Burst pipes can pose a real problem for homeowners
Homeowners face many risks that may not be all that common, but which can have a devastating impact on their properties when and if they happen. One of the big ones in this regard is that an appliance that uses water or a pipe bursts in their walls. Such an incident can cause extensive damage to many parts of a home, and that can be quite costly to repair. Unfortunately, these people often don’t have the right kind of additional home insurance to financially insulate them from the fallout, and that can leave many homeowners in the lurch.
One such issue arose for a pair of homeowners in Waterloo, Ontario, while they were vacationing in Florida, according to a report from the CBC. Michael and Diane Uniac returned from their wintering spot in the U.S. to find that a pipe in the fire sprinklers required for their townhouse had burst and caused significant damage on all four floors of the building. And unfortunately, their home insurance provider said it would not cover the cost of repairs, because while the couple had shut off the water to their normal appliances, their building code required that the sprinkler system must remain on at all times.
What’s the problem?
The claim was denied by the insurer because their policy required them to both shut down and drain all water pipes in their home, the report said. That was obviously at odds with their building’s rules, and now it was difficult for the couple – a pair of retirees – to figure out the mess. Worse, the cost of repairing the damage was estimated to be at least $250,000.
“Never in my wildest dreams would it ever occur to me that I would ever consider shutting off the fire system, for heaven’s sake,” said Michael Uniac, according to the news organization. “[Having a fire prevention system that must be on at all times is] a real mess, a Catch-22. We’ve got the fire department on the one hand telling us we have to have a system and it’s got to be maintained on at all times. We’ve got the city telling us we have to have the system it’s a building code requirement. We got the insurance company telling us, you can’t do that or you’re not insured. It doesn’t make any sense at all.”
A tough situation
This comes even as their broker and an insurance lawyer assured the couple they were doing all the right things with respect to their coverage, the report said. The confusion led the insurer in question to make an offer of concession, but the couple said that offer wouldn’t have even covered 10 percent of the repair costs.
All these issues highlight the importance of finding the right kind of home insurance. The more people understand their responsibilities under the policies, and have enough coverage to meet their needs in the event of an unfortunate accident, the better off they’re likely to be.