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Houston Pipe Burst Insurance Claim Info


So during the arctic freeze, the water pipes break. What do you have to do? Thanks to the winter weather, the Insurance Council of Texas expects hundreds of thousands of insurance claims, including vehicles, houses, landlords, and companies.

Experts say it can take some time for pipes to thaw and leak a few more days before warm temperatures return to Houston. If you're filing an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairing your pipes and replacing your house, here's what to expect.

Home Insurance Claims

Most homeowners' insurance plans would protect the resulting damage from a burst pipe. Your insurance will cover it to a certain degree if there is a flood in the living room and water soaks into the flooring, baseboards, and drywall. If the home is uninhabitable, the insurance will also cover the cost of temporary relocation. According to data from State Farm, the average property damage claim for a frozen pipe in Texas will cost $15,500 in 2020. Our case studies suggest that 85 percent of home insurance claims are underpaid by at least $10,000.

If you already have coverage, start recording what was explained by a Texas Insurance Council spokesman. You can make a list of what has been spoiled or destroyed so that the information will be readily available to you. Even if you have no harm yet, if you need a pre-and-after comparison, take pictures now. Please understand while talking with your insurance agent that whatever you tell them will be used against you. Consider enlisting an accomplished home insurance attorney's services.

It would help if you considered speaking with an experienced home insurance attorney to determine precisely how much your policy covers and what further paperwork is required. Personal property destroyed in the resulting floods, such as furniture, clothes, and food will possibly be included in your policies.

Insurance could not cover the damage if the pipes have burst and you haven't drained water or kept them warm when you should have. The insurance policy will expect you to take sensible action to secure your house, but there were just so many things people could do to prevent their pipes from bursting due to the power grid failures that left more than 4 million people without heat this week. Sudden and unintended leaks are typically concealed.

However, you will have to pay the cost of your deduction before insurance coverage kicks in. Most insurance firms reduce your claim to a minimum, so they don't have to pay you. Given the high demand, having a claims adjuster on the line will take a while. When the winter storm swept through Texas, Kelly Hyde, who owned a townhouse in Shady Acres and was in the process of selling her home, spent an hour and a half on the phone Tuesday afternoon trying to get hold of her insurer, Allied Trust.

After asking a neighbor to check on the house, Hyde, now living in Denver, discovered her master bathroom ceiling had caved in. During the blackouts, the pipes coming from the water heater, housed in the attic, burst and froze.

Her insurer sent her a claim number but no approximate period when an adjuster will help her. She's waiting to close the transparent one, and now she doesn't know what's going to happen. For plumbers and other contractors, you'll also face a long wait; many expect to be booked for the next two to three months.

Renters Insurance

If you lease your home or apartment and face a burst pipe, your personal property's cost should be covered by your renter's insurance. It can cover the cost of furniture, clothes, and food, similar to homeowners' insurance.

If you need to send paperwork to your insurer, take photos and keep a written list of your belongings. Landowners are permitted to require tenants to carry insurance, but Houston does not need it for all renters. Homeowner's policy for your tenants will not cover the cost of your belongings.

As a renter, you wouldn't have coverage for the structure, explains Garcia. Your policy kicks in for any damage to your personal property. The landlord is liable if the storm and blackouts were at fault for repairing and paying structural damage costs.

First, notify the manager immediately if a broken pipe or any water leak in your unit, explains Alpa Patel, a Houston Apartment Association spokesperson. Many leases require this in writing, but even if yours doesn't, it's always a good idea. That way, there's a record of what you reported and when you reported it. If you need to turn the flow off, the property owner can also inform you where the water cutoff is located.

Water damage can be so severe that it is unlivable for the home or apartment. In that case, tenants are permitted to terminate their leases by written notice before completion of repairs; they are also entitled, under the Texas Property Code, to reduce rent depending on the extent of the damage caused. Without court intervention, most tenants and landlords will be able to agree.

As a result of the winter storm, insurance premiums won't adjust dramatically. Texas is a disaster-prone state, and when getting quotes, businesses already factor that into their costs.

The mayor, Sylvester Turner's office, will also be working on a fund to support individuals who have lost property to a burst pipe and have no protection for homeowners or landlords. The city of Galveston says that if a disaster fund becomes available, individuals can take pictures of the damage and save receipts from plumbers, hotel stays, and other property replacements. While FEMA has not yet promised individual assistance, tenants can call 211 or 311 (the city's helpline) during the freeze for social service assistance.


If your insurance company has refused to honor your policy despite having a valid claim, you can recover damages based on "bad faith." At Dick Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to fighting for the total compensation you deserve. When you retain our services, we fight to protect your rights as a policyholder.

Hiring a highly-skilled property insurance attorney will help by:

  • Significantly increases the value of your claim
  • Learning all of the ins and outs of your policy
  • Helping you navigate the claims process and negotiations
  • Validating the cause and extent of the damage
  • Informing you if a claim denial is valid
  • Notifying you of all relevant insurance laws

If you have been mistreated or wronged by your insurance company, you can count on us to do everything possible to rectify the situation. We aim to resolve a claim as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Please speak with our team at 833-7RIGHTS today! Consultations are FREE.

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