SUBROGATING PIPE FREEZE & SPRINKLER SYSTEM FAILURES $1,260,000 in Recent Sprinkler & Freeze Settlements
Once again, the Midwest is gripped with plummeting temperatures and resulting claims from pipe freeze losses.
The recoveries encompassed sprinkler system maintenance and inspection, construction errors, and faulty plumbing workmanship. The sprinkler failure cases involved complex issues as to the standards set forth in NFPA 13 (Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems), NFPA 25 – (Inspection Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems), and construction errors.
Plumbing failures occur when water in a system freezes. Water expands when it changes from liquid to solid, and if there are not sufficient air pockets a pipe break will ensue. Often the failure is not evident until a thaw or warming in temperature, sometimes two to three days after the bitter cold spell ends. The resulting escape of water can be catastrophic.
Adjuster Checklist / Subrogation Tips:
Subrogating the pipe freeze failure loss is unique from other losses. A primary challenge is that mitigation efforts usually begin immediately to avoid further damages. Often the subrogation target is also an entity the insured calls as part of remediation. Some tips: