Was Your Water Damage Claim Denied Due To One Clause?
Water damage is a very common insurance claim for property owners. In fact, according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), water damage claims affect one out of every 50 homeowners each year. That makes water damage claims second only to wind and hail damages.Most policyholders believe that their insurance policy covers water damage due to a water leak. Unfortunately, many find out too late that their policy will not cover the damage.
Is Water Damage a Covered Peril?
The answer is not as straightforward as many homeowners believe. In fact, it depends on several factors, including:
The source of the damage: Did the water originate inside or outside the home? If the water damage comes from inside the home, such as due to a broken water pipe or leaking washer, the policy likely covers the damage. On the other hand, if it comes from outside the home, such as during a flood, the homeowners policy does not cover the damage. Instead, the homeowner must have flood insurance.
Roof leaks: If water from outside comes in through a roof leak, water damage may be covered, but only if the roof leak is due to a storm, lightning, or tree/branches falling on the roof. Leaks due to a roof in disrepair are not covered.
Timing of the leak: Most policies protect homeowners against sudden and accidental damage, but do not protect you against gradual damage. In other words, if your washing machine overflows, you should be covered. If the washing machine hose has been leaking for six months, and you didn’t take preventative measures to take care of the issue, you may not be covered.
The Clause to Understand
Most homeowner’s insurance policies contain exclusions for ongoing leaks. Although the wording is different in each policy, your policy may contain phrases like:
Constant or repeated seepage of water
Constant or repeated leakage of water
Presence of vapor, moisture, or humidity
Occurrence over a period of time (weeks, months, years)
Occurrence over a period of 14 or more days
Whether hidden or not
These words allow an insurance company to deny a claim.
Can a Public Adjuster Help?
If you have received a denial letter for a water damage claim, especially if the denial is due to an exclusion clause, a public adjuster like Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC may be able to help. Here is what we can do:
Help determine a timeline for the leak
Or prove that it is not possible to determine whether the leak was sudden or ongoing. If this is the case, the insurer may have to pay.
Determining the type of mold growth that is present. Different molds begin to grow immediately, so the presence of mold growth doesn’t automatically suggest a long-term water leak issue.
Provide expert proof to counterbalance insurance adjuster observations or experts provided by the insurance company. It makes sense to hire someone who has your best interests in mind.
If you receive a denial, you should always seek a second opinion. As a homeowner, you have the right to hire experts to make sure you get the claim payout you deserve. Call Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC today. We have helped many Florida residents with their water damage claim denials and want to do the same for you.
Lee Anderson has been a Florida resident for 60 years and is proud to be a small business owner able to serve those in his home state. He has worked in several areas of the insurance industry since 1988 including Life, Health, General Lines Property & Casualty and has been a Public Adjuster since 2008. He is a consummate professional who cares and enjoys educating the communities he serves. He strives for superior customer service and satisfaction. His clients are not just clients; they’re family.