Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision
Several years ago, we started seeing property insurance policies with new very restrictive language that attempted to exclude water losses based on the subjective opinion of some as to when the water loss occurred and caused damages. It was my opinion that this 14 day limitation would be very bad for folks in Florida, as well as snowbirds who own property and only reside here six or so months a year.
Let’s get real: The intent of this change was to deny coverage for any water loss that was reported and in the opinion of an adjuster or others working for the insurance company was 14 days or older. So when we started seeing this written into policies, my question was; What about the first 13 days? No one could give me an answer to this due to the fact that it is very difficult to date water damage to building material as well as contents and other items in a home damaged by water.
So now we have a Florida Appellate Court case that found this policy exclusion was ambiguous. This matter has now been kicked back to the lower court to try and determine how much damage actually occurred in the first 13 days. Good luck with that! A better opinion would be to recommend this “stupid” exclusion be taken out of all Florida homeowners policies.
As for the court’s decision which can be viewed below, my view is that this is a huge win for the policyholder. Let us know what you think!
Thanks to the Butler Law firm for posting this case: FLORIDA COURT RULES AGAINST INSURER ON SEEPAGE/LEAKAGE EXCLUSION