FAQ: Frozen Pipes and Insurance
Winter can be a tough time for homeowners, especially if you have frozen pipes. There are a few ways to prevent burst pipes from happening, but sometimes they still happen. If your pipe bursts and causes damage inside your home, does the homeowner's insurance cover the cost of repairs? The answer is: it depends.
How do you prevent pipe-bursts?
The best way to prevent frozen pipes is by making sure that the temperature in your home doesn't drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times throughout the winter. You also need to consider how much water flows through each pipe and make sure you have enough insulation if it's exposed or above ground level.
Why do pipes burst?
When pipes burst from freezing temperatures, it's because they are unable to handle the pressure of expanding water. When water freezes, it expands. It doesn't have enough room to expand inside the pipe and will instead push on its walls until something gives way.
If your pipes burst in an unheated area of your home (like a basement), this causes a lot of damage as well: firstly because there's no insulation outside the walls or ceiling; secondly, because cold air tends to fall downwards and so if you're unlucky enough for your burst pipe to be in an unheated part of your house, it can cause serious damage underneath floors or other parts of your home.
When are frozen pipes covered?
Insurance companies will generally cover any damage from frozen pipes as long as it's considered "sudden and accidental." If a problem with your heating system causes a pipe to burst in your house while you’re away, it's likely covered by insurance.
If it is clear that the policyholder/property owner has neglected to protect their plumbing or other parts of their property, the insurance company might deny coverage.
What if I don't have insurance?
If you have no insurance and your home is damaged by a burst pipe, the cost of repairs can be significant. In this case, you may have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
If you have a frozen pipe, it's important to know that your homeowner's or renter's insurance might cover the damage. The key is to contact your insurer quickly after the pipe has burst, so they can assess the situation and determine if they'll help pay for repairs. If you're unsure about what type of policy you have with this company, ask them directly before making any decisions.
If you experience a burst pipe in your home or business, give SERVPRO of Englewood/East Littleton a call, and we will get your Englewood home back to normal as quickly as possible!