Ice storms happen occasionally, and when they do the first thing you should do is make sure your pipes don’t freeze.
Why? Because when your pipes freeze, the metal will crack and burst, and the water from inside the pipes will flood your house.
A flood in your home is a terrible situation to have happen, especially in the middle of winter or a cold spat. You have to live somewhere else while repairs are made. Furthermore, the water may have caused damage to a lot of your property which you now have to replace.
In this situation, it’s good to know that you have home insurance to rely on. But does home insurance cover frozen pipes? What about other types of water damage? That’s what we talk about in the rest of this article.
Will Home Insurance Cover Frozen Pipes?
In most cases, home insurance will not cover the repair or replacement of a burst pipe. But it does cover the water damage that resulted from the pipe bursting, as long as it was sudden and accidental. It will also cover additional living expenses that you have to pay to live somewhere else while repairs are being made.
However, there are three major exceptions to this rule.
If the reason the pipes froze over and burst is your own negligence – i.e., you didn’t keep the house warm enough or you didn’t turn off the water when you knew the temperatures would get way below freezing – then your home insurance will not pay for the burst pipes.
2. Gradual Damage
If the reason the pipes burst is wear and tear, also called gradual damage, then your home insurance won’t cover costs to repair the burst pipes.
3. Outside Source
Finally, if the pipe or pipes that burst are outside your home, those are not covered by most home insurance policies. The origin of the water damage must be inside the house.
What To Do After A Frozen Pipe Occurs
When your pipes freeze over and burst, here is what you should do.
- Turn off the water to the house to drain the pipes and stop the flow of water.
- Shut off the electricity to the part of the house that is flooded.
- Call a plumber so they can come over and assess the damage and help you clean up.
- Call your insurance and file a claim.
- Take pictures of all the damage.
5 Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes
The key to avoiding a flooding situation resulting from frozen pipes is to take preventative measures beforehand. Here are 5 ways to prevent your pipes from freezing over.
1. Keep Your House Warm During Cold Weather
When temperatures outside get below freezing, make sure the temperature in your house is nice and warm.
2. Open The Cabinets Under Your Sinks To Expose Them To Warmer Air
Open the cabinet doors under your sinks to allow warm air to reach the pipes.
3. Turn Your Faucets On To A Trickle To Keep The Water Flowing
Turn the hot water handles on your faucets on until the water trickles. This will keep the water flowing through your pipes and prevent it from freezing.
4. Turn Off The Water To Your House When It Gets Really Cold
If the temperatures are getting into the single digits or below, shut off the water to your house to drain the pipes. This way there is no water in your pipes to freeze over.
5. Perform Regular Maintenance On Your Pipes
Perform regular inspections and maintenance on your pipes so that if they burst, your claim is not denied due to negligence or gradual damage.
What Water Damage Isn’t Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
Typically, your homeowners insurance will not cover water damage that results from gradual damage to the source. Nor will it cover water damage originating from a source outside your home.
How Can I Find The Best Home Insurance To Cover Frozen Pipes?
To find the best homeowners insurance that will cover frozen pipes and other types of water damage, you need to compare rates through G&G Independent Insurance. Click here to get a free quote, or if you prefer you can call us!