10 Things You Should Know About Frozen Pipe Claims!

  1. REPORT THE CLAIM IMMEDIATELY. Many Texas policies have ridiculously short deadlines for reporting leaks. Any delay could allow them to deny your claim entirely.
  2. Photograph the pipes that burst, showing where in the house they are. Videos help. SAVE THE PIPES. The carrier is entitled to inspect all damages.
  3. The company will likely send an independent field adjuster to verify and document your claim. It is very likely that this first adjuster will not be the one to settle your claim.
  4. The first adjuster will set a 'Reserve' within days of inspecting your damages. Before the adjuster leaves your property, ask what they will set the reserve at. If it is set too low, the adjuster that finally settles your claim will be under pressure to work within the reserve and reserves are notoriously set too low.
  5. The deadline to submit a Proof of Loss is another important deadline. Your company adjuster cannot extend deadlines. If you miss that deadline, your claim WILL BE DENIED.
  6. Take great care to photograph and document every damaged item, IN THE ROOM WHERE IT WAS AT THE TIME OF LOSS. The temptation to gut the house and toss the furniture onto the front lawn where the county will pick it up is great. Resist that temptation. 
  7. Once photographed and enumerated, you must save the items for inspection by the company. Only after they agree that they have sufficient documentation should you dispose of personal property. That goes for dwelling items as well.
  8. As a condition of your contract/policy, you MUST take every step to avoid additional damage, like mold, by properly drying out the property. You do not have to do this work, not even lift a finger, so instead of nervously getting to work yourself, let your finger dial for help and the insurance company will cover the costs, but of course, you should get their blessing before spending any money.
  9. If you've been through this process before, then you know that it can be a nightmare - first the insurance adjusters, then the bank, then the contractors and it can go on for over a year, so hire a public adjuster, sit back and restore your life and sanity while letting a professional guide you to a higher settlement. Especially during catastrophies like this, final payments are often multiples of the initial offers from the insurance companies, but it takes lots of phone calls, emails, inspections and waiting. If the waiting drives you crazy and you settle for less, they win.
  10. Read THIS and know that it's not just Allstate. Most insurance companies have followed their lead.