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The Russell Agency, LLC Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Avoid a Loss: Prevent Burst Pipes While on Vacation

Preparing for a vacation requires a long checklist: Pack your bags (check!); stop the mail (check!); bring your pets to the kennel (check!); ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house (check!) and turn off your water!

Wait! What was that last one? Turn off your water? How many people remember to turn off their water when they are leaving their home for an extended period?

According to Water Damage Defense, 250 gallons of water can leak from a 1/8-inch pipe crack in a single day. That’s a lot of water, which is why 37 percent of U.S. homeowners have filed a water-damage claim. By turning off your water before you leave your home, you can help mitigate the damage a burst pipe may cause. IMPORTANT: While turning off your water may save you a claim and a major headache, you should check with your furnace/heating maintenance company, as your heating unit may require access to water.

Most homeowners insurance policies (while they vary) will cover damages caused by "sudden and accidental" events (e.g., burst pipes, tub overflow, toilet or sewage backups that originate within the footprint of the structure or water breaches from windows or roofs). Keep in mind that it is harder to get a claim payout for damage that is considered to be caused by gradual events.

To help prevent gradual water damage, avoid planting foliage that have invasive root systems, which could affect your home’s sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes or septic system; clean out your roof gutters; monitor your water bill, unexpected increases could indicate that you have a leak somewhere; don’t use chemical products to unclog drains, these cleaners could eat away at your pipes; and never pour grease down your sink since it can clog and cling to your pipes.

Here’s another thing you can add to your pre-vacation checklist: Give our agency a call. We can review your current homeowners insurance policy to make sure you have the proper coverage to protect your home for emergencies that might pop up while you are out of town.