Do You Know
that One of the Most Costly and
Common Claims Involve Broken Pipes?
For more information on our Pest Control Pro Insurance Program, please call
Keith Steinberg at
visit us on the web
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE|
Thomco's Loss Control Director Bill Coons routinely reviews the claims activity for all of Thomco's programs, including Pest Control Pro. Over the years,
the type of incident with the highest average loss amount has been termite treatment and inspection claims. Termite inspection claims require a tremendous amount of investigation on the part of the claim
adjustors and usually involve a disgruntled customer. These factors tend to increase the amount of the claim payment or settlement.
What is most surprising about the latest analysis done by Bill is the number and average payout from claims activity involving water. In 2007, there were six claims totaling over $256,000, which is an average
payment of $16,062 per claim. Last year, the number jumped to nine claims worth $360,000 and the average payment jumped to $40,062!
The causes of the claims vary, but the leading causes are water pipes struck during drilling (nine incidents) and pipes stepped on and broken during pest inspections and application of pesticides (six incidents).
The costlier of the two is stepping on pipes during inspections, where some of the damages exceeded over $100,000 per claim. One of the most severe claims was worth over $200,000. The technician stepped on a pipe
in the attic and could not locate the water shut-off valve. Since water follows the path of least resistance, it seeped into the walls, vents, etc.
|Water claim damages can be kept to a minimum by focusing on two critical items:
|Quickly turning off the water at the main supply.|
|Quickly cleaning up water that has leaked.|
Here are some tips on how to accomplish these critical items:
Please contact our loss control director Bill Coons at
email@example.com if you would like more details concerning water claim prevention or any other pest control loss control techniques.
- Find water main shut-offs BEFORE beginning any work in attics, basements, or drilling.
- Check to determine if valves are loose enough to control by hand (not stuck open) or if a tool is required.
- If a tool is required, verify you have the proper tool for the job handy and check the valve to determine whether it can be shut off if necessary.
- Not all sprinkler system controls and main water supplies look alike. Make sure you have properly identified the location and the correct valve BEFORE beginning work.
- Use a stud finder tool before drilling into sheetrock. Water lines will, in most cases, result in a similar signal from the device as a wall stud.
- Do NOT drill into sheetrock just because you know where the studs are. If you are not sure there are no water lines behind the sheetrock, confirm their location BEFORE you drill.
- When accessing a crawl space, check the direction of pipes with a bright flashlight. Plan the direction you will be traveling so you cross the path of the pipes the least number of times possible.
When possible, crawl in the same direction the pipes run, keeping out from under them and not on top of them (if they run along the ground of the crawl space).
- When drilling through concrete to access the earth beneath the foundation of a home, drill slowly and stop once soil is reached; going deeper does not improve the effectiveness of the termite treatment and
only increases the chances of striking an underground water supply line running from the street to the home.
- Consider carrying walking boards into attics that can be placed on the joists so you don't have to always step from joist to joist, which increases the chances of stepping on pipes. Do not place boards over pipes.
Have a safe and prosperous year!