The luggage is packed, and you and the family head off for winter vacation — only to return home to water spewing from burst plumbing. You instantly wonder if your homeowners insurance will cover the damages. Here is a helpful guide on when that’s the case — why pipes are prone to rupture during colder temperatures and proactive steps to prevent these scenarios from occurring.
Is Your Home Covered?
The good news is most homeowners insurance policies cover water leaks and spills caused by burst pipes. This includes repairing and replacing the damaged plumbing. If the water has made its way onto furniture and personal items, those possessions are likely covered too. Depending on the plan, the policyholder typically pays their deductible, and then the carrier pays any remaining costs up to the designated monetary limit.
One important factor in determining if the plumbing damage will be paid for by the insurance provider is whether the cause was accidental. Some companies may not pay if the damage was caused by the homeowner’s negligence or failure to maintain the plumbing. These include not leaving your heating system on while you’re away or if the pipes show visible signs of old age.
Why Do Pipes Burst During Winter?
Winter’s cold temperatures cause the water inside pipes to expand. The increased pressure has nowhere to go and eventually gets so high a rupture occurs in the plumbing.
Pipes located outside the home or in spaces where cold drafts are present are more susceptible to bursts. That’s because the plumbing isn’t insulated from the frigid winter air, allowing the water inside to freeze and expand.
How Can You Prevent Damaged Plumbing?
When the temperatures drop near the freezing point, it’s critical to let faucets drip a bit so that water doesn’t freeze up in the pipes. Cover exposed plumbing with the proper insulation to keep them warm. Be sure to also turn off all outside water valves after removing and storing garden hoses. If you’re planning a winter getaway, set your HVAC system to at least 55 degrees to keep the home and its plumbing insulated.
With a few proactive steps, you can protect your house and its possessions from burst pipes in the winter. Should this unfortunate situation occur, you want a reliable homeowners insurance policy in place. Patton Insurance Group in Springboro, OH, is the region’s premier agency for affordable and comprehensive coverage. The independent firm will shop around for the best rates from the nation’s leading providers, including Erie Insurance®, Progressive®, Safeco®, and Trexis®. To learn more, call (937) 886-9966. Visit the website to request a free, no-obligation insurance quote.