Plumbing Leak Damage Attorneys in Florida
Plumbing leak claims can be complex and confusing, and they’re not always easy to categorize or get insurance companies to cover. Home flooding caused by a burst pipe or other plumbing-related mishap should be the one type of flooding insurance companies honor without a huge fight, but that is unfortunately not always the case.
The factors that could stand between you and the money you need to repair your home to the condition it was in prior to your plumbing leak are complex and sometimes up to interpretation.
For example, there are a different set of rules for “sudden and accidental” plumbing leaks and slow drips that aren’t addressed right away. The insurance company may argue that the only reason you have damage that would require a claim is because you negligently ignored or didn’t notice the leak until severe damage had been done. Their rational is that you could have prevented the damage had you acted right away.
Life is complicated, though. You may have a basement bathroom that no one ever uses, so you didn’t notice the toilet was leaking until it was too late. Or a vanity sink was leaking into the cabinet, causing mold, and you didn’t notice the leak until the damage was already done.
You can make a good argument for why the slow drip wasn’t discovered right away, but the insurance company may not be receptive to your reasoning, no matter how valid it may be.
You May Need Additional Water Backup Coverage to Pay for Sewer Backup and Overflow Damages
You should also be aware that most homeowners insurance coverage does not cover sewer backup and overflow. As far as the insurance company is concerned, the part of the pipe connecting your home to the sewer system is owned and managed by the city, making it a public utility. When the sewer line backs up into your home causing a massive, disgusting mess you could be on the hook for the total cost of cleanup and repairs.
If you don’t have a separate policy for sewer or water backups, you should see about getting one. Many city governments and municipalities offer these plans, but they are an extra expense.
Can a Claims Adjusters’ Judgment Call Cost Me My Claim?
Yes, unfortunately, it can. Slow leaks in particular are considered on a case by case basis. If you have a dripping leak under a sink that results in mold, it’s really up to the insurance company to decide whether or not you should have noticed the leak and if you acted appropriately to prevent the damage.
This is why independent claims adjusters and water damage attorneys are so frequently vital to homeowners who have significant plumbing leak damage claims. There are no hard and fast rules for deciding on whether your slow drip leak should be covered. The only thing standing between you having to pay potentially tens of thousands of dollars of repair and remediation costs on your own or having your claim honored by your insurance company is a claims adjuster’s report.
Some of the factors they may look for are things like watermarks or staining that may indicate a leak was present for a long period of time, but even these things may not tell the whole story. Maybe there was a leak prior that had been fixed and the inside of the cabinet simply hadn’t been repainted?
Policyholders who find themselves in these situations should strongly consider speaking with an independent claims adjuster or a property damage attorney experienced with plumbing leak cases.
Getting Legal Help with Your Plumbing Leak Damage Claim
Property damage claims involving plumbing leaks can quickly become contentious. These claims are frequently denied or undervalued by insurance companies who want to avoid having to pay to repair costly losses.
The attorneys at Kanner & Pintaluga understand plumbing leak and water damage claims. Call our Florida property damage attorneys at 800-586-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation and find out how we can help you get the money you need to repair after a plumbing leak has upended your life.
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