If you have ever experienced a burst pipe in the winter, you know how severe the damage to a home or business can be.
While prevention is always best, knowing how to respond immediately, if it does occur, can help to limit damages significantly.
- Shut-Off Valves
- Know Your Policy
- Call a Public Adjuster
Know the location of the shut-off valve for your building’s water main so that it can be closed in an emergency. Though it is less common, winter conditions may also occasionally cause hot water pipes to burst. For this reason, it is advisable to be familiar with your hot water heater and know the location of its shut-off valve as well.
Your next call should be to a reputable plumber. Choose one beforehand whose work you know well or who has a good, verifiable track record. Have their phone number ready for use in an emergency situation.
When the time comes to file a claim with your insurance company, understanding your policy and the associated responsibilities is extremely important. Know what is covered and check your policy language for any specific exclusions, so that you will not be surprised later on. Know what you will have to pay for out-of-pocket expenses and what will be billed directly to the insurance company. Also, ensure you use the correct language when filing your claim. Describing the water damage caused by a burst pipe as the result of a “flood” or “flooding” can cause confusion with your insurer and may result in your claim being denied.
Before and during the repair process, it is important to take photos of the damage and the progress of any work that is done. Save important documents such as quotes from contractors or insurance adjusters and invoices for work performed. Keeping a log of any repairs completed is also a good idea.
Before you do anything, a smart move is to get in touch with a public adjuster and have them do a thorough assessment of the damage. They will also act as your advocate when dealing with contractors and your insurer. This ensures any remediation or repair will be done in a professional and timely manner.
Have questions about your property insurance claim? Feel free to contact Stark Loss for more information about how a Public Adjuster can help.