On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, due to the cold weather, Nick Conway climbed into his attic and repaired the broken water pipe and used repair tape in Houston. Conway called his plumber, but was told that he was the 10th person in the line, so he bought duct tape to fix the pipe himself.
On Wednesday, February 17, 2021, global contracting and roofing contractors Agustin Ramirez (left) and Javier Espinoza purchased loading pipes at U-Plumb-It to repair burst pipes for customers.
Due to a power outage in Houston's store on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, U-Plumb-It employee Cesar Gonzalez manually completed the book. The shop was crowded with customers looking for materials to repair the burst pipe.
So your water pipe burst during the freezing of the Arctic. What should you do?
Due to the winter weather, the Texas Insurance Commission expects hundreds of thousands of insurance claims, including car, house, renter and commercial insurance.
There are still days before the warmer temperatures return to Houston, and experts say it may take some time for the pipeline to thaw and leak.
If you submit an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairing pipelines and replacing property, the following is what you can expect.
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover losses caused by a pipe burst. If there is a flood in the living room and the floor, skirting board and plasterboard are soaked with water, your insurance policy will be covered to a certain extent. If the house is uninhabitable, your insurance may also cover the cost of temporary relocation.
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According to State Farm data, the average property damage claim for refrigerated pipelines in Texas in 2020 is $15,500.
Camille Garcia, a spokesperson for the Texas Insurance Commission, said: "If you have already had a loss, please start recording." "List the items that have deteriorated or damaged so that you can get them at any time when you contact the agent. information."
Even if you are not damaged, please take a photo immediately in case you need to compare before and after.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to accurately understand the coverage of your policy and what other documents are required. Your insurance policy may cover personal property that was damaged in the subsequent flood, such as furniture, clothing, and food.
If the pipe breaks because you did not drain or keep it warm when possible, insurance may not cover the damage. Most policies expect you to take reasonable measures to protect your house, but because of the grid failure this week, more than 4 million people were unable to keep warm. There are many measures that people can take to prevent water pipes from bursting. Sudden and accidental leaks are usually included.
However, you may need to pay the deductible before the insurance takes effect.
Given the high demand, it will take a while for the claims adjuster to be online. Kelly Hyde owns a townhouse in Shady Acres. She was selling her house when the winter storm swept through Texas. She spent an hour and a half on the phone Tuesday afternoon trying to contact her insurance company Allied Trust.
Hyde, who now lives in Denver, found that the ceiling of her master bathroom had collapsed after asking neighbors to inspect the property. The pipe from the water heater located in the attic ruptured during power outages and freezing.
Her insurance company gave her a claim number, but did not estimate when the adjuster would help her.
"We have been waiting for the sunny day to close, and now I don't know what will happen," Hyde said.
You also have to wait a long time for plumbers and other contractors-many are expected to be booked in the next two to three months.
If you rent a house or apartment and face a pipe burst, your renter’s insurance should cover the cost of any personal property. Similar to homeowners insurance, it may cover the cost of furniture, clothing, and food.
Take photos and keep a written list of items in case you need to submit documents to the insurance company. Landlords are allowed to require renters to carry insurance, but Houston does not require all renters to carry insurance. Homeowners’ insurance does not cover the costs of your belongings as a tenant.
"As a tenant, you will not be able to enjoy the protection of this structure," Garcia said. "Your policy is for any damage to your personal property."
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If the storm and power outage are wrong, your landlord is responsible for repairing and paying for the damage to the structure.
Alpa Patel, a spokesperson for the Houston Apartment Association, said: “First of all, if your unit has a pipe break or any type of leak, please notify the manager immediately.” “Many leases require written form, but Even if your lease is not required, this is always a good idea. In this way, the content of your report and the time of the report will be recorded."
The owner should also tell you the location of the water break in case you need to shut off the water flow.
The flood may be so severe that the house or apartment is uninhabitable. In this case, the tenant can terminate the lease with written notice before the repair is completed; under the Texas Property Law, they are also entitled to a rent reduction based on the extent of the damage. Most tenants and landlords will be able to reach an agreement without court intervention.
Insurance premiums will not change significantly due to winter storms. Texas is a disaster-prone state, and the company has included it in the cost when it provides the quotation.
Mayor Sylvester Turner's office will also set up a fund to help people who have lost property due to a pipe burst and do not have homeowner or renter insurance. The City of Galveston stated that people should take photos of the damage and save receipts from plumbers, hotel accommodations and other property replacements in case disaster funds become available.
Although FEMA has not promised to provide personal assistance, renters can call 211 or 311 (the city’s helpline) for social service assistance during the freeze period.
Gwendolyn Wu is the author and engagement reporter of Bay Briefing, The Chronicle's flagship newsletter. As a Hearst researcher, Gwendolyn previously worked as a business reporter for the Houston Chronicle, focusing on healthcare and biotechnology, as well as a subway reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a member of the award-winning breaking news team , Reporting a deadly campfire.
Gwendolyn originally came from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in history and sociology. Follow her on Twitter @gwendolynawu.
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