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Frozen Pipes – Could Damage The Home

Home Damage due to Frozen Pipe

As the weather cools down and we look towards winter, it is time to reflect on our homes and the potential of a freeze, which could damage the home.  One of the largest homeowner claims we have worked was for a movie producer’s luxurious home in Sante Fe, New Mexico.  His loss was caused by a frozen pipe that broke while he was out of town.  When the weather warmed up, water from the broken pipe ran and ran for days destroying his home.  The question was: was it insured? 

Typically water from broken pipes is only insured when the water has been turned off or the utilities (heat) have been left on.  In the case just mentioned, the heat had been left on but the weather was so severe the pipe broke anyway.

Most of us won’t have original movie scripts and movie paraphernalia of the value he had in his home but regardless of what you have in your home, you have to prove value.  As a public adjuster, that is Brown – O’Haver’s task and we will do our best to get there, no matter the size of the loss.  In his case, we obtained a valuation from Robert Ebert, the movie expert.

Avoiding insurance claims in the first place will often prevent the stress of the insurance claim.  Even though we can remove much of that stress for you, taking a few steps to prevent losses, such as a broken pipe water loss, is a good idea.

If you have to leave your home, or if your home is a secondary or seasonal home, take these steps: bring in your outdoor furniture, unplug your hot water heater and turn off the breaker.  Make certain that inside doors are not closed so warm air can easily circulate in the house.  This includes leaving kitchen and bathroom cabinets open as well.  You will also find it productive to disconnect exterior hoses and install frost-free faucets for hose bibs or protect them from freezing with faucet insulators.

And, if you do experience a loss, please know that Brown – O’Haver has decades of experience handling such losses as we have discussed here.  We are here to help you.

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