Frozen/Burst Pipes and Water Damage Claims: What You Need to Know

Water losses are some of the most frequently denied claims by insurance companies.

In fact, water damage claims from frozen pipes make up nearly 1/5th of all property damage claims nationwide.

Frozen, cracked and leaking pipes are one of the primary sources of water damage in a property. However, insurance companies will often attempt to deny the claim if they determine the cause of the water damage to be “easily preventable”. That’s why it is so important to make sure you put forward a good faith effort to prevent pipe damage, as well as minimize the extent of damage in the event of a loss.

Are Frozen and Burst Pipes Covered?

Most homeowners’ policies do cover water damage caused by frozen and burst pipes. However, this coverage is usually limited to the damage caused by the leaking water, and not the actual repair of the pipe itself.

What Are My Responsibilities?

In the event of a water loss, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to act immediately and take steps to prevent further damage. This means calling and getting the clean-up process underway as soon as the water is discovered. If immediate action is not taken to try and mitigate the damage, it could be cause for your insurance company to deny the claim.

What About Water Damage That Goes Undiscovered Until It’s Too Late?

Insurance companies will often deny claims if they determine the damage was caused over time, rather than “suddenly and by accident”. This is often the case when a property owner first discovers water damage that has been occurring for some time. The insurance company will contend that it’s the property owner’s responsibility to be aware of damage and take steps to mitigate – but how could you mitigate something that you were completely unaware of? This is a situation when it helps to have an experienced Public Adjuster on your side when filing the claim.

Don’t Say “Flood”

People often use the words “flood” and “water damage” interchangeably. However, to the insurance company, these phrases mean two very different things. Insurance policies are often written with deliberately confusing and technical language. Don’t allow your claim to get denied because of a technicality. Again, this is where having an experienced Public Adjuster to guide you through the claims process can be a huge benefit.

Have questions about your property insurance claim? Feel free to contact Stark Loss for more information about how a Public Adjuster can help.

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