There's no good way to find out about a busted pipe in your home — whether you just noticed a watery bulge in your ceiling or you woke up to a flooded kitchen. Here, you can learn more about whether homeowners insurance covers burst pipes and other plumbing issues.
Even a crack of just a few millimeters can lead to an ocean-sized leak in your home to the tune of 250 gallons of water a day. In fact, water damage due to burst pipes and other perils is the second-most filed insurance claim in the U.S. — with the average residential claim amounting to a whopping $10,000.
If a burst pipe suddenly and unexpectedly wreaks havoc on your house, your homeowners insurance could help cover plumbing repair and replacement bills up to the limits you choose for your policy. (Cue that giant sigh of relief.)
While dwelling protection from Esurance can kick in to help repair damage to the structure of your abode, your personal property coverage on your policy can help pay to repair or replace your beloved belongings (like furniture, clothes, electronics, and more) after they're damaged or destroyed as a result of a burst pipe.
With Esurance home insurance, you'll even have coverage for additional living expenses like food, a hotel, and transportation if you have to live elsewhere temporarily while your house is being repaired after a covered loss.
Are your pipes covered? Get your fast, free homeowners quote today.
It's important to note that if a pipe bursts due to neglect or lack of maintenance on your part — like failing to leave your heating on while you're away on winter vacation, causing it to freeze and crack — or through normal wear-and-tear, you could be responsible for paying repair bills.
4 warning signs of a burst pipe in your home
It usually doesn't take long to figure out if you have a busted pipe in your home. From atypical sounds to weird smells and visible leaks, here are a few ways you can use your senses to detect hidden plumbing problems.
1. Listen up
If you hear bubbling, whistling, or banging and clanking when you use the sink or flush the toilet, it could be a sign of a broken pipe.
2. Do a sniff test
If drains, sinks, or other areas of your house emit weird odors, there's a possibility that sewage isn't being properly transported from your house through its pipes. And if the water from your faucets has an unpleasant smell, it could be a sign of corrosion or contamination in your plumbing system.
3. Take a look around
Bulging and discoloration of your home's walls and ceiling can signal a burst pipe. If you notice damp drywall or ceiling tiles, puddles of water, or any other visible leaks, it's wise to get a professional inspection as soon as possible.
4. Other signs
If you've been using the same amount of water as usual but your water bill suddenly skyrockets, it might be an indicator of a busted pipe or other plumbing issues. The same can be said for frequent backups or clogs, as well as little to no water pressure when trying to use the dishwasher, laundry machine, or any other faucet in your house.
how to prevent burst pipes
As we mentioned before, freezing temperatures can be the most common culprit of burst pipes. Since water expands when frozen, it can cause the pressure inside the pipe to increase until it bursts. That being said, there are a few preventive measures you can take before cold weather overwhelms your plumbing system, causing a pipe to burst in your home:
- If you have a sprinkler system and/or swimming pool, drain it per the manufacturer's or installer's instructions.
- After removing and storing your garden hoses in the garage, turn off the water valves to outdoor faucets. Keep the outside valve open, however, in order to let any remaining water escape. This also allows water sitting in the pipe to freeze and expand without busting it open.
- Check for any exposed pipes in unheated areas of your house — like your basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under bathroom and kitchen sinks. Insulate both hot and cold water pipes with pipe sleeves or heat tape, which you can find at a hardware store.
- Try to keep your garage door closed as much as possible if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- If you go on vacation during the winter months, leave your heater on, set to 55 degrees at minimum.
If you're already an Esurance customer and have questions about how you might be protected in the event of a burst pipe or other plumbing issues, our agents are here to help 24/7 when you give us a call at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262).
Looking to buy a new home insurance policy? Get your free quote online.
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