Insurance Claim Tips for Texans to Accelerate Their Pipe Freeze Claim Recovery
As millions of residents throughout Texas seek safe shelter, food, and drinking water, many will turn their attention to filing frozen pipe leak claims for their homes and businesses. These pipe burst ruptures are expected to become substantially worse as warmer weather causes everything to thaw out. For those with damage, hurry up because time is of the essence to report your claim!
Our firm’s licensed public adjusters have spoken to a handful of insurance claim adjusters in Texas on behalf of our clients only to find out that some insurance company adjusters are unable to access their claims databases and systems due to suffered nationwide power outages. Just yesterday, one adjuster informed us that he was instructing property owners filing claims to simply try to attain repair estimates from licensed contractors to send in as a simple and temporary solution to this problem.
While we do not wish to create alarm, we encourage property owners to be proactive to report their claims. It is understandable for folks’ natural instincts to kick-in to clean-up the carnage and get back to normalcy. But in doing so, you could sabotage your claim. Also, be warned of many unscrupulous persons seeking to take advantage of your situation. they can be ambitious in serving their needs, and ultimately leave you with a far greater financial burden should your insurance policy not afford coverage for the work they have performed. For these reasons, we cannot stress enough the importance to document and photograph all phases of the process from the very beginning to the very end.
It is also critical that you preserve and do not discard any/all broken plumbing lines, burst fire suppression parts, or any failed device that caused a discharge of water. We recommend you retain these items in safekeeping as your insurance company may request to inspect them, which is a requirement of the insurance policy. Below are two (2) excerpts for you to read, but the last thing you want is for the insurance company to assert the position that you have not complied with the policy terms or prejudiced their investigation of your claim. As an example, an adjuster called me yesterday regarding damage at an apartment complex asking if broken water pipes were from the fire suppression system or plumbing system? Specifically, he inquired to know if it was the fire suppression system, he needed to know the name of the company who installed them as well as age they were first installed. Since the adjuster could not provide any timeframe for when he would be on-site, he questioned how many units were affected, how many people were displaced, and asked for rent rolls for last 3-6 Months. He last questioned if the water restoration company was still on-site and for how many days.
Here are some tips published by one of the insurance companies that are good other than the one noted:
- Make sure you take photos and videos of the damage and cleanup.
- If you go to the home improvement store for supplies, save your receipts.
- Log your clean-up hours
- If you hire help, get references, and make sure they are reputable.
- Save those invoices.
- Here’s what you should NOT do. “Don’t sign any contracts right now for extended damage repairs because you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. As the temperatures warm, we may see more damage and more pipes break.
NOTE: Not sure what they mean here! You are required to remediate your loss.
- Documenting the steps, you’ve taken and the repairs you’ve done is really critical.
If you are in need of a Licensed Public Adjuster to assess your pipe burst water damage claim or other damage from the winter storm consider hiring a claim specialist that works for you to navigate the insurance policy, deal with the insurance claim process, prepare detailed repair estimates, and ultimately work to negotiate a fair settlement recovery in order for you to properly fix your winter storm damage. You pay your premiums, so do not accept any low-ball offers! Call us today 214-396-5768 for a free claim review or contact us.