Property insurance companies have developed a number of complicated rules over the years to deal with plumbing losses. The result is often a mishmash of coverage provisions, limitations and exclusions. What this means, in the real world, is that even if an insurance company says “No,” there is often a “Yes!” to be found, if one knows where to look. An attorney who handles plumbing and water damage claims can make it easier to find that “Yes!” you seek.
“We don’t cover that, that’s been leaking forever.”
Often, a claim is denied for “long term seepage or leakage” or words to that effect. The language used by different policies vary, so each policy must be scrutinized. For instance, in a case where the homeowner had left town for months only to come back and find his house flooded from a broken plumbing supply line, the claim was initially denied by the insurance company, which quoted the following language in its policy:
“[We will not pay for damages caused by] constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water … over a period of 14 days or more.”
In that case, there was no question the water had been flowing into the home for months, and had caused an enormous amount of damage inside the home. So the insurer felt pretty good about its denial of the claim. But the homeowner did not give up, and found a good lawyer who filed a lawsuit. At the end of the litigation, the court ruled that the policy did not properly exclude the loss. The logic was as complicated as the policy itself, but under Florida law, if a policy is found to be ambiguous, the tie goes to the homeowner and the claim gets paid.
Of course, if the policy states the exclusion in the right way, long term leakages will not be covered. Each case is different, and it doesn’t hurt to ask a lawyer. Attorney William Terry, P.A. has litigated property insurance claims for over 25 years in Vero Beach. Call (772) 217-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case. With an attorney by your side representing your interests to your insurance company, you will get a leg up in receiving the settlement you need to repair the damage in your home.