The devastation of a broken pipe in your home can ruin more than only your day — it can take weeks and thousands of dollars to repair the damage! Many homeowners who have suffered a broken pipe have asked one simple question, “Who is going to pay for all of this?”
Actually, the question is not that simple of an answer. Many homeowners assume that since they are up-to-date on their homeowner’s insurance premiums, eventually a check will arrive in the mail to cover the damages and costs of repairs. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Depending on your policy and where you live, your insurance company may not have to pick up the tab.
There are many reasons why you might be left footing the entire cost of a broken pipe yourself. Many of these reasons depend on the cause of the break and where the breakage actually occurred.
Pipes that break due to neglect are not covered.
Pipes that break due to your neglect, either in replacing your plumbing or simply because you allowed a situation to develop which caused the breakage, will result in you not seeing a dime. The reason is that your homeowner’s insurance policy is designed to cover you in the cases of accidents, not negligence. This is especially important for owners of older homes with aging pipes. These homeowners may not be aware of the actual condition of their plumbing, but not being aware of an issue does not mean the insurance has to pay up. Although Florida insurance companies are not allowed to refuse issuing insurance based solely on the age of a home, individual claims can still be denied based on the age and condition of your plumbing.
Where a pipe breaks is important in determining coverage.
The reason why a pipe breaks is only one of the ways an insurance company can avoid paying your claim. Another common reason a claim is refused is because of where the break occured. The definition of the word “home” in homeowner’s insurance is important. For almost every policy, the policy owner’s home ends where the foundation of the home also ends. This means that a claim resulting from a break which occurs beyond the foundations of your home is most likely not going to be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, even if your home is damaged.
What you need to do if you experience a break in your pipe.
After you notice a broken pipe, it is vital to turn off the water main valve to your home. This will prevent anymore water damage from occurring to your home. After the water to your home is turned off, your first call should be to a reliable emergency plumber. Remember, it is your responsible to repair your home’s plumbing, even if the break qualifies for coverage under your homeowner’s policy. It is a good idea to find a good 24/7 plumber now, so you won’t end up wasting time when there is an emergency.
Only after you have arranged for a plumber to fix your broken pipe, should you call your insurance company. When you initially contact your insurance company, you need to have easy access to all of your homeowner’s insurance paperwork including a copy of your policy and your policy number. Be sure to gather all of the necessary paperwork before calling. When you speak with an insurance representative, explain what happened and that you are planning on filing a claim with the company. The representative can walk you through which forms you need to send to the company, as well as any deadlines you might need to meet. The insurance representative can also tell you when an adjuster is available to come to your home for an inspection. Although it may take a few days before an adjuster can make the visit, try to make seeing your adjuster a priority. The quicker you speak with an adjuster, the faster you will receive your compensation.
How to deal with the insurance adjuster.
When you meet with the adjuster, make sure to provide all of the information he needs to make a decision. After speaking with you, the adjuster will inspect the damage to determine whether or not the the damage falls under your existing homeowner’s policy. Remember, the adjuster is not the person making the final decision whether or not your damage is covered. You should not expect a definite answer the same day. Before the adjuster leaves, ask him any questions you have and the next steps you should take.
Hopefully, the cause of your broken pipe falls under your current homeowner’s insurance policy and you are compensated for any damages. If your insurance company refuses to pay for your claim, remember you can always appeal or, as a last resort, have the matter handled in court.
Whoever winds up paying for the repairs, it is important to have your repairs completed by a reliable and trusted plumber to prevent further damage from occurring. Bill Fenwick Plumbing, Inc. has been serving the residents of Jacksonville, Florida since 1969. We are expert 24-hour emergency plumbers who specialize in fixing broken and leaking pipes. If you need a reliable and trusted plumber, call Bill Fenwick Plumbing, Inc. to ask about any of your plumbing issues. Just call today at 904.724.2455.