A plumbing emergency is for many South Florida residents more than just an inconvenience.
When water escapes from a house’s pipes or appliances, the flow of water can cause extensive damage to a family’s personal property.
In the longer term, with unexpected standing water, rot and mold can set in and damage the structure of the home itself. It can also make the home a toxic and unlivable environment.
Basically, a bad plumbing malfunction can cost a family tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and put them in a desperate financial situation. The same holds true for many businesses that experience plumbing issues.
Many residents of the greater Miami area would first turn to their homeowner’s insurance for help. A business may file a claim with their commercial property insurance carrier.
However, when doing so, they may not fully understand what sort of plumbing problems their insurance does or does not cover.
Insurance policies are detailed and legally binding contracts. Specific questions about coverages should be referred to the proper insurance or legal professional.
However, in general, insurance will cover sudden, unexpected leaks. Some examples would include a frozen pipe that bursts even though the home was heated. A hot water heater leak is another possible example.
On the other hand, insurance policies ordinarily will not pay for damages caused by slow drips or that could have been fixed with routine maintenance.
An insurance carrier may hotly contest a water damage claim
Florida residents may get pushback on water damage claims when it is not clear what caused the water damage.
For example, even if there was a sudden water burst, the insurance carrier’s adjuster might determine that mold or other damage happened earlier and because of a slow drip or leak that would not be covered.
The end result might be that the carrier denies a claim or offers a settlement far less than what a family or business needs to make necessary repairs.
In these cases, it is important for policyholders to remember their rights under both the policy and Florida law. Insurance companies do have many obligations to their customers, including the obligation to deal in good faith.
Policyholders in this difficult situation should make sure they know their legal options for getting the funding they need.