Imagine you and your family arrive home from your last beach getaway of the summer. You are sunburned, the kids are exhausted, and you are just looking forward to climbing into bed. Bags in hand, you open the front door to a home flooded from the inside. A hot water supply line on the washing machine burst a full week before you returned home, leading to $50,000 worth of damages.
Non-weather Water Damage Claims
Most people think of natural disasters when considering their Homeowner’s Insurance. However, non-weather water claims are far more common. Ken Lawson is a 27 year veteran insurance agent with Nationwide Insurance. He confirmed that, in his experience, non-weather water claims make up the majority of all homeowner claims. He told us that some of the most common claims include:
- Water supply line for washing machine leaks
- Water supply line from toilet leaks or bursts
- Shower pan cracks and leaks
- Dishwasher overflows
- Water pipe freezes and bursts
- Nail in the siding on your house finally rusts and you develop a water leak in your wall
- Hot water heater rusts and leaks (especially when the water heater is located in the third floor or attic)
- Toilet seal leaks, rotting the floor
Though people often think of leaks as fairly minor repairs, they can be extremely costly. Lawson processed a claim for a family whose water heater malfunctioned. Located in the attic, the water heater leaked for a full day before someone realized it. After ripping out the ceiling and floors from the attic to the basement, total damages were over $100,000.
I have been in insurance for 27 years now, and even though we go through years when we have a lot of bad weather claims, year after year, the highest number of claims with Homeowners Insurance is Non-Weather Water Damage.
Water Damage Can Lead to Mold
Additionally, Bryan King of Remtech Environmental-who specializes in mold remediation-says mold can develop within 48 hours of the occurrence of water damage. One claim Ken processed was from a family whose toilet water supply line malfunctioned while they were on vacation. Half of the sub-floor and carpet in the home had to be replaced, in addition to water extraction and mold remediation. The total claim was over $65,000.
Though you cannot prevent every plumbing malfunction, one inexpensive way to lower the risk of major water damage is to replace standard rubber water lines with braided stainless steel supply lines. Stainless steel lines cost just a few dollars each and are not as prone to rupture as rubber lines. This transition can be made in most houses for around $200, and could save a homeowner thousands.
Regular Plumbing Maintenance is Key
Regardless, it is important to watch for leaks with your toilets, water heaters, sinks, tub basins, showers, dishwashers, and washers and dryers. Stainless steel lines do not last forever and can still malfunction. Water damage can be very expensive, but is often preventable with regular inspection and maintenance. Give us a call, All American would be happy to inspect your home and offer consultation regarding your plumbing.