Five Burst Pipe Insurance Claim Tips
Posted on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024 at 9:00 am
A burst pipe can be a nightmare for homeowners. Unfortunately, many homeowners may run into burst pipe insurance claim problems when they realize their home insurance doesn’t cover as much as they think. Our step-by-step tips can help you navigate the burst pipe insurance claim process so you can fix the water damage from a burst pipe as quickly as possible.
If you’re having trouble getting the burst pipe damage covered by insurance, call us. We help homeowners like you deal with possible bad-faith homeowners insurance claim denials.
#1 Prevent More Damage
Shut off the water supply as soon as you see the leak. This can prevent more damage to your home and make it easier to assess the damage to the pipe in your home.
#2 Call Your Insurance Carrier
Confirm the extent of your insurance coverage with the insurance adjuster. They will probably advise you about the next steps you should take. Many carriers will recommend a few pipe repair and remediation companies, including those that offer 24-hour service in emergencies.
#3 Document Everything Before Cleaning
The insurance adjuster may not come out to your home right away to value the claim, so if they don’t, it’s important to have documentation of the full extent of the damage so you can show the insurance company proof of loss. This can help substantiate your claim so that you get enough money to cover the cost of repairing all the damage to the pipes and your house. Take pictures or a video walk-through of the affected areas and make copies.
#4 Remove the Water
Your next step, even if the water damage happened on a frigid Ohio winter day, is to keep mold from growing. The water remediation company will likely take over the clean-up operation in your house, including removing standing water and setting up industrial fans to dry out the structure.
#5 Start Your Claim for Pipe Repairs and Structural Damage
Your insurance policy should cover the cost of restoring your home to the “pre-loss condition,” including repairing any structural damage. The carrier sends an insurance adjuster to the house to assess the damage and cause.
This is where many homeowners run into problems. Some policies cover water damage but may dispute other damage claims. The insurance company may claim there was pre-existing damage to your house and reduce the amount they’ll pay on your claim.
Handling Problems with Your Burst Pipe Insurance Claim
So, what can you do if you’re not getting the funds you need to cover all the damage?
- Seek a second opinion. You can contact a public adjuster in your area or an independent remediation contractor. If the carrier isn’t providing the coverage necessary to fully repair your home, having a second estimate may help justify your claim.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Insurance companies are for-profit companies and make money by not paying large claims. They may offer less than your claim is worth or intimidate you into taking a lower offer. You can use the documentation you gathered about the extent of the damage and ask for a higher amount.
- Require justification for the offer. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate for a higher claim settlement, ask them how they arrived at the claim total. This is where your independent estimate may come in handy.
- Prove you kept your house in good repair. The carrier may try to justify a lower amount by claiming that you hadn’t properly maintained your home’s plumbing system and the leak could have been prevented. If you have regular drain cleaning services or have taken steps to add additional insulation to your pipes, then you can use the documentation from these services to prove that you have been taking reasonable steps to keep the plumbing system in good repair.
- Call a lawyer. An insurance carrier may take you more seriously when you have a lawyer on your side. An attorney who is familiar with the average insurance claim for burst pipes in your city and the tricks insurance companies may pull to pay less can help you demand the full amount you need to repair the damage and move on.
Do You Need Help with a Pipe Leak Homeowners Insurance Claim?
Whether your Ohio home is damaged from frozen pipes bursting or due to pipes leaking, our team of attorneys can help you if the claims adjuster or your insurance company denies coverage and has undervalued your claim. Our focus is helping homeowners who have been taken advantage of by insurance carriers acting in bad faith, and we’re ready to fight for your rights. Call Lawrence & Associates today at (513) 351-5997 for a free consultation.