A Water Pipe Broke In My House What Should I Do Now?
As the weather turns colder it is prime season for one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, water damage. In the winter time many homes in the U.S. will see temperatures drop below freezing over night which can cause sudden burst in water pipes. Without a doubt this usually happens when we are away from home or sleeping which makes it hard to minimize the damage by shutting off the water source. Many homeowners and landlords don't know what they should do when a water pipe breaks and how to handle the insurance claim.
First things first you need to try and stop any further damage from occuring which is usually done by shutting off the water main valve to the house. If this does not stop the flow of water then you need to contact a plumber immediately to get assistance. When dealing with a broken water pipe it can be hard to determine where the break is unless it happens where pipes are visible like the basement. After shutting off the water you will need to call a few people to get things fixed. First call your home insurance company to notify them of the damage and most companies will be able to refer you to a reputable water restoration company or even dispatch one for you. Next you will need to contact a water restoration company if the insurance company does not and a plumber to fix the water pipe.
Do not attempt to fix or change the broken pipe prior to the insurance adjuster reviewing the damage. If you attempt to fix or adjust the pipe before the adjuster can see the damage it may not be covered by the insurance. Most of the time insurance companies will be able to get an adjuster out to your house within 24 hours unless a major storm is in the area. If they cannot come out quickly be sure to get permission to get the pipe fixed and take pictures of the damaged pipe along with the water damage.
In most cases the home insurance company will pay for damages caused by the sudden burst pipe including water damage to property and the restoration costs. The adjuster must determine that the pipe broke due to a sudden and accidental burst instead of wear and tear. This is why you must not touch the pipe until the adjuster has seen the damage and approved the claim under the policy.