Your insurance provides coverage for the damage resulting from water escape and rupture, but it’s the responsibility of the homeowner to correct the problem and prevent it from happening again - or better yet, from happening at all.
The following information will help you understand what water escape and rupture means with regards to damages and insurance claims:
- Water escape means the accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, fire sprinkler or air conditioning systems, household appliances, aquariums, waterbeds, a swimming pool or hot tub or their attached equipment, or a public watermain.
- Rupture means damage to plumbing, heating, fire sprinkler or air conditioning systems within your dwelling caused by sudden and accidental bursting, tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of the system, due to the pressure of, or lack of, water or steam.
There are a number of tips to help prevent water escape and rupture from occurring in your home, including:
- Periodically checking waterlines and connections for corrosion or leaks.
- Periodically inspecting your washing machine hoses for pliability and checking for cracking of the rubber. If there are any signs of wear or fatigue, or you cannot recall the last time they were changed, it’s best to replace them.
- If you notice a drastic change in water pressure, take the time to look for the reason.
- Turn off your water supply valve when you are away from your home for more than a day.
What to do if a water escape or rupture occurs
- Shut off the water supply to the leaking or burst waterline.
- Move your belongings out of the wet areas of your home.
- Arrange for a qualified plumber to repair the leak as soon as possible. Remember, the resulting water damage is covered, but the repairs to correct the problem are the homeowner’s responsibility.
- Contact your insurance broker who will arrange for an adjuster to contact you.
- Don’t throw anything out. Store damaged items in a reasonably safe place so the adjuster can see them.
- Prepare an itemized account of all damaged items and their value. Include receipts or proofs of purchase for larger items.
Cleaning up after water escape or rupture
- Clean up as soon as possible. Seek professional advice on how to clean up and take whatever steps you can to minimize the extent of your loss.
- Don't touch electrical systems or panels until you know it's safe to do so, especially in wet or damp conditions.
- Move damaged belongings to a dry area with good ventilation.
- Have any appliances (including furnaces) that have come in contact with water checked by a qualified electrician, dealer or serviceman before you use them.
- Let rooms dry thoroughly before cleaning and repainting.
- Remove drawers from furniture before the wood swells. Dry furniture slowly and away from direct heat or sunlight, to avoid warping.
- Move upholstered furniture outdoors to air.
- Dry all books and papers slowly, away from direct heat or sunlight.