Does Insurance Cover Plumbing Leaks and Burst Pipes?

February 2021 saw the arrival of the "Polar Vortex" in Texas. Large parts of the state experienced sub-zero temperatures, with the cold creating massive issues in the service delivery of power to secondary providers.

Apart from the power outage, the storm also took homeowners and building managers by surprise. Since Texas is usually a warm state and rarely experiences cold weather like that from the Polar Vortex, many homeowners and business owners were woefully underprepared for the winter storm.

In the hours following the landing of the Polar Vortex, social media caught alight with videos and images of Texans stuck in their homes with burst pipes. Texans don't winterize their homes and plumbing, and the results of the extreme cold were disastrous.

So, if your pipes burst and flood your home, does homeowners insurance cover you for the damage to your property?


The Types of Plumbing and Pipe Damage

The good news is that most insurers cover these events in your standard policy. If there is a sudden event like the Polar Vortex freezing your pipes, causing them to burst and flood your home, your insurance will cover the costs of the repairs.

However, if the insurance assessor visits your premises and decides that your pipes burst due to "gradual damage" occurring over time, the insurer might decide to deny your claim. All insurance policies have terms and conditions regarding exemptions for gradual damage and wear and tear to your pipes.

Fortunately, there are some exceptions to this standard. "Resulting damage" is a term for coverage of damaged property occurring due to unforeseen problems, like a faulty dishwasher leaking and causing water damage or a cracked water tank leaking onto your ceiling boards.

Insurance and Your Pipes

Your insurer will cover you for water damage to your home due to burst pipes, provided that your pipes are maintained and it's not normal wear and tear that you could have avoided with proper maintenance.

If you live in a northern state experiencing freezing winter temperatures, it's up to the homeowner to winterize and maintain their plumbing to avoid cold-related bursts and leaks. Failing to winterize your home in these areas will result in your insurer throwing out your claim, citing negligence as the reason for the rejection.

What Does My Insurance Policy Cover?

Your insurance policy will typically cover you for burst pipes, provided you take the required precautions in the right climate and you maintain your plumbing.

However, the insurer probably won't cover flood damage, especially if you live in Louisiana or Florida, where seasonal flooding from hurricanes is common. In this case, you'll need to take a secondary policy to cover your home against flooding.

How To Get Your Water Damage Claim Approved

Insurance companies send an adjuster to your home to assess the damage to your property. This adjuster works for the insurer, and their goal is not to help you. The adjuster's goal is to do everything they can to throw out your claim. They'll examine the pipes, and if they see signs of wear and tear, they'll deny your claim.

Since it's challenging to prove the damage was not wear and tear, the homeowner has to live with the insurer's decision, lodge and appeal, and start the process to try and get the insurer to pay—what a hassle.

Hire Florida Public Adjusters for Assistance with Processing Your Insurance Claim

If you experience mistreatment at the hands of a company or independent assessor, then it's challenging to overturn the decision.

Hiring a public adjuster is the better move if you think there's a chance the insurer may throw out your claim. The public adjuster works for you, not the insurer. The public adjuster will assess the damage and collect the necessary paperwork from you to prove that you were not at fault.

A public adjuster doesn't have any bias, and they'll give you an impartial assessment of the damage that the insurer uses to determine if they should pay out your claim. A public adjuster will not charge you upfront for their services.

Instead, they'll recover their fee from the money paid to you by the insurer for your claim.

Does Insurance Cover Plumbing Leaks and Burst Pipes? – Key Takeaways

Your homeowner's insurance policy will cover you for water damage to your home caused by burst and leaky pipes.

However, you'll need to prove the burst did not occur due to the wear and tear of the pipes.

Hiring a public adjuster to assess the damage is a better move than relying on the insurers in-house or contracted adjusters.

With a public adjuster, you get the best chance of your insurer paying out your claim.

Contact Florida Private Adjusters for more information.

United Claim Clinic Mission Statement

At United Claim Clinic our number one mission is to educate consumers about the insurance claim process. Sometimes we can equip people with the knowledge to navigate a claim by themselves. For more complicated claims, we are here to be an advocate for the insured to see that the carrier fulfills their obligation to get your property and life back to normal.