Are Broken water pipes covered by insurance?
If only I had a dime for every time I was asked that question. And in Florida, it is a very big question since the weather here makes it much more likely to have broken pipes in your home or business.
The insurance industry in Florida has largely responded to this with a resounding NO!
When you have a pipe that is leaking or has burst, it is your responsibility to get the water shut off. Once this happens, then call your insurance company and file a claim.
The situation becomes much more difficult if the damage isn't confined just to the pipe, but spreads beyond that throughout other areas of your home or business. This is where the other major insurance company responses come in. Many companies will tell you that if the other damages are over 50% of the structure, then they won't pay for it – unless you have an "intentional" or "substantial improvement" rider on your policy. This means that if you want to upgrade your electrical system to bring it up to code, you need this rider. Otherwise, the insurance company feels that your upgrading was done solely for your own benefit and not because it needed to be brought up to current building codes.
However, if the damage is under 50% of the structure (isn't too bad), then they will pay to have everything fixed and just bill you for your deductible.
In my experience, this overall assessment of what the insurance company will do is correct. In most instances, they will pay for the pipe damage and nothing else – unless you have a rider on your policy. This is where you need to be proactive in working with your insurance agent to ensure that you have this coverage on your policy.
The one thing I can say though is that if you do have this rider, the insurance company will usually come out and inspect your home or business before they write you a check for the loss. This is because they don't want to pay for anything that was previously damaged. So if you think there might be some damage on the other side of your walls, you better be prepared to open them up. Contact us more information at Storm Claim.
Posted in: Legal