What to do right with Pipe or Plumbing Burst:
Plumbing loss claims make up the majority of residential claims in the U.S. A large portion of those plumbing losses are caused by a burst or broken plumbing line or pipe.
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Many issues with the plumbing of a property can be caused by outside forces; however, a burst pipe is simply caused by the failure of its material. This can cause major damage in any part of the property. The cost to repair the failed plumbing alone can become extremely costly depending on the type of materials and the location of where the pipe failed. The most likely places in a property where plumbing can fail are bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms yet, they can also rupture in the walls, attics, or below the foundation of the property in any room. The damage from the latter type of pipe burst can be a relatively massive cost for any policyholder.
Water can damage nearly anything it touches. i.e walls, baseboards, ceilings, tile, wood, cabinets, doors, etc. Furthermore, water can seep into walls, wick up wall, and not be seen to the untrained eye. If the water damages are not properly investigated it can result in overlooked damages that can lead to more extensive damages like rotting wood or mold damage that can be detrimental to the integrity of the property’s structure or the health of the people living in or visiting the property.
Determining the extent of the damages and the proper repairs that are needed when experiencing a loss caused by a pipe burst can be extensive, time-consuming, and stressful. For example, when a pipe does burst it is important to mitigate the damages to the best of your abilities which is a requirement by the insured’s policy. Anytime there is water damage one must consider proper mitigation of damages such as dry out, tearing out damaged materials, preventing mold, preventing further damage and any other emergency repairs that are needed If the policyholder does not know this and handle this part properly there is a higher probability that the insurance carrier will deny the claim due to language contained in the insurance policy. Did you know that some carriers have water damages caps or “rights to repair”? When these types of policies are mishandled due to the lack of this knowledge it can cost the policyholder thousands of dollars out of pocket.
When you experience a water loss caused from a pipe burst there are many complexities of how these types of claims are handled and how they are processed. What items are covered? Who’s responsible for some repairs and who’s responsible for others? Who to call and when to call them? What forms to fill out and when they are needed. Are other parties responsible for part of the repairs or are you responsible for repairs to their property? When to do the repairs? When is doing repairs hurtful to your claim? How much should be repaired and at what phase does doing repairs too soon hurt my claim? All of these questions are things that can greatly affect the end result of you claim being paid, underpaid, or even denied. Furthermore, knowing if personal property (clothing, electronics, furnishings, etc.…) needs to be replaced or repaired and how it is depreciated is a task all on its own and it takes trained skills and experience to utterly understand. This alone can take quite the toll on any policyholder.
Most policyholders do not know the state statues and local building codes that may apply to their loss or what to do when or who to call when they are surprised by a pipe burst. Properly identifying and documenting water damages can be difficult and tedious and without proper training, near impossible. In most cases where a policyholder is not represented damages are overlooked because a policyholder does not know what to look for, the extent of coverage that their insurance policy affords, understand limits or how deductibles apply, what forms to fill out and when those forms are to be submitted, what signing a form can mean to the outcome of their claim, when specific items are relevant or irrelevant, and the complexities of handling a claim. This causes undue stress in an already stressful time and when handled improperly can be very costly to the policyholder.
What should you do if you experience a pipe burst?
First, turn the main water supply to the property off immediately.
Next, assuming it is safe to remain in the property, take lots and lots of photos and videos to properly document the damages to ensure that the cause of loss is not questionable later in the claim process. The photos should include any damage or water staining to personal property.
Mostly importantly, call Dependable Claims Specialists Public Adjusters and let us handle the rest!
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