A Texas freeze is upon us once again. Some are excited to finally bundle up for the holiday season, while others are starting to worry. You may be refueling your generators and stocking up on batteries in preparation for the coming cold. But what about your home? Will your insurance cover frozen pipes?
Will My Home Insurance Cover Frozen Pipes?
In short- the answer is maybe. Your homeowners insurance cover frozen pipes if it is written into your policy. Outlined in your policy should be coverage for “accidental and sudden” discharges of water from a plumbing source. Typically, damage from a frozen pipe qualifies as accidental and sudden. The big “if” here is whether or not you heated your home properly and used reasonable care during the cold. This could include turning your water off when you are away from home or ensuring a faucet stays dripping to keep the water active and harder to freeze.
What is Covered When a Pipe Freezes?
Not only can the repairs be covered, but so are the costs of accessing the pipes. These costs can include tearing out walls and repairing them once the damage is fixed. Under your personal property coverage, you may be able to make a claim for any items within your home that get damaged from the burst pipe. Also, your loss of use coverage can come into play if you need to be relocated from your home due to sudden and accidental damages. This- of course- is all dependent on your policy.
What Should I Do if My Pipes Freeze?
So, what should you do if you have frozen pipes? Before you go in there and attempt to thaw them yourself, make sure you open the faucet it runs to. This will relieve any built-up pressure that may have ensued and allow the water to flow. Using a heat gun or a hair dryer is a great way to start thawing.
TGSI Tip: Start at the portion of the pipe closest to the faucet, then work your way down! And NEVER thaw a pipe with an open flame!
If you can’t easily access the frozen portion of the pipe, it is best to call a plumber.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Preventing is much easier- and cheaper- than fixing. Protecting your pipes before the Texas freeze arrives could save you hundreds, if not thousands, in repairs.
Insulate Your Pipes
Crawlspaces, attics, and exterior walls of your home are at a higher risk of freezing. Insulating them can significantly reduce any chance you had of them freezing over. A great way to insulate them is to use foam or UL- approved heat tape.
UL means that it meets safety standards and is found to be free of foreseeable risk from fire, electrical shock, and other related hazards.
As always, be sure to follow your pipes’ manufacturer’s instructions.
Leave Water Running
Stagnant water freezes a lot easier than running water. With that being said, leaving faucets around the exterior of your house running can easily prevent freezing. Make sure you turn on both hot and cold faucets. You only need a small trickle of water to keep it safe.
Crank Up The Heat
Keeping your house warm can eliminate some of the risks of freezing pipes. Once the warm air moves through your home, open the cabinet doors in your bathroom and kitchen to keep the warm air circulating.
What Should I Do if A Frozen Pipe Bursts?
Turn off your water supply immediately. This could prevent any additional damage. Your next step would be to call a water restoration company. Professionals have the ability to remove the water from your home with the least amount of damage possible.
What About My Pool?
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, many homeowners’ policies provide minimal coverage for swimming pools. So, your policy may or may not cover damage from frozen pipes around your pool. It is important to review your homeowner’s insurance policy before there is a severe risk to your pool.
Related Reading: Are Swimming Pools Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
Get the Right Policy With TGS Insurance!
Some are happy about a potentially white Christmas, while others are worried sick. Will you lose power? Will a burst pipe flood your home? There is no need to stress if you know your coverage. TGS Insurance helps build a customizable homeowners insurance policy for you and your specific needs. No hassle, no ‘what ifs.’ Call one of our agents today to shop around for you and get the best policy for you.