Policyholder Question: Shower Pan Leak Claim – Is it Covered?
Here is an insurance claim question that we recently were asked to weigh in on as a contributing member of insurance claim experts for United Policyholders who advocates for property owners.
Q. My shower pan or the drain was leaking slowly. I had a piece of carpet over the carpet at the door of the shower and did not realize it. There is mold through to the sub floor under the pan and the carpeted area which we can see on the ceiling under the shower in the basement. I have Total Protect homeowners. They said it was not the plumbing so will not pay. My regular home insurance is with Allstate. Their representative told me they never pay for a pan leak even if it is the drain or pan itself. I pay for all of this insurance and then they refuse to accept responsibility. What do I do?
A. I disagree with the insurance company’s response to you. It has been my experience that a lot of homeowner insurance companies will pay for this type of loss. However, insurance companies often have different types of coverage forms so you or someone who understands the forms will need to review your policy carefully. In fact, shower pan losses in general are a common occurrence and are related to a plumbing issue, i.e., a shower pan failure. Most likely the insurance company will not pay for the actual shower pan itself, but will pay for the tear out and replacement of building items to get to the shower pan. The exception to this is if the damages were obvious to you and you did nothing to fix or prevent further damage. Otherwise the date of loss is when you first discovered the damage. Since the leak was likely sudden when it occurred, it falls within an insurance requirement that a covered claim must be sudden, accidental, and unintended. If the company will not reconsider their denial, then write a letter (certified mail) to the Vice President of Claims asking for that person to provide you in writing where it states in the policy or the law in your state that supports their opinion that your loss is not covered. Also ask for a copy of their claim manual that explains how they handle shower pan (plumbing) losses.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.