It may have started one winter evening when you were unwinding as a family in front of the TV. “What’s that sound? It’s not the icemaker in the fridge. What is making that sound like rushing water?” Or you wake up, roll out of bed, and step onto a soggy carpet from an overhead leak. You do not have to live in your building’s penthouse unit to experience water damage or have to submit a water damage insurance claim. When you have to submit a water leak claim to your carrier, your first question might well be, “Does my homeowner’s insurance cover leaking pipes?” The second probably should be, “Honey, we have United Public Adjusters & Appraisers on speed dial, right?”
The first response is to locate the cause of the leak, to stop the leakage. If the cause is a leaking toilet, the water shut off is easy to locate and turn off. If the leakage is flowing from a burst pipe, that is a more serious issue and must be attended to immediately. As a homeowner, know where the water shutoff to your unit is located and turn the water off. If a burst pipe is the cause of the flow, it is likely from an unheated exterior wall or attic space. Tenants and residents may not be aware that their building’s infrastructure most likely has pipes running overhead between the unit floors. These can be plumbing or sprinkler pipes. If you live in a townhouse community, your coop/condo bylaws will tell you if the responsibility for maintaining your plumbing in a common space is yours or your board’s.
Fire system plumbing is generally not a resident’s responsibility, however, in the event that the system freezes, subsequent damages will be. When faced with having to submit a home insurance water damage claim, speak with your board, and review your condos/cooperative insurance policy with our team at United Public Adjusters & Appraisers. To begin, we will help you evaluate and document your property damages and asset losses, if any. Photographs and receipts are key to submitting a successful claim, however our team goes further and will check for signs for any potential damages that may occur in the future due to leakage from the burst pipe.
We can assist you to determine what damages are the responsibility of your Management group and which are solely your responsibility. We will investigate the cause of the frozen pipe, its impact on your property and possessions, the costs to remediate, and/or replace walls, furnishings, and other personal property. Each consideration will be documented in your water leak claim. Did you know? Every year, water damage claims from freezing pipes amount to $20 billion and impact about 1 in 50 insured residences. Understandably, frozen pipes property damage claims peak during the winter months. With United Public Adjusters & Appraisers by your side, we’ll ensure that your home insurance water damage claim is not lost in the shuffle, nor accept a low ball settlement offer due to your carrier’s high volume of claims to process.
So, to answer your question, “Does my homeowner’s insurance cover leaking pipes?” The answer is generally yes. However, to ensure that you receive the highest settlement your homeowners policy allows, contact our team to go to the mat for you. Call us now to schedule an appointment.
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