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Does Usaa Homeowners Insurance Cover Leaking Pipes
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Homeowners insurance protects property owners against common disasters. But does homeowners insurance cover plumbing problems? In most cases, yes — but things can get complicated, because some plumbing disasters aren’t covered. This guide will answer the question, “Does plumbing insurance cover homeowners?” In many situations.
There are many cases when homeowners insurance covers plumbing problems. In fact, water damage caused by burst pipes or related problems is one of the most common causes of insurance claims.
To determine which plumbing problems will be covered by your homeowners insurance, you first need to know whether you have an open peril policy or a named peril policy. An open peril policy covers losses unless specifically excluded by the policy, while a named peril policy covers only losses listed in the policy.
It is important to read your policy carefully. Check the fine print to see what is covered and what is excluded.
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Homeowners insurance usually covers sudden and accidental water damage. Damage from an unexpectedly burst pipe should fall into that category. The pipe itself will not be repaired, but water-related damage must be cleaned up.
Damage from frozen burst pipes is usually covered, even if the pipe itself is not repaired. However, damages caused by a burst pipe will not be covered because the property owner failed to maintain heat in the home.
In most cases, homeowners insurance policies cover damage caused by slab leaks. However, the actual repair of the pipe is not typically paid for. Damage due to slab leakage will also not be covered if it is due to an excluded cause. For example, damage to a broken pipe under a slab due to tree roots cannot be covered.
Some plumbing issues are excluded from coverage. This leads to the question “Does homeowners insurance cover plumbing problems?” Answering this question can be confusing. Carefully review the exclusions in your policy. Here are some common plumbing problems that aren’t often covered.
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Sewer lines connect home plumbing to main lines under the street. Many standard homeowner policies exclude sewer line coverage. However, you can add a sewer backup rider to your policy.
If homeowners are negligent, insurance may not cover plumbing problems. For example, if you ignore a leaking faucet, the resulting damage will not be covered. Making shoddy repairs, such as patching water lines instead of replacing them, can deny homeowners insurance coverage.
Normal wear and tear of plumbing systems is not covered. This includes leaks and broken pipes. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their plumbing systems, water, heat and appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers that can leak.
Insurance coverage for broken pipes is usually sufficient through a standard home insurance policy, but some types of damage are usually not covered, such as:
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Before filing a plumbing insurance claim, read your policy carefully or check with your insurance agent to determine if the damage is covered. There are other considerations including limitation of damages.
If plumbing damage is covered, it usually makes sense to file a home insurance claim if a problem occurs. However, consider the extent of the loss relative to your deductible (the amount you have to pay before insurance kicks in).
If you have a $2,000 loss and a $1,000 deductible, filing a claim may not be worth it. You must pay an out-of-pocket deductible of $1,000 before insurance will pay for the rest of the loss. For a small claim, the premium will not increase after the insurance claim is made.
Homeowners must report plumbing damage to the insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company will provide instructions on the procedure for filing claims. Typically, an adjuster will evaluate whether the policy covers the loss. The adjuster will also determine the extent of the loss covered.
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If the claim is denied, you should carefully review their insurance policy to see if plumbing damage is excluded. If you think it should be covered, you can appeal. It may be smart to contact an attorney or state insurance department for support during the appeals process.
Christy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer with over a decade of experience. She holds a JD from UCLA as well as a BA in English, Media and Communications and a Certificate in Business Management from the University of Rochester. In addition to writing for The Ascent and The Motley Fool, her work has also been regularly featured on MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today. She also ghostwrites textbooks, serves as a subject matter expert for online course design, and is a former college instructor.
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As major leaks persist after days of cold weather, homeowners are filing claims with their insurance companies.
SAN ANTONIO – Homeowners are filing claims with their insurance companies as major leaks continue after days of frigid weather conditions. The Insurance Council of Texas expects hundreds of thousands of claims to be filed with billions in damages.
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USAA alone had received more than 38,000 claims as of Friday morning, a number that is sure to rise. Most of those claims were for frozen and busted pipes.
“A homeowner’s policy covers further damage and often includes frozen pipes in situations where the pipes burst,” said Elizabeth Gulick, vice president of catastrophe experience and shared claims operations.
“Look under the cabinets, where the sinks are, around the tub and toilet. Look at the ceiling,” she said. “Really evaluate what you’re hearing, what you’re seeing.”
As frozen pipes begin to thaw, she says it’s important to know where to locate the main water cutoff valve. If there are leaks or strange noises, the water can be turned off to minimize the damage. Most water is at the cutoff meter, near the curb, but it can also be at the water softener.
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Many people’s fridges and freezers are full of spoiled food due to long and frequent power outages. They can also file an insurance claim for the same on the basis of the policy.
Knowing your policy is important. Claims can be easily filed in many cases. USAA, for example, allows for expedited electronic claims.
As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save money. Since arriving in 1985, she has covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, the Oklahoma tornado, child transplants, investigations into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.
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