With the extended span of record low temperatures, Oklahomans have seen their share of pipes freezing and busting in homes and businesses. Experts warn we could be in for bigger problems as temperatures begin to warm.
Here’s how it works, as frozen pipes begin to thaw, the pressure, caused by the mixture of ice and water, can cause pipes to bust, hoses to split, and even connectors or fittings to come off, causing homeowners major damage.
If your pipes are frozen now, anticipate that there could be a problem, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said.
"The first thing that folks need to do is secure their property and mediate any future loss. So, if it’s a busted pipe and you have water flowing, you have to turn off the water. And if it’s a hole in your roof, you have to cover your roof to prevent future or more damage," Mulready said.
After you have secured your property, document the damage with a lot of pictures. The more the better, even with your cellphone. Then contact your insurance company or claims office and prepare for the wait.
"Due to the large number of breaks and claims, I issued yesterday an emergency order, really what that will do is allow more adjusters that aren’t typically licensed in our state to come into town to try to improve those wait times as folks are waiting for insurance adjusters to get out," Mulready said.
A common question right now is regarding coverage, and Mulready said the standard homeowner policy is known as an HO3 and that does cover busted pipes and the weight of snow and those types of things.
Mulready said his office is staffed and ready to answer any questions regarding insurance policies simply contact their office at 1-800-522-0071 or if you are having a problem with a claim go to their website oid.ok.gov.