Almost every week we receive calls from clients who are having a water emergency. “I just came home from the grocery store and my beautiful hardwood floors are flooded with water!” A burst pipe in your slab, wall, or attic can really ruin your month, as repairs are costly and time consuming. If this happens to you, the first step of course is to get your water turned off. After that, restoration contractors must be called in to pull apart the wall or flooring to get to the broken pipe. Then the contractors must repair or replace the pipe in the home. Often, mold or asbestos remediation must be done, so process of days or longer of dyers and heaters to keep mold from growing. Once that is all done, everything needs to get put back together. All the while you may be displaced in a hotel while the work is being done.
If the water leak is a burst of sudden and accidental nature, most home insurance policies will respond. But insurance claims adjusters must be assigned to investigate. If the claim is approved, the insurance companies will usually pay to cover the resulting damage- access to get to the broken pipe, and to put it all back together. But home insurers will never pay for the actual broken or old plumbing itself, as this is considered a homeowner maintenance issue. And you cannot purchase insurance for maintenance issues. Of course, many water claims are denied because the water was slowly leaking over a long period of time. In this case, the home insurance companies deem the loss as a maintenance issue, and not a “sudden and accidental” burst. If your claim is approved, you will have a deductible to pay, and the potential for your rates to increase in the future. Are you loving insurance? Of course, we see large water claims all the time that get into the many thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars. Insurance companies pay these types of claims, and pay them often. And if this type of thing ever happens to you, rest assured our office will be here to help you the entire way. From contacting the restoration contractors to helping you file and deal with your claims adjuster. But what if you never had the claim in the first place?
Yes! Mitigating water losses is the best solution for homeowners. New technologies have brought “Water Shutoff and Leak Detection” devices to market in recent years. These are devices that you can purchase and have your plumber install. They are installed on your main water line coming into your home. The device will continually monitor your home for water leaks. Anything from a large burst in a pipe to a tiny as a drip per minute. The devices are connected to computers which hookup to your homes WiFi. A.I. technology will automatically learn your households normal water usage and patterns. If the water shutoff device detects a large water event, it will automatically shutoff the water supply to your home, potentially preventing a disaster! The devices also can measure a homes water pressure, water flo rate, and temperature. And best of all? You will be able to have an app on your phone to monitor and control all of it.
Many home insurance companies are starting to offer discounts for homeowners who install these types of devices. You will want to check with your home insurance company before installing one to ask if they have a preferred brand of shutoff device. Some home insurers have standards that these devices must meet before applying a discount. We have seen home insurance discounts range from 2% to as high as 5% or more off of annual premiums, for having a device installed. In addition to receiving a discount on your home insurance premium, these devices may also make homes that have previously incurred water losses more favorable from an underwriting standpoint to the home insurers.
There are many water shutoff devices out there, some of the more popular ones at present are Flo by Moen, Water Hero, and Sential Hydrosystems. But more are coming on the market all the time so we recommend that you consult with your plumbing contractor for recommendations. As for pricing, as of this post the normal cost of the Flo by Moen is $499 for the device and $400 for installation (varies of course depending on the home.) Please contact us as our partnerships with home insurers allows for discounted pricing of $350 for the device and $250 for installation! If you have your home insured with our office, please give us a call to see if your home insurer can offer you any discounts on a water leak detection device. More home insurance companies are adding discounts all the time.