Frozen Pipes? A Legal Guide to Pursuing Insurance Recovery


As Texas once again falls under severe Arctic freezing weather, the risk of frozen pipes leading to property damage becomes a common concern for homeowners. If you find yourself facing this unfortunate scenario, it's crucial to understand the legal steps to take when dealing with frozen pipes and filing an insurance claim. Here, we provide guidance on how to navigate this process effectively.

1. Be Safe:

First and foremost, protect yourselves, your family members and pets, then worry about property. Once that is no longer a concern, see how best to protect your family's interests and your property through the severe weather.

2. Protect Your Home: Comply with Your Insurance Policy Conditions

Many insurance policies contain provisions that require you take reasonable steps to prevent frozen pipes. This can include shutting off the water source from the main and draining the water from the pipes. It can also include running your HVAC and/or heating unit to prevent freezing temperatures from infiltrating the building envelope.

3. Document the Damage:

Once the weather has passed, and it is safe, begin by thoroughly documenting the damage caused by the frozen pipes. Take clear photographs and videos of affected areas, ensuring that all aspects of the damage are captured. This visual evidence will play a crucial role in supporting your insurance claim.

4. Review Your Insurance Policy:

Carefully review your homeowners insurance policy to understand the coverage in place for damages caused by frozen pipes. Pay attention to any specific terms, conditions, or exclusions that may impact your claim.

5. Promptly Make Your Claim - Notify Your Insurance Company Promptly:

Time is of the essence. As soon as you discover the frozen pipes and resulting damage, notify your insurance company promptly. Provide them with all necessary details, including the date and time of the incident, and request guidance on the claims process.

6. Follow the Claims Process:

Adhere to the claims process outlined by your insurance company. This typically involves submitting a detailed claim form along with supporting documentation. Be thorough and accurate in providing the required information.

7. Cooperate with the Insurance Adjuster:

Your insurance policy contains conditions that you must meet and maintain. Your insurance company should assign an adjuster to assess the damage. This may be an in-house adjuster or a third-party adjuster hired from a third-party adjusting firm. Under your insurance policy, you are required (and it is wise) to cooperate fully during this inspection, providing access to affected areas and answering any questions the adjuster may have. 

8. Stand Up for Yourself:

Ensure that the adjuster acknowledges all visible damage. Do not make statements that undermine your interest with the insurance company's personnel. 

Do not be coaxed into making statements that benefit the insurance company, especialy if it is not in your interest or if the facts or issues underlying the claim are disputed. 

You have the right to make your claim and stand by the facts as they exist to seek appropriate compensation. This is the system we have in this country for pooling risk. You are fully within your rights, and you are a paying customer of the insurance company. They are required under Texas law to promptly investigate and pay insurance claims.

9. Keep Records of Expenses and Losses:

Maintain a detailed record of all expenses related to repairing the frozen pipes and mitigating further damage. This includes receipts for repairs, replacement materials, and any additional costs incurred due to the incident.

10. Understand Policy Limits and Deductibles:

Familiarize yourself with the limits of your insurance coverage and any deductibles that apply. Knowing these details will help you manage expectations regarding the reimbursement you may receive.

11. Seek Legal Advice if Necessary:

If you encounter challenges during the claims process or face disputes with your insurance company, consider seeking legal advice. A professional can help you understand your rights, assess the validity of denials, and guide you through the legal aspects of the situation.


Dealing with frozen pipes and filing an insurance claim requires a systematic and informed approach. By documenting the damage, understanding your insurance policy, and following the claims process diligently, you can enhance the likelihood of a successful and fair resolution to help you recover from the impact of frozen pipes on your property.

If you have an insurance claim and need answers, call us.

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