Neighbors won't flood: on home insurance and automation to shut off cranes

    Twelve years ago, I first moved to a metropolis, and two years later I moved from a student hostel to rented accommodation. Since then, the cities, the number of rooms, the apartments themselves have changed - only the habit has not changed to check if the water filter is leaking and all the taps are tightly tightened before leaving the house. I don’t know why - I have never flooded the neighbors, and the neighbors have never flooded me yet - but I never left the alarm about flooding. It’s especially dumb to leave a washing machine working when you leave home or just leave for a long time - nothing terrible has happened so far, but every time you think: “What if?”

    When I forgot to close the riser

    Each apartment has at least three sources of water: toilet, faucet in the bathroom and faucet in the kitchen. And this is also the Spartan minimum, calculated on the basis that the Soviet faucet has been preserved in the bathroom, turning from the sink into the bath and vice versa. In modernly equipped housing, there are many more potential threats to me, for my neighbors and my neighbors: separate taps in the bathroom, a system for connecting water to the washing machine, a faucet in the kitchen, a faucet for a water filter and water supply to the dishwasher. At the same time, it is impossible to guarantee the absolute reliability of all communications: the hoses and pipes that connect all this stuff have the property to wear out, not to mention banal leaks that will destroy not only floors and furniture, but also leave messages on the ceiling of neighbors.

    Of course, the universal method of protecting equipment from failures is well known: prevention. But you can still, besides the annual inspection and inspection of all hoses and taps, also insure yourself in case of emergency.

    Home insurance

    The first time I heard about the possibility of insuring an apartment against leaks 5 years ago, when I first rented a whole separate house at my disposal. When I saw the advertisement in the elevator, I thought something like: “This is a really useful topic; I need to know more. ” Since then I moved at least three times - and guess how many of them I bought insurance for housing or discussed with landlords? For the first time, I actually somehow approached this issue when I already sat down to write this article.

    Unlike compulsory third-party liability insurance, which started when it became compulsory, home insurance is still voluntary. According to a number of estimates, only about 10% of Moscow’s housing stock is now insured, in the regions this figure is even less. Many of those who have reached at least the second stage of interest in the insurance issue are scared off by the policy of the insurers themselves: most insurance companies offer only comprehensive package insurance solutions “from everything”, including fires, floods, apartment thefts and other incidents.

    Apartment insurance can hardly be called humane in terms of price, and the size of the payment is unlikely to cover all expenses. For example, Renaissance Insurance offers a full package of insurance for an apartment for 5,500 rubles / year with a maximum payment of 400,000 rubles in case of theft or fire, and 300,000 rubles in case of damage to property of neighbors (civil liability). That is, I can count somewhere around $ 5,000 for damages to the flooded neighbors (at the current rate), despite the fact that the simple repairs that the owners of the apartment I rented could easily cost 1 million rubles or more - times exceeding the size of the maximum insurance payment.

    But even this is not so bad. In order to receive insurance payment, you still have to go through a lot of bureaucratic procedures for assessing damage, recognizing a case as insurance, and so on: insurance companies easily sell these policies right and left - everything changes when it comes time to make payments on them.

    As an example.

    You left the city and did not block the water. At this time, the hose in your kitchen breaks off and while the worried neighbors tried to reach you, then they called you and the Housing Office on all possible phones, while the plumber came and blocked the entire riser, you flooded three neighbors down. Then the most unpleasant begins.

    Neighbors can try to bill you “in peace” - without showing damage or “hanging” all their troubles and problems on the flood. In order to resolve this issue legally, it is necessary to draw up an act on the flooding (gulf) of an apartment. This act is drawn up by an organization that operates and maintains your home. The document should contain a detailed description of the flood indicating possible causes (breakthrough of your hose). Also, the act should contain a detailed inventory of the things damaged by the flood, which is called a defective statement.

    One of the pitfalls of collecting these documents is the time when they need to be collected. Neighbors may insist that your flood can lead to mold or bloating laminate flooring. On the other hand, wet wallpapers can simply dry on the walls and look the same as before the flood (if you are very lucky). That is, you can not deal with this problem even in a week, since the laminate can rise later. But you have not even reached your insurance company and there is a huge pitfall.

    Most insurance companies require an inspection of the place of flooding no later than 5-7 days after the flood. In this case, ideally, insurers need to call immediately after the flood. In order to apply for insurance, you must provide documents that you are the owner of the home plus an act of inspection of the home. That is, you have a maximum week to reach the employees of the Housing Office or another organization serving your house, go around the neighbors, draw up all the documents and submit them correctly to the insurance company.

    But there is more to it than that. When compiling documents on civil liability insurance for housing, you need to carefully read the contract. The Rosgosstrakh website, for example, lists the following uninsured events:

    • Violation of the standard terms of operation of property, production, non-production, construction, structural defects and defects of property objects and their individual elements, improper installation, repair, construction work in the insurance territory, unless otherwise provided by the insurance contract.
    • Physical deterioration of structures, equipment, materials, etc. in the insurance territory, unless otherwise provided by the insurance contract.
    • Rotting, corrosion or other natural processes of changing the properties of the insured property, unless otherwise provided by the insurance contract.

    Thus, you can be “slipped” insurance against flooding of neighbors if, for example, you forgot to close the tap. Because a broken or rotten pipe is a physical deterioration of the structure, that is, a non-insurance case.

    Due to all this paperwork and the non-zero chance that the case will be recognized as uninsured or the payment will not cover the damage, our fellow citizens prefer to install security alarms with doors tighter and check the wiring with fuses, and let the issue of protecting water communications by gravity.

    Insurance Alternatives

    Nobody wants to buy insurance in order to protect themselves exclusively from the flooding of neighbors, but problems in the sewage system and communications arise with enviable regularity. Responsibility of the tenant for communication begins with a crane on the riser, although the Housing Office in the event of an accident may try to hang up on you, but this is a separate issue. The crane itself and everything that is after it is already your problem, and not those on whose balance the house is located.

    As an alternative to insurance, regular diagnostics of all communications can be considered: checking gaskets, faucets, hoses and weak points of their connections with cranes and equipment. However, not all residents show such vigilance - people are usually not inclined to check something before they break, and not everyone has the skills necessary for a correct check.

    As another solution, smart home systems come to mind, but they no longer control communications, but “output devices”: taps and devices, so in the case of a bursting hose under the sink, a standard “smart home” will not save you and your neighbors from below. It can be argued that the flood is suppressed by the overlap of the crane from the riser. You will be surprised how much time the average apartment is empty, while its residents spend time at work and study.

    As an effective alternative to insurance, you can offer an autonomous system that would shut off water in the event of a breakthrough without the participation of the owner - as does the Aquastorozh leakage protection system.

    “Aquastorozh” is a portable autonomous system for shutting off water in the event of a leak. It consists of three main elements: a control unit, a leakage sensor (wired or wireless) and a tap. In the event of a sensor, it transmits a signal to the unit, which in turn activates an electric motor on the tap to shut off the water. Wired solutions are more difficult in terms of covert installation (laying in the walls and floor) - therefore, if you have already lived in your apartment and do not plan to repair it in the near future, a wireless system will be more convenient.

    Now we can say that this solution is only one of the ones offered on the market, however, Aquastorozh has several advantages against competitors:

    1. Low-voltage power supplies for cranes, three 1.5 V batteries of form factor C (R14).
    2. Redundant power system to ensure operation in case of discharge of the main elements.
    3. System for monitoring an open circuit (loss of a sensor or tap) with subsequent shutdown of water and warning the user.
    4. Monitoring the position of the ball valve in case of scale or the formation of other possible interference to close the valve.

    As in other similar systems, a wired connection of the cranes to a power source is required, in this case, to the control panel. For this reason, the controller is most often installed next to the riser. In the same place, immediately after the riser and in front of the meters and other devices, an Aquastorozh crane is installed.

    Another advantage of Aquastorozh is the duplication of the power system built into the capacitors control panel, which will provide several autonomous cycles of closing and opening valves, even if you have run out of batteries or the power is not connected: the system will work on ionistres for at least one hour, and after complete discharge - block the taps.

    Some competitors' solutions require connecting to a 220V network or use lead-acid batteries 12V 1-1.5A * h. “Aquastorozh” uses three 1.5V batteries, which certainly will not harm anyone.

    With direct leakage, the Aquastorozh motor shuts off the water supply in just three seconds. But after a flood, it is the closing speed of the taps that plays a decisive role: one only has to imagine how much damage the mixer pipe breakthrough in the bathroom will bring, where it can whip at a speed of up to one and a half liters per second. The three-second Aquastorozh reaction allows us to reduce the consequences of the most dangerous pipe breakthrough to the effect of two or three liter bottles of water spilled on the floor. Which, of course, is unpleasant, but not a flood. The speed of the “Aquastorozh” is provided by Teflosil technology , due to which the system runs on ordinary batteries, which you can buy in line at the cash desk in the nearest supermarket.

    A kit for two cranes with wired sensors will cost 19,000 rubles, with wireless and radio base for them - 25,000 rubles. You can order "Aquastorozh" through their official website . As a one-time investment, at the cost of purchasing and installing Aquastorozh, of course, it is much more important than acquiring insurance, but with each year of operation - or for one flood prevention - this purchase will beat back the money spent.

    Moreover, the warranty on all products of the kit is 2 years with the ability to expand to 4 years on the site. But the main thing here is that Aquastorozh is a disaster prevention system, and insurance is a compensation for damage. Which approach is more reasonable from the point of view of the cost of possible loss of time and nerves - the homeowners have to decide for themselves. However, any choice made will be better than life at random.

    Also popular now: