Plumbing Leak? How to Know if Insurance Can Help

Written by  //  February 2, 2018  //  Plumbing  //  Comments Off on Plumbing Leak? How to Know if Insurance Can Help

leaking pipe

Water damage is the second only to wind and hail damage in insurance claims. In addition, claims related to water damage are on the increase. Unfortunately, not all water damage can be claimed on your insurance.

Sudden and Accidental

Almost every homeowner’’s policy covers leaks that are sudden and accidental. If a pipe under your kitchen sink suddenly bursts, flooding your kitchen and dining room, you are covered for any water damage that may occur. In this case, the insurance company will pay for tearing out walls to find the leak, damage to flooring and cabinetry as well as removal of mold that could develop as a result of the leak. Insurance will not cover repairs to correct the leak, however.

Poor Maintenance Practices

If the insurance company discovers that you have not maintained your plumbing properly, they could deny your claim. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to perform routine maintenance on plumbing fixtures, including pipes. Although an insurance company cannot require you to inspect every single pipe in your home, if they can prove the leak was caused by neglect, they could deny your claim. Neglect could include failing to seal areas where cold could cause freezing or sealing a hole or rusted area in a pipe with tape or other sealant rather than replacing the pipe.

Slow Leaks

If water damage is caused by a slow leak that you should have discovered and repaired before the damage occurred, your insurance company may also deny your claim. If the slow leak occurred inside a wall and you could not notice it until there was damage to the wall or surrounding area, the insurance company will more than likely cover the costs of repair as you could not reasonably have known there was a leak. However, if the pipes under your bathroom sink have been dripping consistently for a few weeks, the insurance company could argue that you should have noticed water in the bottom of your cabinet or on the floor and repaired the pipe before significant damage occurred.

In most cases, insurance companies will cover the cost of water damage from plumbing leaks. However, it is important to read your policy to determine what is covered and what loopholes may exist that could lead your insurance company to deny your claim.

After calling a company like Royalty Plumbing and Gas to fix the problem, it is important to understand when to file a claim and when a leak is not covered by your insurance.

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