While Texans have largely moved past the severe winter weather that left so many without power, some homeowners are still dealing with the fallout. Specifically, many homeowners may be coping with pipes that froze, ruptured, and caused water damage.
Should you file a homeowners claim for this water damage? Always consult with the specifics of your homeowners insurance policy to determine what is and isn’t covered. With that said, there are a few general comments we can make about the process of filing a water damage claim.
FAQ About Claiming Water Damage
Does homeowners insurance cover damage to pipes?
Most homeowners policies will cover water damage caused by damaged pipes. In fact, most policies will offer direct coverage caused by damaged or broken pipes, and also provide coverage for damage caused by a power outage (which is something many Texans experienced during the winter ice storms).
The one complication here is that, in order for insurance companies to honor your claim, you may need to present proof that you took all reasonable measures to keep your pipes maintained, including using dehumidifiers. The good news is that, given the condition of the ice storms, many policyholders really didn’t have many options available to them in the first place.
What about flooding?
Flood damage usually isn’t protected by homeowners insurance, though some Texans may have a bit of additional flood coverage in place. As you file a claim for water damage in your home, always be sure to avoid using the words ‘flood’ or ‘flooding,’ which can often be reason enough for your insurance company to deny the claim.
What if the damage is caused by a collapsed roof?
Some Texans are dealing not merely with broken pipes, but with more systemic damage caused by a collapsed roof. The good news here is that homeowners insurance policies will almost always cover roof damage, including from inclement weather. The only exception may be if the homeowner knew the roof was decaying or structurally compromised in advance and did not take the appropriate measures to remedy the problem.
What about renters?
One crucial question that needs to be addressed: What if you’re renting an apartment that had its pipes rupture, causing water damage in your rental unit?
First and foremost, we recommend filing a claim through your renter’s insurance, protecting your personal property as well as the contents of the rental unit.
If you need to have emergency repairs made, be sure you hold on to receipts.
Generally speaking, structural issues, including the walls and pipes of the apartment building, are covered in the property owner’s insurance. And as a renter, you should not be responsible for making repairs yourself. What you are responsible for is reporting the issue to the property manager ASAP. Do it in writing.
Find Out More About Filing Water Damage Claims in Texas
More questions about filing a claim for ruptured pipes and subsequent water damage? We’d love to guide you however possible. Reach out to McLaurin Law at your next opportunity.
Dealing with water damage following the ice storms? Here are some pointers for filing an insurance claim. #homeowners #insurance #mclaurinlaw