Cast Iron Claims

Seventy-six million homes in America have cast-iron pipes. Cast iron pipes were put into homes between 1920 and 1940 and were thought to last anywhere from 80-100 years. Most homes, especially in Florida, have found problems with their cast iron pipes after 25 years. Cast iron pipes can cause leakage, flooding, and even contaminate your drinking water. Cast iron pipes should be replaced with PVC pipes whenever possible. PVC pipes are the new and safer way for your plumbing. 

If you have experienced a breakage in your cast iron pipes, it is essential to report a cast-iron pipe claim to your insurance company.

photo of cast iron pipe

Checking Your Pipes

Before purchasing your new home, it is essential to check the plumbing system, especially if you are buying a home in Florida. You will want to ask the prior owners what type of plumbing they have in the house. If they have cast iron pipes, be sure to check for a few things before purchasing your home. You will want to check to see if there are any visible leaks, backups in the plumbing, slow drains, bad smells, water discoloration, cracks in the foundation, rodent or insect infestation, strange puddles, mold, or abnormal lawn growth. If the home has any of these, it may be the sign of a cracked pipe. If you have not checked the plumbing before moving in and already own the home, you must wait until flooding or breakage of the pipes happens before submitting an insurance claim. 

Cast Iron Insurance Claim

If breakage or flooding has happened due to cast iron pipes, you must report the damage within 72 hours with most insurers to obtain recompense for the damages caused. You must be careful in how you report the cast iron insurance claim to your insurance company. You do not want to admit that you knew there was any problem before it occurred because they can decide not to cover the damages. After all, as a homeowner, it is your responsibility to keep up with fixes that need to be done to your home.

Know Your Insurance Policy

It is essential to go over your insurance policy before picking one that you think fits your needs. Many insurance policies may have exclusions for water damage or contingencies on how much they will pay out for any water damage that has happened to the house. If you are choosing a home in Florida, you should make sure to find an insurance policy that covers water damage in your home, even if you have to pay a little more for it.

photo of cast iron pipe

How Much Does New Piping Cost?

The cost to replace cast iron plumbing depends on the size of your home, but it is costly either way. It can cost anywhere from $20,000 to more than $100,000. Some insurance companies will only pay out around $10,000 for any water damage to a home, so replacing all the piping in your home with PVC piping can be costly. Also, the insurance companies job is to pay out the least amount they can for the damages to save money. If you are buying a new home, you can see if they will lower the price on the house to compensate for the replacement of the pipes or know if they will replace it before you move in. No matter what you decide, when it comes to new piping for your home, try and get the best solution you can, whether paying a little more on insurance each month or replacing the pipes.  

Denied Cast Iron Insurance Claims

If you put in a cast-iron pipe claim with your insurance and they deny it, do not be in a panic right away. The first thing you can do is call your insurance company and ask for a detailed description of why they denied your claim. You can also ask the insurance agent if it was a mistake that they denied your claim. In some cases, you may need to contact the right help to read your insurance claim description in detail and see if anything can be done to help get your home back in working order. Often, insurance claims are phrased in a way that makes you think there is nothing they can do, when in fact, there are a few things that can be done. If you are unsure, hire an attorney to help you understand the legality of the description written by your insurance company. 

Hiring a Plumber

If worst comes to worst and you see water damage being caused and you are not sure if it is from cast iron piping or other things, it may be in your best interest to hire a plumber. Hiring a trusted plumber can help to mitigate damage before it becomes a bigger problem. And, after all, you are responsible for the upkeep of your home, not your insurance company. A trusted plumber can give you a rough estimate of the problem and its cost to fix it. Be careful, though; if your insurance company knows that you hired a plumber for existing issues and then something big happens, like flooding, then you may not be entitled to the costs being covered for sudden damages caused.

A pipe breakage, water damage, or contaminated water is likely to happen if you have cast iron plumbing. Therefore, it is essential to be careful and take every precaution you can before purchasing a new home to keep you and your family safe and well. Your safety means getting an evaluation of your piping and finding an insurance policy covering sudden, unexpected water damage.