With cold winter weather, there is always an uptick in floods, though not the rising river kind. Water lines can burst after freezing and thawing. In some areas, half the damage claims for property in a given year are due to water damage caused by situations like frozen pipes bursting.
Further, just because your property has not burst yet, does not mean it will not burst. Sometimes pipes are not broken the first time they freeze, but successive cycles of freezing and thawing serve to fatigue the pipe until it finally gives way, flooding your property.
Depending on your policy, you may have a responsibility to prevent burst pipes, and the steps you take or do not take can have an effect on your coverage. In some cases, if a property owner does not take appropriate steps to prevent burst pipes and floods, damages may be excluded leaving you with a much bigger bill for repairs.
Here are a few things to consider for your insured vacant property:
- Disconnect all utilities and make sure that water pipes, tanks and lines have been drained.
- Make sure buildings with the water on remain heated to well above freezing – such as 55 degrees or so.
- Inspect your building weekly and check for any damage that might have occurred.
Your independent insurance agent at O’Connor Insurance is ready to review your policy and help you develop a plan that will protect your property and make sure in the event of a loss flood you a properly covered.