Plumbing leaks are among the top 10 insurance claims. These leaks include:
- Frozen Pipe Burst & Ice Dams
- Drain Pipe Leaks
- Water Pipe Leaks, pipe breaks, burst pipes
- Toilet Overflows
- Tub Overflows
- Water Heater Leaks
- Leaky Appliances
Remember that even the smallest leak can cause mold and other significant personal property damage. Hiring a professional to handle this claim can make the difference between a minimal or adequate settlement to repair your damage due to coverage complications and the public adjusters ability to help manage costly dry-out charges.
Water damage from plumbing leaks seldom makes the headlines, but the damages can and often are catastrophic. Our firm has been involved in many claims over the years where the entire inside of buildings and homes have been destroyed due to water leaks, many of which are sudden, with others that may occur over time due to absent property owners.
Often compounding a water loss is what is called a “black water loss,” which is one where the water discharged is sewage from the sewer system. Special care needs to be taken in the remediation process if the property is impacted with black water. Cost can and often will be many times more than a normal water remediation job. This type of loss will involve certified hygienists to set the necessary scope protocol as well as do clearance testing once the work is completed.
In both types of water losses the correct drying process is critical to a successful clean up. Carpets need to be pulled and the padding should be replaced. In most water losses it is necessary to remove baseboards and make the necessary cuts to air out wall cavities. In a black water loss it will probably be necessary to remove at least 4 feet of drywall as well as wall insulation so that adequate space is availabile to clean and sanitize the structure.
A disturbing trend is developing in some states with some insurance companies successfully lobbying the insurance regulators to reduce or completely eliminate coverage for water losses. The new trend is for policy language to be written so that if a water loss is over 14 days old the whole loss is not covered. Approval of these forms will have a devastating effect on property owners who own second homes or who travel and are not there to make regular inspections of their property. We now are hearing of a new tests that can detect how long a water loss has occurred by the breakdown of wood products and other materials. Sadly for property owners nothing is being offered for the first 13 days of a water loss. Property owners should pay close attention to any endorsements sent to them regarding water damage coverage.