Homeowners Insurance and Frozen Equipment

melodyanne

Bronze Supporter
Jan 12, 2018
10
Waco TX
I saw this posted by a pool builder on Facebook (Texas Stormchasers group). I do not know if it’s true, but at least something to check out.
FAA1D9FB-9A08-48BF-B4E4-CF4F99CE6C9E.jpeg
 

Newdude

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TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,761
NY
It can be for alot of people. You have to weigh your specific options though once you get a grip on the damage. The average homeowner deductible is pretty high and can easily cost more than you'd gain long term if your rates go up from filing a claim. Or it could be either nor worth it, or so close its still nor worth it. In NY we pay a certain % of the insured value as a disaster deductible. I forget the % but if we have damage from a hurricane, I'm out the first $10k. I imagine this event would qualify if TX has something similar.
 
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PoolGate

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Jun 7, 2017
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Doesn't homeowner's insurance cover catastrophic loss from weather events? My policy covers hail damage. It covers water damage from storms as well. I don't understand why you'd need a special designation to have damage from a storm/event covered. Insurance isn't my forte, however!

If you lost your pump, filter, heater and SWG, perhaps a skimmer along with piping you could easily be looking at $15k-$20k for repairs.
 
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JJ_Tex

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Yep, my wife's phone has been ringing off the hook today. One of the underwriters told her this is going to set a record for insurance payouts for the state. Guess what that means for rates :)
 

Twolabs

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2014
339
NE Texas
Insurance is my forte, and that is a load of baloney. Insurance is a contract, spelled out in the policy documents. Declaration of a natural disaster doesn't magically make previously excluded coverages, all of the sudden covered. Maybe under some type of federal disaster funding? But I've never heard of anything type of natural disaster declaration giving back any type of coverage. Just ask all of the Houston people who didn't have flood insurance after Hurricane Harvey. They might have gotten some FEMA money, but their homeowner's insurance didn't cover it. Most homeowner's forms will exclude freezing damage to swimming pools and equipment, so I wouldn't hold out much hope.
 

Newdude

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Jun 16, 2019
8,761
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Declaration of a natural disaster doesn't magically make previously excluded coverages
All states and carriers being different notwithstanding, we had something similar happen with ‘post tropical superstorm Sandy’. It was a hurricane until the last second and hit as a non hurricane. Something about the distinction changed it from hurricane coverage to much lesser covered ‘act of god’. The NY governor was on it as it happened that any insurances that played semantics with the terminology would be *whatever the state could do* to punish them. One of the biggies got in front of it and publicly claimed that they would honor the hurricane clauses even though they legally didn’t have to. As soon as one publicly did the right thing, the others quickly joined in out of the goodness of their hearts.

There was a lot more legal mumbo jumbo that is above my pay scale, but that was the basics.

Either way, I suspect most people with damage will be mild to moderate and not catastrophic that would warrant a claim (if it’s covered in the first place).
 

Twolabs

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2014
339
NE Texas
All states and carriers being different notwithstanding, we had something similar happen with ‘post tropical superstorm Sandy’. It was a hurricane until the last second and hit as a non hurricane. Something about the distinction changed it from hurricane coverage to much lesser covered ‘act of god’. The NY governor was on it as it happened that any insurances that played semantics with the terminology would be *whatever the state could do* to punish them. One of the biggies got in front of it and publicly claimed that they would honor the hurricane clauses even though they legally didn’t have to. As soon as one publicly did the right thing, the others quickly joined in out of the goodness of their hearts.

There was a lot more legal mumbo jumbo that is above my pay scale, but that was the basics.

Either way, I suspect most people with damage will be mild to moderate and not catastrophic that would warrant a claim (if it’s covered in the first place).

That is a good point and where I can see how a legal term defined by the government could affect coverage. Another instance is terrorism. Most commercial liability policies exclude terrorism, so it's important if the US Government classified something as terrorism vs riot/civil commotion, explosion etc.

However, in the case of frozen pool equipment, I'd say >95% of these claims won't be covered. Perhaps on some high net worth carriers with a lot of coverage buybacks, maybe there could be some coverage somewhere, but like you mentioned, it most likely won't exceed some deductibles unless there is other damage to the home.
 
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melodyanne

Bronze Supporter
Jan 12, 2018
10
Waco TX
I have coverage for "other structures" (really not having any idea what is actually covered though) but thankfully, by following the advice given on these boards, I think I'm coming out with no damage at all. I'm also a first-time homeowner and am learning a lot about everything! When I saw posts on Facebook about freeze-proofing sprinkler systems, I thought... "nope, not going there, the stress of the pool is all I can handle right now."

I'd already been talking with a pool builder to refinish the pool, replumb the pad and upgrade some of the equipment, so if there is damage it'll be okay.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,761
NY
I have coverage for "other structures" (really not having any idea what is actually covered though
Fences, pools, driveways, sheds, pool houses, Anything in the yard that isn’t lawn furniture/ hoses/ garden gnomes, etc. For once a vague term comes in handy.
 

AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
402
Memphis
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When I saw posts on Facebook about freeze-proofing sprinkler systems, I thought... "nope, not going there, the stress of the pool is all I can handle right now."
I was very prepared with closing/draining all the pool equipment prior to the Canadian hurricane coming south but I completely forgot about the sprinklers! With zero degree temps and not getting above freezing for 10 days, I am sure something is frozen down there. We normally don't get cold enough soil in winter to go through the hassle of blowing the lines out. I guess I will find out in a month or so. Fortunately for me, I installed my DIY sprinkler systems so I am used to having to fix minor leaks each year.
 

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ajw22

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WSJ today has an article on the topic (paywall unfortunately)...


Fair use excerpts...

But the massive storm also will highlight variations in basic homeowners policies that some consumer activists lament have become more common in recent years. Consumer activists say the disparity potentially leaves homeowners underinsured where they thought they were covered.

Many homeowners will learn that policies are anything but standardized across the industry, said Daniel Schwarcz, a University of Minnesota Law School professor. Policies are more varied than they were a decade or two ago, he said.

Disputes also can arise because consumers have “actual cash-value” policies that take depreciation into consideration in making payouts. That is in contrast to “replacement cost” coverage, which Insurance Information Institute said is provided by most standard homeowners-insurance policies. Replacement cost insurance is more expensive.

Big insurer USAA said Wednesday morning that it had received about 10,000 claims already in Texas related to the weather, with many more to come.
 
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AndyTN

Bronze Supporter
Mar 27, 2019
402
Memphis
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Not that this has anything to do with pools but my cousin's new horse arena/stables just collapsed underneath the weight of the ice and snow. I don't know the exact dimensions but it must have been at least 120 feet long and 50 ft wide. No one was hurt and the horses were out in the field at the time. She just build a small 2-bedroom house and then the arena looked like the Superdome beside it.
 
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Technobuyer

Bronze Supporter
May 29, 2016
142
fort worth, tx
Talked to my insurance company(USAA) today. Even though I have a $90,000 Other Structures rider on my policy, it specifically doesn't cover any damage caused by freezing. To anything. Really it's a pretty crappy policy, I wish I had understood it better.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
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Jun 16, 2019
8,761
NY
it specifically doesn't cover any damage caused by freezing. To anything. Really it's a pretty crappy policy, I wish I had understood it better.
Sadly most people find out the hard way, regardless of the carrier. Flood insurance is similar. Its a specific add on and the normally covered water damage (pipe break, etc) does not cover a flood.
 

JJ_Tex

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Jul 17, 2019
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It’s not just USAA. I just came back from dinner with a bunch of insurance people, and they were all complaining about how little insurance pays especially for pools. Basically they do not cover anything that is a direct result from the freeze, only the secondary damage.
For example, if a pipe in attic bursts from the freeze the pipe itself is not covered, but damage from the pipe burst would be covered.
For a pool, there is not a lot that would not be the direct result of the freeze. The best example someone could come up with was the gas line to the heater freezing and bursting, causing an explosion that damaged your equipment, then they would pay.
 

imrodee

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Jun 23, 2012
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We and several of our neighbors have Texas Farm Bureau Homeowners insurance. Our pool equipment is covered from the Texas freeze, but the deductible applies. Landscaping is not covered. Years ago with State Farm, on a rental property, we had a huge that tree fell down because of a storm, and they paid for its removal (so much per diameter of the tree... nearly $1100).
 

Goromir

In The Industry
Apr 2, 2021
3
Australia
Everything that is published on the Internet in 90% of cases has nothing to do with the truth. Home and land insurance is not related to what is written there on Facebook. There is also minimal insurance. You don't spend a lot of money, but only the most basic medical services are compensated for. This is a tariff plan for the young and healthy, the insurance $750,000 Term Life Insurance Rates | 2021 Update! will not work at the minimum tariff with those who are often sick. You can take out gold or regular insurance, the compensation will correspond to the amount of payments. And remember that insurance will never fully cover all costs.
 
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AndyTN

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Mar 27, 2019
402
Memphis
Pool Size
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