How to Handle a Burst Pipe Insurance Claim
In the wake of the recent snowstorm in Texas, tens of thousands of Texans are dealing with property damage due to burst and leaking pipes. Although most homeowners’ policies will cover water damage resulting from burst pipes, dealing with an insurance company is often confusing and intimidating. Here are the basics of what you need to know:
First, document everything from the outset as if your insurance will deny it. That includes: (1) taking pictures of the damage as you found it before attempting repairs; (2) taking reasonable steps to (safely) prevent further damage, such as turning off water flow or sealing/tarping intrusion areas; and (3) consider jotting down a statement of facts to help you remember relevant circumstances later, such as whether you left the heat on when you left your house, whether you left water dripping, when you first discovered the damage, etc. You will be glad to have that evidence later if your fight with the insurance company drags out over weeks or months.
Second, promptly report the claim to your insurance carrier. Most insurance companies now have online reporting systems which allow you to submit a claim via their websites. After you submit a claim, if you haven’t heard from an adjuster in 24 hours, follow up via telephone and make sure they have received and are working on the claim.
Third and finally, request a copy of your insurance policy. You are entitled to one, and this will let the insurance adjuster know that you are not simply going to “take their word” about what your policy says.
Dealing with an insurance claim is never fun, but with these simple steps, you can arm yourself with the proof you need to get your claim paid. If you have additional questions, call to speak with one of our experienced insurance litigators at Scanes & Routh. Or, fill out our potential Insurance Claim Intake Form here.