A water disaster can strike anytime anywhere. Generally, the occurrences are sudden and unexpected and the damages are often very difficult to detect depending on the specific nature of the loss. It has been widely reported in the insurance industry that the most frequent type of loss is from water. Events such as frozen pipe leaks, broken pipes, leaks from appliances, sewage backup, water entering from an opening in roofs and other elevations of a building due to heavy or driven rain are typical water losses that are covered under most risk property policies. To receive fair compensation for a loss, it is advantageous to have an experienced claims advocate advising you as the method for adjusting such losses can be highly technical and impact the way the settlement is determined.
Leaking Pipe or Pipe Burst
Often referred to a plumbing system or supply line leaks, these types of leaks can cause massive property damage is left unchecked. They sometimes originate from just a small damp spot in a floor or baseboard, a slightly higher water bill than normal to a flooded property from a broken supply line gushing for hours or days while you are away. Most likely the damaged pipe is not covered itself, but the access to the affected area and the ensuing water damage will be covered unless your policy specifically excludes it. The most important thing in these losses to stop the source as quickly as possible, extract the water as quickly as possible to limit the potential for other damages and mold growth, and quickly report the claim to the insurance company.
Broken Drain Line or Sewer Line
Drain lines, or sanitary plumbing pipes, carry waste from your drains and away from your home. In recent years, more and more policies are excluding sewer drain line issues from coverage without adding specific endorsements for additional coverage. If the damages are covered, usually the repair to the pipes are not which can lead to thousands of dollars in costs. These types of issues come with their own special set of remediation needs as a special category or “dirty” water will damage and contaminate your property and require specific steps to properly resolve the issues.
Often referred to as “slab leaks”, these leaks occur when a pipe break or bursts inside or under the foundation of the property. Slab Leaks are typically found in copper pipes and many times they are very small holes, however these are pressurized lines which means even a small hole can release a lot of water. These slab leaks can and usually are difficult to locate as you will only see the water coming up in certain areas which are sometimes not even close to where the actual plumbing leak is located. These types of leaks often times require the use of a Leak Detection Company to pinpoint the exact location of the leak as it is hard work to break through a slab and you don’t want to do it more times than needed.
Because accessing the damaged areas can be costly and often times insurance companies push for cheaper or alternative subpar repairs to avoid paying for tearing out and replacing of concrete slabs and floors to repair the issue. Foundation leaks can compromise the structure of your home and lead to structural as well as cosmetic repairs.
In the past, mold damage claims were covered under most property insurance when it resulted from a covered peril, such as a sudden plumbing leak, fire control, storm or other cause covered by your property insurance policy.
Concerns have increased due to public awareness and scientific knowledge about mold and its health related hazards. The clean-up, removal and remediation techniques are costly and hazardous to the person completing them. In response to the public concerns, insurance carriers are removing such coverage from their policy forms regardless if it results from a covered peril. In some instances, the insurance companies offer a limited coverage for mold/fungus for an additional premium.
Mold contamination should be taken very seriously as it can cause severe illness to some people and considerable damage to property. Before the changes to exclude mold coverage from policies the carrier quickly minimized the impact of mold often suggesting a little bleach as a solution. Insurance company representatives often quote the policy exclusions for mold even when coverage may exist for your mold damage.
Flood damage is different than water damage. The NFIP or National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as a temporary condition when ground waters rise up over two acres or when two neighboring properties are inundated with water. Standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program – NFIP (888-379-9531) and from a few private insurers.
Flood losses are often extremely destructive in the amount of damage caused by the intrusion of groundwater or black water into a property. They are handled with very strict guidelines according to the NFIP policy and regulatory bulletins. Navigating the flood claim process and arriving at a fair settlement can be extremely challenging. There are very specific and strict timeline requirements and post-obligations you as the insured must meet. If you have experienced a flood loss, please contact us immediately for your free claim consultation.
There are many things NOT covered under the NFIP standard flood policy. Damage that exceeds the policy limits or is clearly excluded in the clear unambiguous policy wording. Many home policies have special wording that gives you extra dwelling coverage under certain conditions. This wording will be found in an “extended replacement” or “guaranteed replacement” clause. NFIP policies do not have this wording. Your limits will be exactly as stated on the declaration page. Basements, decks, pools, walkways, trees, shrubs are not covered. A basement is defined as any area of a building, including any sunken room or portion of a room having its floor below ground level on all sides. Also, additional expenses like temporary rent and other costs you incur due to losing the use of your home are not covered under NFIP policies.
If you have experienced a flood loss, have questions about your flood claim, or just need answers to your situation, please call us today for your FREE CONSULTATION.