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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Pipes Under Slab?

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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Pipes Under Slab?

As a general rule, standard homeowners insurance covers sudden, catastrophic water leaks, but only the damage that it causes not the plumbing. If a leak is found to be something that has been slow and gradual over a period of time, an insurance carrier could choose to deny the claim. This is the ply with slab leaks which are basically when the pipes that are located in your walls or under your foundations create a leak. This water slowly builds up and will eventually come to the surface causing your flooring or the walls to crack and bringing damages to your home and its contents.

There are many causes that can bring about slab leak beginning with negligence to corrosion or pressure to general wear and tear, but repairs are costly and, as a homeowner, it is ideal to always be mindful of what’s happening within your home so that you can catch things like this quickly and make repairs as soon as possible.

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Detecting A Slab Leak

If you can detect a slab leak early, you may be able to contain the damage and save yourself a lot of costs. It’s difficult with the leak happening behind the scenes, but sometimes there are telltale signs before you have extensive damage.

  • If you notice that your water usage is the same as always but your water bill has significantly increased, this could be an indication of a slab leak.
  • If you notice that you have warm places on your floor in various spots, this could mean that there is a busted hot water pipe.
  • There is a sound of water running but you have no water turned on anywhere within your home. It’s coming from within the walls or somewhere that you can’t determine, there is a leak.
  • You’re experiencing excessive amounts of mildew or moisture or possibly mold particularly within your carpet, this is a sign to call for an inspection.
  • Once it has reached a really bad point, you will start to see cracks in the flooring or walls. This is when a leak has already done extensive structural damage.

Early detection will allow you to call a plumber to come in to do an inspection to find out if there is a problem and how extensive. But if you do have a problem, will your home insurance cover it?

Are Broken Pipes Under Slab Covered?

A standard homeowners policy will usually reimburse the amount for tearing out and pouring the new slab in order that the pipes can be repaired, however, most of the carriers are not going to cover the cost to fix the broken pipes. And the slab leak needs to be resultant of a peril that is covered by your policy in order to provide any coverage for the damages that have happened to the structure or contents. The thing is if you detect an early sign of a slab leak but you have no actual damage yet, e.g. warm spots, the provider may choose to not pay for you to have those preliminary inspections or fixes.

If the pipes break due to average wear and tear, an interference from tree roots, or your own negligence, this may be a bill that you’re stuck with. Each carrier is different as to how they handle their slab leak coverage. It’s important that you talk with your particular agent when signing up for coverage to see how they will handle these instances if they arise for you.

Taking Care Of Your Pipes

If you take care of your pipes in a responsible way, this can help prevent slab leaks and may help to get your insurance carrier to cover costs associated with future issues.

  • Water Pressure – Keep your water pressure at a level that is appropriate for your specific pipelines. If your pipes are narrow, too high water pressure will affect the integrity over the course of time.
  • PH – If your water is either ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ it can cause the pipes to corrode which will cause them to leak because that means the water is either too acidic or too basic. A plumber needs to test the pH in the water for you or you can purchase a home test.
  • Chemicals – Drain cleaners and clog-opening chemicals can be harsh on pipes (and are not eco-friendly). This should be something you need to be mindful of and search for alternatives.

Unfortunately, broken pipes are not going to be something that your insurance carrier is likely to reimburse for in the case of a slab leak. Prevention, detection, and mindful maintenance are key.

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