Broken pipes represent a plumbing emergency for homeowners. In the event that your pipes are broken, they need immediate repair, as there are many risks associated with broken pipes. Upstairs leaks can cause damage to the ceilings and walls, and all types of leaks can damage the floors. Will your community insurance policy cover you if your pipes break?
When you have a broken pipe, ask yourself:
Why did the pipe break?
Was the pipe rusty?
How long has the pipe been leaking?
Was that part of the home worked on recently?
Have you filed any other recent water damage claims due to plumbing in the past?
If the pipe broke due to neglect, community insurance probably won't cover your damages. In your agreement with the insurance company, you are obliged to perform all necessary maintenance to keep the pipes in good working order. The good news is that if you kept your part of the deal, and the pipes were well-maintained and in good working order prior to the plumbing emergency, you should be covered.
Broken Pipes After Construction
If any construction or remodelling took place near the broken pipe, it is possible that the contractor caused the damages. Therefore, the contractor's liability insurance should cover your water damage. But this doesn't apply if you did the construction yourself. That's why more homeowners opt to hire contractors to work on their homes instead.
Water Damage & Your Homeowner Insurance
Your personal property and parts of your home that are suddenly and unexpectedly exposed to water, will generally be covered, provided the damage is not caused by flooding, and that there is no negligence. Coverage will differ from one insurer to the next, so it is best to discuss this with your mutual insurance representative.
Broken Pipes and Your Insurance Claim
Sometimes, it may not be in your best interest to file a claim, even if your broken pipe is covered by your insurance. In most cases, policies have deductibles that have to be paid out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. If your deductible is only small than the repairs by a small margin, filing a claim will damage your insurance reputation.
Insurance customers are evaluated based on the amount of risk they pose of filing future claims. Past losses and liabilities are evaluated across all policies they own. In the event that you have had several claims, this will blemish your profile and end up costing more in premiums. Therefore, it is better to pay for small damages out of pocket if repair costs are minimal.
While it is important to contact your insurance company after any incidents, it may be a better idea to first call a professional master plumber to assess the damage. In the event that the plumber attributes the broken pipe to construction damages, old pipes or negligence, it may be best to pay for the repairs out of pocket. However, if the damages are covered by your insurance, and the costs are significant, take advantage of your mutual insurance.