Our “Water Loss Prevention Credit” is Designed to Save You Money on Your Homeowners Policy
Water damage losses in homes are increasing at a rapid rate. Not only are these types of losses costly, but they cause major disruption and inconvenience to families, at times even necessitating that the home be vacated while the clean-up and restoration is in progress. At UPC Insurance, we are interested in minimizing this inconvenience to you should you ever have the misfortune to suffer a water damage loss.
You should be aware that UPC Insurance provides a credit to a portion of your homeowner’s policy if you have had your plumbing system and all appliances connected to it inspected by a licensed plumber. Our “Water Loss Prevention Credit” is designed to give you a credit on your policy if you provide us with a certification by a licensed plumber that the plumbing system, all connections, and all appliances attached to the system are sound and free of defects. Contact your independent agent listed on your policy for further information regarding this credit.
Major Causes of Water Damage
Mention water damage and most people think of flooding after days of heavy downpours. Yet, even on a sunny day, your home can become waterlogged. Whether the culprit is a leaking water heater, over-loaded washing machine, or an overflowing sink, the damage to your home can be devastating—and costly. These tips will help keep your home dry, and will reduce the likelihood of claims in your homeowner’s policy.
What are some causes of water damage?
Several modern-day conveniences can develop problems that lead to water damage. Some of the most common trouble spots are:
APPLIANCES The most common source for water damage is the water heater, followed by the clothes washer and the air conditioning unit. The age of an appliance is a major factor. For example, over time, water heaters rust on the bottom. Damage can be particularly heavy when the leaky water heater is located upstairs or in an attic.
HOSES Appliance hoses deteriorate from the inside out. Rubber hoses consist of two layers of rubber with a cloth fiber inside that deteriorates with time. Hoses with external stainless steel braided wire may cost as little as $5 more than rubber-fiber hoses, but can be as much as 10 times less likely to fail.
PIPES & DRAINS Common problems include stoppages of toilets and drains (especially kitchen drains, where grease can build up), stoppages of garbage disposals, clogging of air conditioner lines, stoppages of drains from clothes washers due to lint accumulation, and deterioration and bursting of water lines to clothes washers. Roots in sewer lines cause problems as well. In addition, in older homes, cast iron and copper pipes are often installed next to each other. Over time, the copper pipes can corrode the cast iron pipes and then cause extensive damage by leaking or bursting.
How You Can Prevent or Reduce Water Related Losses:
Know where the main water shutoffs to your home are located. Also, install water shutoff valves on water lines under sinks and toilets and leading to outside faucets.
React quickly to small leaks around water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances before they become more troublesome ones.
Know—and follow—the recommended maintenance procedures for your appliances, such as periodically draining the water heater to clean out the sediment at the bottom of the tank.
Check clothes washer hoses for signs of deterioration, and replace hoses that show any evidence of cracking. Also, before you leave home for an extended period, shut off the water valve leading to the clothes washer.
Use plenty of water when operating garbage disposals so that waste is flushed out of the system.
Be aware of what goes down drains (grease, lint, and dirt in particular).
Don’t wash heavy-duty dirt down drains, and don’t put extremely dirty clothing in clothes washers. Instead, use a garden hose on the soiled item outside the house, so that the dirt doesn’t get into the drainage system inside the house.
When a problem does arise, hire an established contractor who has a good reputation.
When a plumber is at the house to make repairs, have him or her conduct a quick check on other appli- ances, drains, and pipes to ensure that everything is in proper working order.
Don’t leave the room after you have turned on the water, especially full force, in the bathtub or a sink.
Consider buying a water detector. This relatively new product, similar to a smoke detector in function and in price, sounds an alarm when it detects a leak. They range in sophistication from simple models costing less than $20 each to more elaborate alarms that can be tied into a central station. Placed on the floor near such items as water heaters and air conditioners, they could alert you to a leak before serious damage occurs.