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March 12, 2019

Preventing Frozen Pipes in Your Home

(in conversation with Jeff Cronk, Claims and Customer Experience Manager, CURO Claims)

When cold weather hits, is your home prepared? We sat down with our experts at CURO Claims and discussed a popular insurance claim this time of year — frozen pipes.

Q: What are the main problems caused by frozen pipes?

A: Frozen pipes can burst causing extensive home damage, such as ruined floors, drywall, furnace, furniture, and more.

Q: What are the most common claims you deal with due to frozen pipes?

A: Flooding and damage caused by the water. Policyholders will leave for vacation and return home to an unpleasant surprise.

Q: What is a key sign of frozen pipes?

A: You will notice that there is little or no water coming out when you turn on your taps.

Q: What can homeowners do to ensure that their pipes don’t freeze this winter?

A: The following are precautions you can take to avoid frozen pipes:

  • Insulate the pipes that run along the exterior walls of your home or within unheated portions of your home such as in your garage.
  • Let water drip slowly from faucets during extremely cold temperatures. Keep doors, including cupboard doors, open inside the house to allow warm air to flow.
  • Don’t turn off the heat when you leave for vacation! Take preventative measures such as installing a home monitoring system, draining the water to your home, or having someone check on your home on a daily basis.

Q: What type of insurance coverage is recommended to ensure that a homeowner is covered if water damage occurs?

A: Most homeowner policies contain exclusions for water damage within an unheated portion of your home caused by freezing during the usual heating season. Within a heated portion of your home, the exclusion may also apply if you have been away for four or more consecutive days unless you can demonstrate you took preventative measures such as the following:

  • Have a competent person enter your house daily while you are away.
  • Shut off the water supply and drain the water.
  • Install a monitored alarm to your plumbing and heating system.

If you have any questions regarding your existing home coverage, you should contact your insurance broker.