Does Flood Insurance Cover Burst Pipes - morgan and morgan
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Does Flood Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?

Does Flood Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?

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Does Flood Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), water damage is one of the main reasons homeowners file an insurance claim. This comes as no surprise, as burst pipes and major leaks can cause devastating damage to a home, typically requiring extensive and costly repairs.

If you recently experienced water damage from a burst pipe in your home, you might wonder, “Does flood insurance cover burst pipes?” Homeowners’ and flood insurance policies can be confusing, as coverage depends on the source of the water damage and other factors. Flood insurance usually excludes problems with the plumbing, such as burst pipes. However, your homeowners’ insurance should pay for burst pipe damage.

Insurance companies often refuse, delay, or minimize valid claims. However, you do not have to stand for it. If a burst pipe significantly damages your property and belongings and you are struggling to get a payout, Morgan & Morgan could help. Our insurance lawyers can review your policy, advise you on your next best steps, and fight for what you deserve. Get started now and contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Flood Insurance vs. Homeowners’ Insurance

Flood insurance differs from your standard homeowners’ insurance policy. Although most homeowners’ policies cover damage from plumbing issues such as burst pipes, they generally do not cover flood events. Therefore, a separate flood insurance policy can be helpful if you live in an area prone to flooding.

Flood Insurance Coverage

Flood insurance generally covers flooding events affecting your property, such as:

  • Flood water or mud intrusion
  • Surface run-off water damage
  • Sewage system backup due to flooding
  • Flash floods
  • Storm surges

Flood insurance covers your property and contents if the losses are directly caused by a flooding event, such as a river bursting its banks or a storm surge.

Homeowners’ Insurance Coverage

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover several types of water damage, including:

  • Burst pipes
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Overflowing toilets
  • Roof leaks
  • Water damage from fire extinguishing

However, it is crucial to note that homeowners’ insurance only pays for damage if you do not neglect timely repair. For example, homeowners’ insurance may refuse to pay for your losses if you knew about a roof leak and failed to fix it or if your plumbing leaks due to deterioration and neglect. Burst pipes are generally covered as they can occur even with proper maintenance.

Insurance Policies Can Be Confusing

While usually, flood insurance does not cover burst pipes, you could have other options for getting what you deserve. However, homeowners and flood insurance policies tend to be written in a language that makes them challenging to understand. If you recently had a burst pipe or other detrimental water event damage your home and contents, Morgan & Morgan can help. We can review your policy, help you understand what is covered, and fight for what you deserve if your insurance company refuses a fair settlement.  

Causes of Burst Pipes

Burst water pipes can cause a lot of damage to your home and contents. However, knowing why pipes burst can, in some cases, help prevent the worst. Causes of burst pipes can include:  

High Water Pressure

High water pressure can lead to a burst pipe. The most common cause of high pressure is an issue with the municipal water supply. Other causes of high-water pressure include:

  • Clogged pipes
  • Wrongly adjusted pressure valves
  • Living next to a water hydrant

While you cannot influence the water pressure supplied from your local municipal water supply, there are some things you can do to reduce water pressure and the likelihood of burst pipes:

  • Adjust the water pressure valve
  • Install a water pressure regulator
  • Clean clogged pipes
  • Replace worn and damaged pipes promptly

Corrosion and Age

If the pipes in your home are ancient, you could be sitting on a ticking time bomb. Aging pipes are more likely to burst from high water pressure. Moreover, metal water pipes corrode, which can cause weakened and clogged pipes. Corrosion can particularly affect older plumbing as any anti-corrosive treatments wear out over time. Homeowners can slow down pipe corrosion by:

  • Lowering water pressure
  • Treating water to eliminate or minimize corrosive agents
  • Using non-metallic pipes

If you have corroded pipes in your home, replace them as soon as possible to avoid a burst pipe.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes in cold climates commonly cause pipe bursts. Since water expands when it freezes, the expansion and resulting pressure may cause a pipe to rupture. You can prevent freezing pipes by:

  • Keeping the heating on a low setting when away from home
  • Insulating the outside of the pipes
  • Letting taps trickle rather than shutting them off completely

Neglecting Maintenance

Homeowners who neglect the maintenance of their plumbing systems and pipes are more likely to suffer from leaks and pipe bursts. Moreover, when it comes to filing an insurance claim after a pipe burst, an insurer could refuse your claim if it can prove that you failed to replace or repair old and damaged pipes in time.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What are Signs of a Burst Pipe in Your Home?

    Some burst pipes cause such catastrophic and instant damage that they are visible immediately. However, burst pipes can also begin with less noticeable leaks. If you notice any of the following signs, call a plumber to investigate the cause of the problem.

    Unexplained Water Pressure Issues

    If you suddenly experience a drop in water pressure, you may have a plumbing leak or burst pipe. The leak or hole in the pipe affects how well water travels through your plumbing, with water rushing through the broken pipe rather than your faucets. This can lead to fluctuating or low water pressure throughout your home.

    Discolored Water

    Dirt and contaminants from the surrounding soil can enter your water when an underground water pipe bursts. Moreover, leaking or burst pipes develop rust over time, tinting the water brown.

    Puddles

    Standing water anywhere in the house can point to a burst pipe, particularly if a puddle grows when you turn on the water. Puddles typically form near the leak or burst, underneath sinks, or near bathtubs and toilets.

    Water Stains on Walls

    Pipes often run behind walls. If there is a water leak or burst pipe, marks and stains may appear on the walls. You may also notice dampness and bubbling or cracking of plaster or wallpaper near the leak. Stains can also appear on the ceiling, indicating a burst pipe or leak in the room above.

    High Water Bill

    If your water bill is suddenly much higher than usual, and there is no other explanation, you may have a burst or leaking pipe on your property. Even if you do not notice any leaks or puddles, an unusually high water bill should be investigated by a plumber.

    Water Sounds

    Clanging or dripping noises can be an indication that something is wrong with your plumbing. If you hear a drip and faucets are not the cause, you may have a leak in a pipe. A clanging noise, sometimes called a “water hammer,” can indicate pipe movement or too much water pressure, potentially leading to leaks and bursts.

  • What are Your Next Best Steps After a Pipe Burst?

    Knowing what to do when you have a burst pipe in your home can limit the devastating effects of water intrusion on the fabric of your home and save the most treasured items from water damage. Homeowners have several options for minimizing water damage before professionals arrive to fix the issue. Here’s what you can do:

    1. Turn off mains water to your home immediately
    2. Call a plumber to diagnose and repair the problem
    3. Mop up any standing water to avoid water damage and mold
    4. Drain all faucets and flush toilets to remove any water left in the pipes
    5. Contact your homeowners’ insurance to file a burst pipe claim
  • Should I Consider Hiring a Lawyer for Your Burst Pipe Claim?

    Once you file a claim with your homeowners’ insurance company, you might feel assured that you will get a check in the mail soon. After all, you have paid into your homeowners’ policy month after month and year after year. In reality, getting what you deserve can be tricky.

    Insurance companies sometimes drag their heels, especially if a lot of money is at stake for you and them. However, help is available. If a burst or leaking pipe severely damages your home and you are struggling to get a payout, contacting an insurance lawyer can be an excellent idea. Professional legal advice and representation can be crucial in the following circumstances:

    • The claim is expensive or complex
    • You disagree with the insurance adjuster
    • The homeowners’ insurance refuses to investigate your claim
    • Your insurer denied a valid burst pipe claim
    • Your homeowners’ insurance cancels your policy suddenly
    • The insurer makes lowball offers

    Do not let an unscrupulous insurance company get away scot-free with denying or underpaying your claim. A Morgan & Morgan property damage lawyer could help you get the settlement you need to repair your home.

  • What Should I Do When a Burst Pipe Damages My Home?

    There are two main areas to focus on when a burst pipe occurs in your home: protecting your house and contents and safeguarding your legal rights. The following could help you with both:

    Contact Your Homeowners’ Insurance Immediately

    As soon as you experience damage to your home, call your homeowners’ insurance to start the claims process. Getting a settlement could take months. The sooner you begin the process, the sooner you can receive the funds you need to repair your home.  

    Avoid Further Damage

    A homeowner is responsible for protecting their house from further damage after a burst pipe. Actions to take can include:

    • Turning the water off
    • Calling a plumber
    • Drying out wet areas immediately

    Ignoring the issue and failing to mitigate the damage could give the insurance company reason to minimize or deny your claim.

    Gather Proof of Loss

    Your insurer will want to see every little detail of the damage to your home and contents. Without adequate proof of loss, homeowners can struggle to receive an insurance payout. Therefore, start to gather evidence of your damage and loss right away. Take cell phone pictures of every room and item affected by the burst pipe. Make a list of all the damaged items and areas of your home.  

    Call an Attorney

    If you suffered extensive damage or have trouble getting what you deserve from your insurer, consider consulting an attorney early on in the claims process. Our determined insurance lawyers can help homeowners deal with the insurance company and fight for the settlement they need.

  • How Can Morgan & Morgan Help Me With a Burst Pipe Claim?

    Morgan & Morgan has your back if an insurer unfairly denies, delays, or underpays your claim. We have helped countless clients recover the homeowners’ insurance settlement they required to move on with their lives after suffering extensive water damage to their homes. Our attorneys can:

    • Help you understand what your flood and homeowners’ insurance policies cover
    • Communicate with the insurance company
    • Handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end
    • Negotiate a fair settlement for your losses
    • File a lawsuit against the insurance company

    Our experienced and tenacious insurance dispute attorneys can fight tirelessly for the insurance settlement you deserve after experiencing water damage from a burst pipe.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights for the Rights of Homeowners

    Knowing whether your homeowners’ or flood insurance covers burst pipes can be confusing. Unfortunately, an insurer may make it unnecessarily challenging for you to receive an adequate payout for your water damage. When this happens, Morgan & Morgan can step in and fight for your rights.

    Our attorneys fight powerful insurance companies every day and want to help you get your life back on track after suffering damage to your home. Contact us now to determine how we can help you.

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