Poly B and your Home Insurance.
Poly B leaks and anyone who has ever experienced a leak, that caused damage, can attest to the difficulty in working with your home insurance provider. I don’t think they do it on purpose but with all the false claims they need to do their due diligence. I don’t blame them. So what can you do to make the experience a little less stressful? There are some tips to keep in mind if you have Poly B in your home that are unique to your situation. Luckily Tap 2 Drain has LOADS of experience dealing with insurance companies and knows all the tips to get you fixed up as fast as possible. Let’s get this party started!
Poly B or any leak – What do you do first?
Leaks big or small can cause damage. The first signs you see might be the tip of the iceberg. Water is lazy and will find the path of least resistance. This path might be in your walls. You might not see anything until you notice mould in the corner of the kitchen. Or you might come home from work to half an inch of water running down your stairs, (Seriously we have seen it all). DON’T PANIC! First thing is to shut the water off a the source or shut the water off to the entire house at your water main where your water comes into your home. If you don’t know where this is, call us! We can help, even over the phone.
Poly B can leak at the fittings or in the middle of the pipe even at the smallest of crack. Poly B is a grey, flexible water pipe. If you have it in your home you will see it leading into your hot water tank or coming out of the wall under your kitchen or bathroom sinks. Pex pipe, which is the updated water pipe, is a white-ish translucent plastic pipe. If you are unsure, call us and our Nice Guy Techs can come check it out.
Check your Home Owners Insurance Policy.
No one reads the fine print and from year to year your insurance provider can change your rider and you would never notice. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what your water coverage is. Even a small amount of water can cause very expensive damage.
Important points to clarify with your broker:
- HOW does your rider distinguish between internal and external sources of flooding? These are two separate sections in your home owners policy. Outside sources are called “overland”. Make sure you understand what each of these sections cover.
- What is your deductible specifically if you have water damage? You might think your deductible is $200 to $500 but some policies have a separate deductible for water damage.
- Does your policy limit the number of water claims they will consider? ALWAYS REMEBER, just because you seem to have coverage doesn’t mean your claim will be approved. Some policies limit the number of water claims you can make in a year or over the life of the policy. If you have Poly B in your home and are lucky enough to have any water damage insurance at all, make sure you ask your broker the number of claims you can make before they cancel your coverage. In broker talk, they off risk you.
- BE VERY CAREFUL. If you do have water damage coverage in a home that has Poly B PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask your broker what your deductible is. One client had pretty significant damaged caused by a leak and didn’t read their policy, turns out they had a $10,000 deductible. It would have been cheaper for them to repipe the entire house BEFORE they had a leak!
Buying a house with Poly B – What can you do?
Just because a home has Poly B DON”T run away. You must be aware of several very important facts when considering a Poly B home
- You may not be able to get a mortgage. Most insurance companies will not write a new policy on a home with Poly B and without insurance, your mortgage will not be approved.
- This can be a bargaining chip for you. Have your Real Estate Agent call Tap 2 Drain for a quote to re-pipe the home and make the offer with that consideration. Once the re-pipe is done you will have no problem getting insurance. The owner might choose just to take care of it before you even take possession!
- Ask your Real Estate Agent to provide any history of leaks and what was done to repair them. You need to be sure the water damage was repaired properly. Mould would be the number one concern but also any structural damage that might have been caused. When water is involved it is always a good idea to have a remediation company repair it properly and with a guarantee. We work with some STELLAR remediation companies and can provide you with contacts we trust.
- Have Tap 2 Drain do a whole home inspection. Although we can’t foresee any leak before they happen we can tell you the condition of all the plumbing in a home. Our Techs are trained to give you a detailed list of the state of a home’s plumbing, noting any major issues to be aware of. Yes, it is always good to have a general home inspection done, but checking the plumbing should be done by a licensed journeyman technician with experience. Water can cause too much damage to a home to leave to a general inspector.
Poly B homes are not EVIL, they need love too! Re-piping a home is NOT as bad as you think. Tap 2 Drain can take care of it all, even repairing the drywall and painting. You will never know anything was done but you will have new GUARANTEED FOR 25 YEARS, water lines in your home.
Making a claim
After you have shut the water off in your home and started mopping up water you need to call your insurance provider. You will need to have your policy number. There will be an emergency number on the policy to call. Now I know that having an emergency can be stressful BUT the adjusted on the other line will be more inclined to take extra special care of you if you are pleasant to them. I can’t tell you how many times “delays” have happened because a client was rude to an adjuster. Seriously, their job is to save the company money but they are people and MOST of them are really good at their jobs. Treat them with kindness it really does go a long way. There is a BIG BUT here….know what your policy covers.
Here are a few TIPS:
- Know your deductible. I know I am saying this again but here is the kicker, if your deductible is $10,000 and the insurance claim come back at $8000, why would you pay the deductible? Make sure you tell your adjuster UPFRONT that if the claim is BELOW your deductible you will pay for the repairs yourself.
- Know what is covered and what isn’t. In general DAMAGED caused by the leaking water is covered under your policy BUT the repair to the original source of the leak is NOT! Be prepared for your insurance company to request proof that a licensed plumber has done the repair.
- You are in control. When all the mayhem goes down you can quickly be overwhelmed. REMEMBER this is your home and you pay the policy so YOU have ultimate say. Ask your adjuster for their list of approved vendors. You can choose which remediation company or contractor, from companies they work with, you want to do your repairs. Maybe you have had a good experience, or perhaps a bad one, previously with a company on their list.
- Since you are paying for the repair of the original cause of the leak, you can use WHOMEVER YOU CHOOSE! You DO NOT have to use anyone they tell you. Just remember though the plumber doing the repair MUST be a licensed journeyman and provide you with an invoice showing the repair was done properly and to code. If any inspections are required they MUST be DONE. I can’ tell you how many times we have gone into a home and redone repairs because they weren’t done by a licensed plumber or the inspection was never completed. Don’t make this mistake you’ll have to pay twice and no one wants that! Make Tap 2 Drain your second call and we will take good care of you.
The big things to remember.
This is A LOT of information. If you have any questions please don’t ever hesitate to call us, even if you think its’s silly, it never is.
Here is a basic run down of the major tips to remember if you have Poly B in your home.
- Avoid all these problems by having Tap 2 Drain remove your POLY B BEFORE you have a leak.
- Know your coverage and deductible
- At first site of a leak turn off the water.
- Have your policy ready when you call your provider.
- BE KIND!
- Call Tap 2 Drain to repair the initial cause – 604-476-9104 or 604-410-4400 in the Valley
- Ask loads of questions and remember you are in control.
- Take a deep breath, it can all be fixed.
Tap 2 Drain TV – Friday
On Friday’s fascinating episode, Steve will show you where to look for Poly B in your home. Make sure you tune in for some RIVETING INFORMATION!
Part 3 – What you can do to help prevent leaks and reduce the amount of water damage.
Next week I will go over some nifty things Tap 2 Drain can do to help when Poly replacement isn’t an option just yet. Check back here next Wednesday for all the info.
Special thanks to Sherry from Johnstone Myer Insurance In Maple Ridge. Tel: 604-467-4184