It’s no secret that any plumbing damage, such as a burst pipe, can be a real headache to deal with. The damage done by a pipe leak can be extensive and expensive to cover. We covered steps that can be taken to prevent such a leak from happening in the first place, but now let’s talk about what happens when a pipe does burst and causes damage to your property and personal belongings.
Document Your Case and Prevent Further Damage
As soon as you discover the source of the leak, take necessary steps to prevent further damage, such as shutting off your main. Before removing any existing water, document the date and time you discovered the leak, make a list of damaged belongings and take as many clear photos of the affected areas. These may help you defend your claim with your insurance provider.
Once you have solid proof, remove the water as quickly as possible. Remove or elevate any personal items and create as much air flow as you can by opening windows and doors. If you own a dehumidifier, place it in the affected area to remove moisture from the room.
Because the state of California is mold-prone, it is a good idea to check if your property insurance includes mold damage, that is likely to follow water damage. Suspicious growth can quickly spread and put your and your loved ones’ health at risk. However, many property insurance policies, limit mold related damage or exclude it, all together. This is another reason why acting quickly when discovering even a minor water leak, is so important.
If you don’t have the circumstances to handle the damage on your own, or don’t feel comfortable doing so, it is a good idea to call a water damage remediation company that can arrive at your property immediately and help you contain the damage. Here at VIP Sewer and Drain services, our team of experts is available 24/7 for such plumbing emergencies.
Once you’ve done all you can to minimize the cost of damage done to your property, it is time to call your insurance provider.
File Your Claim
Though each insurance policy will differ, it is important to take action immediately. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover unexpected water damage resulting from a sudden burst pipe, however, they may not cover water damage from a leaky pipe that occurred over time.
Once you contact your insurance company, they will send out an adjuster to assess the damage. The adjuster will look at things like where are the damaged pipes located, do they look old and are there signs of rust or anything that would suggest the damage could have been prevented. Signs that indicate lack of maintenance on your part may result in your claim being denied. This is one of the many reasons why even minor signs of drain and plumbing problems, should never be ignored.
Understanding Your Coverage
Once the insurance adjuster assesses your damage and your claim is accepted, your insurance provider will hand you a check. However, often times as contractors arrive at your property to repair the damage, overlooked expenses rise up. It is absolutely ok for you to contact your insurance provider and renegotiate your claim, if the expenses at hand were overlooked in the original assessment.
Types of Coverage
When dealing with water damage from a burst pipe, there are a few types of coverage you want to be aware of.
DWELLING COVERAGE – This type of coverage relates directly to your property. Your dwelling coverage should equal the amount it would cost to replace your entire home. The California Department of Insurance requires insurance companies to provide homeowners with a complete home replacement estimate, however is is a good idea to verify that your dwelling coverage is accurate.
PROPERTY COVERAGE – This type of coverage will help replace any personal property that was damaged in the event of a burst pipe or water leak. Your furniture, clothes, electronics and other valuables can be completely destroyed if exposed to water damage for several hours.
ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSE COVERAGE – In the event that water damage done to your property is so severe, that you need to be removed from your home during the renovation, ALE Coverage will cover any travel expenses related to this.
Because your homeowner’s insurance does not cover regular wear and tear on a home, which can often be the cause of a burst pipe, it is important to be mindful of your plumbing system. Schedule regular maintenance appointments and be aware of signs that suggest you have a clogged pipe and should clean your drain. Neglecting these early symptoms can lead to a pipe bursting and causing serious damage to your home and valuables.