On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Policyholder Question: What’s Covered in a Pipe Leak Water Damage Claim?

Q. I have filed a claim for water damage to my living room. The adjuster provided details of coverage prior to mitigation, for $1, 762.68 including my $1,000 deductible; for which I paid. The mitigation folks provided another estimate of an additional $6,000 to my insurance adjuster. This was their estimate once they opened up the wall where the water was causing damage. Two major findings, once they opened up the wall: 1) they discovered a pipe leak 2) two beams are termite infested! Neither are covered under my insurance (Nationwide)! The company that came in to do the recovery completed the cleaning, disinfecting, and drying out process. However, they informed me that they would not replace the wood beams that are damaged by termites. I paid for the restoration of the pipe out-of-pocket but cannot afford to pay anymore additional repairs. I explained this to them; to which they replied, "you can cash out and get another estimate." I told them that I needed to get further guidance. They said they would get back to me and left. I have not heard from them, and now I have one wall and part of the floor in my living room exposed. What are my options?Read More

Broken Water Pipes from the Big Freeze “Polar Vortex” What a National Mess!

Broken Water Pipes from the Big Freeze “Polar Vortex” What a National Mess!

Yesterday, I was on a flight to sunny South Florida to meet with a client, and ran into a large loss adjuster who works for one of the major insurance carriers heading the same way. When you meet a fellow adjuster or colleagues who are in the business, usually the first question is to ask if you are busy. This seasoned adjuster side tells me the claims are rolling in from the areas that were affected in the big freeze caused by the “polar vortex” last week. It seems his company is so overwhelmed, that they have staffed call centers with independent adjusters just to handle the call volume.

 

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Policyholder Question: Water Damage Claim and the Restoration Company’s Cleanup Bill, Who Pays & How Do You Get It Paid?

Q. I had water damage in my house due to an over flowing toilet. My insurance company said it would pay $8,000 to the restoration company that did the clean-up. The problem is that the restoration company who did the water extraction sent me a bill for $36,000. The insurance company sent me a check for $8,050.  Should I mediate or go the appraisal route?Read More

Water Losses and Your Home Insurance…. Are You “Really” Covered?

Water Losses and Your Home Insurance…. Are You “Really” Covered?

While the national press is full of politicians pontificating about what Congress has done (as in “done in”) to tens-of-thousands of property owners in the very ill advised legislation called Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act (B.W.-12) known as the National Flood Insurance Program Reform Act, not to be outdone, the regulators and political types in Tallahassee have been busy as well.

First, a little commentary on Washington DC, and no, not the budget or government shut down.  What I am talking about is the legislation for the National Flood Insurance Program reforms that was voted on by a majority of your elected congressional officials without any debate, given that the Biggert-Waters legislation was attached to a transportation bill and thus never saw the light of day.

 

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Policyholder Question on Flooded Basement Insurance Claim

Q. The city where we live experienced a ten inch water main break that flooded our basement with 4 ft. of water. We hired a public adjuster 10 days ago. Now they are backing out saying there are limitations to what they can do. Should we go with the city's insurance? Should we find out what limitations there are with our homeowners policy?

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Policyholder Question on Ceiling Collapse Insurance Claim

Q. We own a home that was built in 1964. Last Saturday our family room ceiling collapsed. There does not appear to be any moisture. The insurance company is telling us it’s normal wear and tear, the insulation was too heavy and thus the damage is not covered. There are no cracks in the ceiling, no sagging and our home is well maintained. Any thoughts on the cause? Our roof was replaced in May of 2010.Read More

Policyholder Question on Sewer Back-up Third Party Claim

Here’s a question I was asked to answer on the United Policyholders website: 
Q. My home was contaminated by sewer on May 7 and again on May 22 this year by a prime contractor hired by a state municipality MSD Metropolitan sewer District here in Asheville North Carolina. From what I understand, this is a third-party claim. The insurance company has done absolutely nothing to help me. I have been dealing with this for the last four months with pretty much no progress until this past week. They sent their first offer on Friday which is not close to reality. Is this considered a third-party claim? I have a copy of the pollution liability policy and it does not say anything about how it will replace my contents, actual cash value or replacement cost, nor does it say anything about provisions for Additional Living Expenses. Is there a possibility that is in a different policy? I just had an environmental company do some sampling for mold and other airborne fungi to be sure this has not spread in other parts of the house because it's been so long with no cleanup and decontamination. I’d like to know if any of your professionals have experience dealing with third-party claims and sewer damage and mold contamination.Read More

Tell Them You are Going to Hire a Public Adjuster

Ran into an old friend and his wife at a restaurant we both frequent the other night. Bob is a property manager and my firm has not only represented his family but also some of the properties he has managed over the years.  I had not seen him for a few weeks and he reminded me of his call to me some weeks back about a water leak in his home. It seems the shower pan had given out and when the leak finally showed up, the damage was pretty extensive. He called his insurance agent who told him the water damage would not be covered due to the language the insurance lobbyists had recently pushed through about water damage that is over 14 days old.

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Policyholder Question on Pipe Burst, Water Leak and Mold

Q. A pipe in my attic broke which caused flooding in a down stairs hall, bedroom and bathroom. When an assessment was done, mold was found. My policy has a cap of $5,000 on mold remediation. The contractor estimates for demolition and repair that are necessary to correct water damage have been categorized as mold remediation by my insurance company.

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