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With all the cold weather this week I know a lot folks have had to deal with busted pipes so I thought I would take just a minute to address how your homeowner's insurance works regarding this type of claim.  Water damage is one of the most common claims we see with home insurance. As you may know homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood or rising water coming from outside your home but it does cover water damage from busted pipes from within your home or even outside pipes that cause damage inside. You may have to prove the damage came from a busted pipe and not just poor drainage which would be more of a maintenance problem. The key words being "water damage",  you will have to make an inventory list of items for personal property that may have been damaged, generally your insurer will send an adjustor by who will estimate the cost for the damage to carpet or sheet rock or they will meet with your contractor to determine cost and repair. When making a claim be sure to refer to your lost as "water damage" and not flood or flooding as that may not be covered. Also you have a responsibility to take care and maintain your home so for instance if the pipes just get old and corroded the pipe itself may not be covered  but the damage to other items may. Your homeowner's does not cover normal wear and tear as you have an obligation to maintain your property such as replacing the roof when it becomes worn or making sure you have proper drainage around your home. Also should you find yourself in the situation of a water damage claim it is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible as the drying out process needs to start as soon as possible to prevent further damage such as mold which can start in 24-48 hours.
Most pipes burst due to freezing weather, be sure to always leave your heat on when you know the temperatures are going to be below freezing. Cover or wrap outside faucets, leave your cold water dripping from the faucet closes to the outside line on those extra cold nights and make sure you have both the cold and hot lines insulated. I will also mention that you should keep a check on water lines to you washing machine and also maybe your ice maker on your refrigerator, these should be replaced every 5 years.
It is always good if you are going on vacation or will be gone for an extended period to turn off your meter or valve while you are gone. One of the worst  water claims I have seen was when a customer had taken a 2 week cruise and had a water heater go out in their basement not to mention the huge water bill.  When your going to be gone for an extended period it is good to have someone you trust to check in or your home often.

You maybe wondering about how to file a claim. You can contact our office during regular hours or contact us at . Also at our website you will find a contact for most of our carriers that you can contact after hours or on weekends. For additional questions always feel free to call our office, email us or for general questions just visit us on most social media outlets from the links on our home page.

photo credit: <a href="">David Boyle in DC</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>
Posted 1:09 PM

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