Did Your Property Sustain Damage From The Winter Storm In Texas?
Do you have frozen pipe damage? The situation in Texas is unprecedented. This statewide catastrophe has left many policyholders without water and electricity. Each residential property or commercial structure without power for this long may have significant structural issues related to freezing water and will have leaks which will become more evident as the thaw starts.
It is crucial that you become aware of your insurance policy language and obligations related to filing a claim. You can contact your insurance agent for a copy of your policy if you do not have one on hand.
Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Losses Related To Frozen Pipes?
Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage from frozen or burst pipes. However, Texas residents need to be aware that insurance carriers have been altering policies and reducing coverages over the years. Plumbing leaks and accidental discharge claims are some of the provisions that carriers have messed with.
These small changes can leave policyholders with more expenses as they must front the cost to repair their busted pipes. For example, some insurance carriers have a 48-hour window to notify them that a water loss or leak claim occurred. If you miss this window, the damage will not be considered “accidental discharge” and will prevent you from recovery.
We highly recommend reading the exact wording of your policy language to learn what is required of you to notify your insurer and initiate the claim process. You do not want to miss out on any notification windows as outlined above, or any other provisions that may delay or deny your recovery.
What Should I Do About My Frozen/Burst Pipe Claim?
- Notify your insurance company immediately.
- Document any damage to your residential home or commercial property with photographs and video. Be sure to capture any water leakage or flooding if present.
- Obtain a copy of your insurance policy. Look for your Declarations Page, which lists all coverage and exclusions. If you cannot locate a copy of your policy, contact your insurance agent to have them send it to you.
- Review your policy with an experienced attorney. They will verify the best course of action based on the circumstances.
Once you have filed a claim, be sure to keep a record of all correspondence between you and your insurance company. They may try and claim that your losses are not covered under your policy, but that could be proven otherwise with the help of an attorney.
Free Policy Review
Merlin Law Group is here to help. Our attorneys are happy to review your policy and individual case to determine the extent of your insurance coverage for water damage related to accidental discharge or broken pipes. Please use the form to provide us with your information. From there, our team will be in contact to conduct a free case review.
Check out our blog post for more information on frozen pipe damage. The key is to report your claim now. Do not wait until this is over. It may be too late.
MLG attorney Rene Sigman recently commented on a KPRC2 Houston’s report on how DIY repairs to your frozen or burst pipes could lead to more problems. You can view the report here.
KPRC2 Houston ran another segment detailing the problems associated with unlicensed contractors doing poor quality repairs on affected homes. This poor workmanship can lead to future problems as well. Sigman speaks to improving Texas building codes in this segment, which you can view here.
There’s a Merlin Law Group near you. Established in 1985, Merlin Law Group is a leading insurance litigation law firm committed to assisting policyholders receive fair and just outcomes from their insurance companies. With offices located nationwide, we have someone standing by to hear your case.