HOW CAN I STAY AHEAD IN MY CLAIMS PROCESS?
Water that sits in the pipe can be frozen by a sudden temperature drop and cause the water to expand and burst the pipe. This can cause water damage, don’t refer to this as a “flood” even mentioned casually calling your claim a “flood” can cause grief later in the process since there are separate policies for flood insurance. Make sure to refer to your issue as “water damage”.
Review your policy to see what you have covered currently, sometimes a policy will only cover the damage if the property or business has is maintained at a certain temperature range or has a security system installed. Determine if the policy will cover the cost of the damaged pipes themselves or only the damage caused by the burst pipe. Typically you may find that policy holder will have to pay to repair the damage pipes.
Some of the trickier aspects of the process can be juggling the responsibility of getting estimates from contractors to fix the work without getting price gouged. It is possible to negate this issue by adding verbiage to any work authorization stating: “any billing is subject to an agreement and approval by the insurance company.” This won’t sit well with some contractors but it protects you and your interests.
This due diligence will help you when dealing with the insurance company as well, usually policies will pay for work that is deemed “reasonable and necessary” so any exorbitant estimates or price gouging will be scrutinized. Keeping good records of all the work and meetings that take place will help your claim. Using email to confirm instructions and commitments with contractors and other vendors will help clarify any questions at a later date.
You need to also make sure to keep your property in good standing regarding needed repairs. If you leave your property and don’t take measures to protect against frozen pipes and damage occurs the insurance agency may not cover your damages due to “negligence” this includes old and corroded pipe as well. HDG Public Adjusters can help you navigate these tricky aspects of a frozen pipe claim.