Updated: 6/11/2024

Polybutylene Pipe Replacement and Insurance Basics

Many homes built between 1978 and 1995 have a type of plastic piping called polybutylene. Unfortunately, this piping is prone to leaks and breaks, which can cause extensive damage to a home. If homeowners have polybutylene pipes in their homes, they may be wondering if their homeowners’ insurance will cover the cost of replacing them.

Unfortunately, most insurance policies will not cover the cost of replacing polybutylene pipes because they are considered a defect in the home that should have been fixed when the house was first built. This blog post will answer questions about polybutylene pipes and home insurance coverage.

Polybutylene Pipe Replacement and Insurance Basics

Many homes built between 1978 and 1995 have a type of plastic piping called polybutylene. Unfortunately, this piping is prone to leaks and breaks, which can cause extensive damage to a home. If homeowners have polybutylene pipes in their homes, they may be wondering if their homeowners’ insurance will cover the cost of replacing them.

Unfortunately, most insurance policies will not cover the cost of replacing polybutylene pipes because they are considered a defect in the home that should have been fixed when the house was first built. This blog post will answer questions about polybutylene pipes and home insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, polybutylene pipes are prone to cracking and leaking. The plastic resin can degrade over time, especially if exposed to chlorine from municipal water supplies. When the pipes break or leak, it can cause severe damage to a home—not to mention a significant headache for the homeowner.

The Risks of Keeping Polybutylene Pipes

If homeowners have polybutylene pipes in their homes, it is essential to have them replaced as soon as possible. The risks include:

  • Water Damage: Leaks from polybutylene pipes can cause severe damage to floors, walls, and personal belongings.
  • Health Hazards: Persistent water leaks can lead to mold growth, which poses health risks to the home’s occupants.
  • Incompatibility: Polybutylene pipes are not compatible with many modern plumbing fixtures and fittings, making repairs and updates more challenging.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Replacing Polybutylene Pipes?

The simple answer is maybe. In most cases, insurance policies will not cover the cost of replacing polybutylene pipes. It depends on the specific details of an insurance policy and the age of the home. If a house was built before a particular year (usually 1978), it’s considered “grandfathered” and isn’t subject to the same coverage requirements as newer homes. This means that if a homeowner’s policy doesn’t expressly exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions, then they may be covered for the cost of replacing their polybutylene pipes.

Factors Influencing Insurance Coverage

  1. Policy Terms: Insurance policies vary significantly, and coverage for polybutylene pipe replacement depends on the individual terms of a homeowner’s policy.
  2. Age of the Home: If a house was built before a certain year (usually around 1978), it might be “grandfathered” into certain coverage allowances that newer homes do not have. However, this does not guarantee coverage.
  3. Event-Driven Damage: Even if insurance covers pipe replacement, it usually only applies if the damage is caused by a covered peril, such as fire or severe weather. Normal wear and tear or gradual degradation are typically not covered.
  4. Policy Exclusions: Many standard policies explicitly exclude damage from polybutylene pipes due to their known issues. Homeowners may need to purchase a separate rider or endorsement, which will come at an additional cost.

However, if their home was built after that cutoff date (usually 1978), then any damage caused by polybutylene pipes is likely excluded from standard home insurance policies. Homeowners may be able to purchase a separate rider or endorsement to cover this type of damage, but it will come at an additional cost.

The answer to this question can also depend on the individual’s homeowners insurance policy. Some policies will cover the cost of replacing polybutylene pipes, while others will not. It’s important to read the policy carefully, so homeowners know what is and is not covered. If homeowners are unsure whether or not their policy covers pipe replacement, they can always call their insurance company and ask.

Even if someone’s homeowner’s insurance does cover the cost of replacing polybutylene pipes, there may be some caveats. For example, most policies will only cover the cost of replacing damaged pipes if the damage was caused by an event covered by the policy (such as a fire or severe weather). Additionally, most policies limit how much they will pay out for repairs, so it’s possible that homeowners would have to pay for some of the repairs themselves, even if their insurance covers them.

About Plumbing & Cooling Nerds

Plumbing & Cooling Nerds has courteous and professional plumbers serving Naples, FL, and the surrounding areas. They offer upfront pricing, financing, fully stocked trucks, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call them today for repiping services in Naples, FL.

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