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Don’t get all wet with water damage claims

October 1, 2015

Read our tip sheet to discover prevention, preparedness, response and recovery measures for water damage claims.

water damage valve inspection
Water damage claims can cause problems for your company at any time of year and during any point in a facility’s life cycle. In many cases, these claims can be reduced and, in others, the damages minimized. The following tips are designed to help you reduce water claims, prepare for claims, respond to claims when they occur and recover from claims after they occur.
 Prevention measures  Preparedness measures Response measures  Recovery measures 
  • Exercise valves on a regular basis
  • Respond to all leaks regardless of how small
  • Keep temperature above 40° F at all times
  • Watch so contractors don’t use tubs and commodes as drains
  • Install shutoffs when new installations occur
  • Install dikes and drains around pumps and other equipment
  • Test all lines and drains prior to placing in service
  • If water or other liquid lines are to be abandoned in place during renovation, ensure that they are shut off, drained and capped off
  • Install liquid detection equipment
  • Keep roof drains clear of debris and ice
  • Identify all liquid shutoffs in building
  • Have a spill cart containing plumbing supplies, valves, spare pipes, hoses, etc. Check regularly so supplies are not removed for other work. Position cart so it is readily available.
  • Train and re-train staff on flow of water into and out of building
  • Place pictures at shutoffs showing the valve, what areas to service, and how to properly shut off equipment
  • Have water extraction equipment on hand
  • Have phone numbers for contractors on hand
  • Have tarps available to cover important equipment or to direct water streams
  • Encourage tenants to report leaks regardless of how small
  • Have tenants also report any noticeable changes in water pressure
  • Aggressively respond to any liquid spill
  • Get liquid to drains as fast as possible
  • Cover valuable equipment with tarps
  • Remove materials that can absorb water as soon as possible
  • Get contractors involved as soon as possible
  • Notify insurance carrier as soon as possible
  • Work with insurance adjusters and their contractors to dry out facility
  • Save any broken parts that are suspected to be involved in the incident
  • Find alternative arrangements for clients
  • Test any new lines, pumps, etc. for integrity before going back in service
  • Inventory everything damaged and photograph or video record if possible
  • If a hose or pipe failure is due to longevity, look for and replace like materials in facility

Water damage claims don’t have to be all wet! Zurich Risk Engineering has developed a mitigation program around the water damage issue. For more information, visit or call 800-982-5964.