My pipes burst, do I qualify for home insurance coverage?

If your pipes burst, you may qualify for insurance coverage to get the damage repaired. However, there are many factors that determine if your pipe and subsequent home repairs are covered.

Your house is something you have invested a lot of time and money in, all to make it feel like a home. So naturally, you want to know that you’re covered if something happens to it. What can “make” or “break” your home insurance coverage when it comes to a pipe bursting?

Let’s take a look at the components that go into home repair coverage after a pipe burst.

Is my burst pipe insured?

The simple answer is that it depends. When a pipe bursts in your home, many things are considered when insurance coverage comes into question.

These coverage factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Previous pipe installation
  • Your home’s insurance plan
  • What caused the damages

When you report a burst pipe, there are a few people involved assessing the amount of coverage you receive. One of these people is an inspector. What does this inspector do exactly?

According to Cody Dickson, a plumber in Elizabeth City, NC:

“When an inspector comes out, he/she will look at why the pipe burst and what the damages are. If the pipe was already old and damaged, you may not be covered at all. If the pipe suddenly burst, you will most likely be covered for most of your damages, depending on your home insurance plan. One thing to note is that the pipe replacement and repair isn’t always covered by home insurance. However, when a sudden burst occurs, the damage to the walls and floor surrounding the pipe is typically covered.”

woman with blonde hair on the phone kneeling on wood floor, red bucket, burst pipe in white wall

Maximize Your Home Insurance Coverage

There are a lot of simple ways to maximize your coverage. Some of these options happen before your pipes burst, and some happen after.

Before Your Pipes Burst

Insurance coverage generally only covers pipes that burst suddenly. It is up to you to make sure your pipes aren’t old and corroded. If you have an older home, it is a good idea to have your plumbing inspected. You can do this yourself, or you can hire a plumber to do it for you.

Replace Old Pipes Before They Burst

If your plumbing is fairly old or seems to be close to falling apart, it is a good idea to get your plumbing replaced ahead of a burst. It is a good way to prevent getting caught up in any stipulations regarding pipe age, etc. Also, be sure to keep any repair records for proof of maintenance.

Another thing you can do to maximize your coverage is research home insurance plans. Take the time to sit down and find a plan that works best for your home. Find an affordable coverage rate that will help you without causing you grief with your money. If you need to, talk with as many agency representatives as you can. Compare everything you’re given by insurance agencies, with their competitors’ rates. Know the difference between things like home insurance and a home warranty.

After Your Pipes Burst

The first step after your pipe bursts is to cut off the water. Then contact your insurance provider. After you contact your provider, be sure to take pictures of any damage caused by the pipe.

If you’re having trouble reaching an agreement with your provider’s adjuster after the damages are assessed, you can hire a public adjuster. Public adjusters can review your policy and the damages done to your home. They will negotiate a fair incident coverage rate for you.

Be sure to ask your home insurance agent about temporary home accommodations if needed. Some of them will cover things like food and hotel stays until your home is whole again.

brown pipe burst with corroding, water dripping from burst

How to Tell if a Pipe Has Burst

Sometimes, a burst pipe isn’t that apparent. Most pipes are behind walls and under houses. Luckily, there are a few ways to tell if a pipe is burst.

You can tell a pipe has burst if:

  • The water pump keeps going on and off
  • You see water stains
  • There are wet areas in your home
  • There is a distinct “mildew” smell coming from any areas of your home
  • Your water bill is extra high

Be sure to pay attention to any damage to your home. It is your job as a homeowner to manage general upkeep of your home. A lot of this comes from using your basic senses. Does something sound off? Investigate it. Is that smell questionable? Find out where it’s coming from.

If you pay attention, you have the ability to find a problem quickly and prevent even more damage from occurring.

Cut Down on the Spending

Nobody wants a burst pipe to happen to their home. Unfortunately, not all incidents are preventable. If your pipes bursts, seeing the damage can be a walking nightmare. However, if you have a decent coverage plan and maintain your plumbing, you should be covered.

Of course, it is likely that you’ll have to pay a little money when dealing with burst pipes. But if you’ve taken the actions listed in this article, you’ll likely save more money than you spend.

Author Bio:
Whitney VanNostrand is an avid horse rider and home improvement writer for a plumbing company in Eastern North Carolina.

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