Pipe break leaves homeowners with insurance concerns

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Q: We had a pipe break in our kitchen, and water ran for several hours. This is our first insurance claim in 30 years and we're unfamiliar with what to do, so we have several questions and would really appreciate some help: The hardwood floor is now dry but has buckled. Do we need to check under it? Is replacement recommended, or is it OK to sand and refinish it? About 75 percent of the floor is damaged. If it has to come up, can they match the new floor to the old one? Should the insurance company pay for a whole new floor? About half of the family room carpet was also soaked. Can they relay the carpet, or should it be replaced? --Alan C. A: First and foremost, you need to have a qualified restoration contractor out to the house to start drying it, and you need to do that as quickly as possible. Your insurance should cover this completely as an emergency repair (check with your agent or the company first to make sure), and, in fact, you are typically required by your policy to take al...