Insurance Claims for Damage from Pipes Leaking / Bursting

Leaking and burst pipes can cause severe damage in a very short period of time. Once water starts to collect, it can cause unsightly wall and ceiling stains. It can also lead to mold, which threatens people’s health as well as their property values. Insurance companies offer relief to homeowners and business owners whose properties suffer damage from leaking and burst pipes. When an insurance company denies a valid claim of property damage, home and business owners may be left with no way to make repairs.

The property insurance lawyers at Cordova Law Firm PLLC represent homeowners and business owners against wrongfully-denied insurance claims. With extensive experience in both law and insurance, we know the ways insurance companies try to avoid paying valid claims, and we know how to help you fight back. Give us a call, or contact us online today, for a 100% free consultation to see how we can assist you.

Wrongful Denial of Claims for Water Damage

An insurance policy is a contract between an insurer and an insured. The insured pays premiums, usually every month or every year. In exchange, the insurer commits to paying valid claims for damages that are covered by the policy. Denying a valid claim can expose an insurance company to legal liability. Despite this, it still happens, but insurance companies find ways to make denials of valid claims sound fair.

Common reasons for denying property insurance claims include:

  • The claim was not filed on time: Insurers may require policyholders to notify them promptly about any damage or loss caused by damaged or faulty pipes, regardless of what the policyholder is going through when the damage occurs.
  • The policy does not cover the damage: Property insurance policies do not cover all kinds of damage that may occur. If a particular type of damage, such as mold, is not included in a policy’s coverage, the insurer will deny the claim.
  • The damage is from ordinary wear and tear, not a catastrophic event: Time eventually wears everything down. Property insurance companies generally will not cover damage caused by normal wear and tear.
  • The policyholder has not met their deductible: Most insurance policies require policyholders to pay all damages up to a certain amount. This amount is known as the deductible. Once the deductible is met, the insurer is supposed to cover all further damages. If, for example, a policy has a $2,000 deductible, and the total damage is $2,500, the insurer is only obligated to pay $500. If the total damage is less than $2,000, the insurer is not obligated to pay anything. The deductible applies to all claims during a calendar year.
  • The policyholder did not provide enough documentation of the damage: Insurance companies want evidence that the water damage occurred, and evidence of the cost of repairs.

What This Means for Insurance Coverage of Leaking and Burst Pipes

Property insurance covers catastrophic damage to homes and businesses, such as the damage caused by severe Florida weather. It does not usually cover damage that results slowly over time, also known as “wear and tear.” For example, insurance might not cover damage caused by a decades-old pipe that breaks because of age. It also does not cover damage that occurs because a property owner did not take care of the pipes. Further north, where freezing winters are more common, property owners are expected to insulate their pipes so they don’t freeze.

When a leaking or burst pipe is not the direct result of age or neglect, the insurance company is usually obligated to pay claims for the resulting damage to your home or business. Because of this, they may try to prove that it was the result of wear and tear, or a lack of maintenance by the property owner.

Fighting Back Against a Wrongful Denial

Insurance companies have legal duties to the public and the Florida Department of Financial Services. They must abide by the terms of their insurance policies, and they must deal with policyholders in good faith. The first step in fighting back against wrongful denial of a water damage claim is to appeal to the insurance company itself. They might revisit their decision when presented with evidence and arguments about their legal obligations. Legal proceedings may follow if they cannot be persuaded.

Did Your Insurer Wrongfully Deny Your Water Damage Claim? Just Call Us.

Water damage in your home can have serious, long-term effects. You need to be able to make repairs quickly, without delays from your insurance company. If you are dealing with a wrongful denial of insurance coverage, the Florida property insurance attorneys at Cordova Law are here to answer your questions and discuss your options. Please call us today at (321) 267-3682(CORDOVA) to schedule a free consultation.

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