Imagine this scenario. You’ve gone away for the weekend to enjoy time with friends only to return to water running under your front door and down your steps. While you were enjoying time away, the toilet you flushed on your way out the door continued to run. It overflowed the bowl and eventually covered the floor on the first level of your home.
Unfortunately, such a scenario can happen. And that’s when having a homeowners policy is crucial.
Are You Covered?
Your home insurance policy will pay for covered perils. Sudden and accidental water damage resulting from plumbing failure is a standard covered peril. So, in the example above, your insurance should cover the damages.
What is “sudden and accidental water damage resulting from plumbing failure?” It is damage that occurred swiftly in a sudden discharge of water, such as when a:
- Dishwasher hose bursts mid-cycle
- Water heater ruptures
- Toilet overflows
- Pipe bursts
Three Clauses That May Provide Coverage
When you experience water damage from a burst pipe, many things can happen. You can experience damage to your home’s structure. There may also be damaged or destroyed personal property. And you may find yourself displaced, unable to live in your home for a period of time. Thankfully, different clauses in your homeowners policy take care of these three situations.
- Dwelling coverage: This part of your policy takes care of issues with the structure of your home. This would include problems with floors, walls, roof, built-in appliances, electrical systems, and plumbing systems. In the case of the overflowing toilet, the damage would likely include flooring, walls, and the duct system for the HVAC unit. Your dwelling coverage will reimburse you for the expense of cleaning, repairing, and/or replacing this damage as long as the peril is covered and the damage does not exceed your policy limit.
- Property coverage: This part of your policy covers personal property. This would include such things as electronics, furniture, and clothing damaged, in this case, due to burst pipes. How you are reimbursed depends on the type of property coverage you purchased. Replacement coverage values your belongings at today’s replacement prices. On the other hand, actual value places a depreciated value on the damaged items. Additionally, some personal property may have a coverage limit unless you’ve purchased an additional rider to the policy.
- Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage: This coverage reimburses you when you are displaced from your home. It includes lodging, food, and travel expenses.
Once you file a claim, the insurance adjuster will assess the damage. The settlement will be the cost of repair and replacement up to the coverage limit and minus the policy’s deductible.
Hire A Public Adjuster
Unfortunately, water damage due to burst pipes is not an easy claim. It can be difficult to prove that the damage happened from a sudden discharge of water rather than a slow leak over time. That’s why you may need a public adjuster.
At Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, we have the expertise to help you document your loss correctly so that your insurance company settles the claim. We understand all of the issues that occur during a water damage claim and will work to get you the settlement you deserve. If you’ve suffered water damage from burst pipes, call us today. We’re here to help.