The damages caused by frozen water pipes can be catastrophic. Just one burst pipe in a home running at 4-8 gallons a minute from a burst pipe can do tens of thousands of dollars damage in a manner matter of minutes, let alone the following mold mitigation problem. Contrary to belief, the pipe freezes and bursts first, then the water starts to flow once the ice thaws. For a burst to happen, the water super cools a couple of degrees lower than freezing in the pipe causing ice to form. It is the growth of the ice water to flow after the thaw.

Once you have had a major water leak in your home, your insurance company may even cancel your coverage and you may lose your ability to obtain homeowners insurance.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

At least annually, it’s a good idea to review the insurance coverage you have in place on your biggest asset: your home.

Your homeowners insurance coverage should begin with a replacement cost policy that covers the entire expense of replacing your home if there is a loss. You also can opt for what’s sometimes called a “guaranteed” replacement policy that typically includes around 25 percent of additional coverage over the estimated value to replace your home. But, no matter what type of home insurance you have, there are many ways to adjust your coverage, whether you just need to add to your policy to cover a family heirloom or buy separate protection to guard against flood damage.

To help you determine if you have a sufficient amount of home insurance coverage, your Professionals at Complete Restoration, Inc. suggest that you compare the figures provided by your insurer for the replacement cost of your home. Get a second opinion from a local contractor, and ask for an estimate of the real-world cost of rebuilding your home, including the expense of demolishing the structure. Agents plug in square footage and construction materials, and (the computer) spits out a figure. Sometimes it’s accurate, and a lot of times it’s considerably off.

Check your contents coverage! Replacement cost policies usually don’t include the same level of coverage for contents. Instead, the reimbursement amount for furniture, clothing and other possessions is typically based on a percentage of the replacement value for the entire house. For those who determine their contents are under-insured, generally speaking… it’s “pennies on the dollar” to buy additional coverage.

Additions and interior renovations, such as a new kitchen, remodeled bathroom or finished basement, could push your home past its currently-insured value. Some improvements may also come with unexpected insurance costs. For instance, if you put in a pool, you may need to upgrade your homeowners insurance, but you also may need umbrella liability insurance.

Check Your Deductible. A deductible is the amount you must pay after a loss before your insurance company steps in. Most homeowners agree to a $500 deductible. However, raising your deductible can be a great financial move. It not only allows you to significantly reduce your premium costs, but also prevents you from being too quick to call your insurer for coverage. The more claims you make, the more likely the insurer is to raise your premiums or cancel your policy.

Your Professionals at Complete Restoration, Inc. would be more than happy to assist you with answers – not regarding your policy, but advice in the amount of coverage you might want to consider, and some of the best questions to ask your agent… to make sure you make the best decision for your home.