Does my homeowner’s insurance cover freezing pipes

mike crowley

Freezing Pipes

Like most Upstate New York homeowner’s or property owners one thing that we always need to be careful of during the winter months are freezing pipes.

With our extremely long winters that run from November to April, cold temperature can reek havoc on our plumbing if we aren’t careful.

Most New York Homeowner’s Insurance Policies will cover freezing under the Special All Risk Policy. It is not often we see someone that does not have an All Risk Home Insurance Policy but just incase you will want to make sure that you have a least an HO2 (Broad form) Policy.

Types of Forms on a Property Policy

There are three different forms that property policies can have for coverage.

Basic HO1

Broad HO2

Special HO3

Freezing is not included on a Basic Policy but it is on the other two. A basic policy is also known as a fire only policy and you typically see this on Vacant properties or potentially on rentals.

If you own rental property you are more likely to potentially have this type of coverage verse your standard homeowner’s policy. To see more details on what is included on each property form visit here.

Tips to reduce the risk of frozen pipes

If you are leaving to head South for the winter or going on a vacation during these cold winter months, you are going to want to make sure that you take the necessary precautions to prevent a claim from happening especially while you are away.

One thing that is great to do any time of the year when you are leaving for more than a day is to turn your water off. Water claims make up a large portion of homeowner’s losses so turning your main supply off will help prevent this. Luckily now in 2019 we are seeing many different leak detection systems that are able to be put in and are connected so you can control it from your phone and limit any damage that occurs.

Some insurance carriers are even offering a discount on your homeowner’s insurance if you have a leak detection system installed.

Other things that you can do to avoid frozen pipes is

Keep a high enough temperature on in your house even when you are away

Leave Cabinet Doors open so that the heat in the house will get more direct access to the pipes

Leave a small drip in one of the faucets specifically the one that is the furthest away from the main water sources.

 

Exclusions

Any time a pipe breaks we get the question:

Will the insurance company pay to fix the pipe?

The way the property insurance policy is written. The insurance carrier will pay for the damage the water causes, not the damage to the pipe. That cost will be on the property owner.

This will come into play whether it was due to freezing or if it just broke.

What’s Next?

Make sure you have this coverage by reviewing your current insurance policies. If you do leave your home for a large portion of the winter, make sure you agent knows and they can advise you on the proper way to handle things. Review your policies with an independent insurance agent who can provide options for you.

Don’t know an agent or want a review of your insurance?

Click below to learn more on how to proceed.

 

Mike Crowley

Hi I'm Mike! I am the Vice President of Crowley Insurance Agency. I am here to help any way I can. Please reach out and contact me for anything you need and be sure to connect with us on social as well :)

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