Your pipes freeze and burst, damaging your home. Do you have coverage? Most homeowners insurance policies, except for the very basic ones, cover damage to the home resulting from broken pipes due to freezing. For example, your insurance company will pay to clean or pay the cost to replace the carpet, furniture and other property that has been damaged due to the water from bursting pipes, less your deductible. For those with renters insurance, damage to your personal property from the water due to the burst pipes would be covered. If the damage is so extensive that you can’t stay in your apartment, your insurance company will pay your additional living expenses as well.
What if the frozen pipes break at your business? Is your office equipment covered? Yes. The coverages are similar to those for homeowners and renters policies. Your insurance company will cover your business equipment losses, as well as the cost to repair the pipes and any other repairs associated with it, if necessary.
What about snow and ice buildup that causes leaks in your roof? We refer to this condition as an ice dam, and it is not covered under every policy. To obtain coverage for this kind of leakage, not directly the result of damage to the roof by wind or the weight of ice and snow, you would need an “All – Risk” type policy, commonly referred to as an HO-3 or special form policy.
What if you have a claim? How do you go about submitting a claim for your damages? First, take immediate steps to prevent further damage and contact your Independent Insurance Agent. They can verify your coverage and give you instructions for preparing your claim. Generally, you’ll be asked for repair estimates for structural damage and a list of items that will need repair or replacement. Depending on the amount of damage, an appraiser from the insurance company may need to see the damage. As with any claim, make sure to keep all your receipts.