Is a Frozen Pipe Burst Covered by Insurance?
Do Insurance Policies Cover a Burst Frozen Pipe?
Freezing pipes are a common issue in homes during cold weather. Frozen pipes cause flooding and can lead to mold growth and secondary damage to your home if they aren't dealt with quickly. Fortunately, most standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover damages from frozen pipes (although coverage varies by company). Here's what you need to know about this type of claim so that you can act fast if your pipes freeze!
Frozen pipes are a common issue in the winter, and they can happen any time the temperature falls below zero.
The cold weather prevents water from flowing through your pipes as it normally would—which means that if you don't take care of them, the water will eventually solidify into ice and burst them apart. This is why it's so important to prevent frozen pipes in the first place.
To avoid this unfortunate scenario, we recommend checking on your plumbing regularly during freezing temperatures and taking steps to keep water flowing freely through your home's network of pipes. Below are some general tips for keeping your plumbing safe from freezing damage:
1. Use insulation around exposed parts like faucets or fixtures that might freeze up during cold spells (or wrap them in towels).
2. Place containers of hot water throughout your house; these act as heat traps by absorbing excess heat from appliances or rooms before releasing it into other parts of your home.
A frozen pipe can lead to flooding and all the associated home damage, including water damage and mold growth.
This is because when a pipe bursts it causes a sudden release of liquid that can cause secondary damage like leaks and cracks in your flooring, walls, or ceilings.
It's important to remember that you should never try to thaw out a burst water main on your own by using an open flame. In fact, this can make things much worse as it could cause further damage to your home or even start a fire!
Most standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover damages from frozen pipes.
If you have a separate water damage or flood insurance policy, then the damage is likely covered. But if you don't have a specific water-related coverage, a frozen pipe burst could be considered an excluded peril under your homeowners insurance policy and not be covered.
Here are some things to consider:
- Some policies include language that specifically excludes damage caused by freezing temperatures. You can't just assume that a broken pipe will be covered; you'll need to check with your agent or company representative first. In fact, one of our readers wrote in asking whether their frozen pipe burst would be covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy—and it wasn't!
- Keep in mind that even if freezing weather isn't an excluded peril under your specific policy—or if its exclusionary language doesn't apply—your insurer may still deny coverage for other reasons (like when there's been no proof of loss). Make sure to keep good records so that any claim can be processed quickly.
If you have a pipe burst due to freezing, you need to act fast to reduce secondary damage and your claim cost.
First, call an insured plumber. If it's an emergency, they'll come right away. Don't try DIY repairs. Your insurance company will penalize you for any self-repair attempts that cause damage or additional claims down the road.
Second, shut off water to the affected area and cover it with a tarp until a professional can arrive and make repairs (if possible). This will keep things dry while waiting for help from an insured plumber.
Most insurance companies will cover frozen pipes, so it's important to know what's covered by your policy.
If you wait too long to report the issue and get your pipes thawed out by a professional, your claim could be denied. If this happens and there was no coverage for damage caused by freezing in your policy, you'll have to pay for everything yourself—and that can add up quickly!
So, if you've got frozen plumbing problems on your hands and want to avoid the hassle of filing an insurance claim or paying full price for repairs yourself, here's how to handle the situation.
We hope that this article answered your questions about frozen pipes and insurance coverage. If you have any other questions, or if you need help filing a claim, we’re here to help!