaking pipe and it eventually bursts, your insurance company can find evidence of a long-term leak and reject the claim.
4. Eventual Damage
When a pipe bursts, home insurance covers damage caused to the drywall, carpet, paint etc. Any service required to clear up the water, dry out the house and prevent mold also come under this coverage.
5. How to Avoid Rejection of Water Damage Claim?
Firstly, you should regularly get your plumping examined by a licensed professional. You should also keep records of any repairs and the service providers you’ve hired over the years for inspection and maintenance.
It’s also recommendable to replace pipes that have crossed their intended service lives. In cold climates, make sure your home’s heated during winter. Also irrespective of climate, you should know where the water shutoff valve is located so as to be able to turn it off quickly when needed.