Water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare, causing them significant time and money to clean up standing water, replace damaged flooring and investigate mold remediation. Most homeowners believe that their homeowners insurance policy will pay for the damage and related cleaning costs. If the claim is denied, it can leave the homeowner wondering what to do next.
Types of damage and coverage
There are several types of water damage that can occur in a home. These include flooding from natural disasters, sewage backups, sudden water discharges, overflows and gradual damage.
The coverage depends on what is written in the insurance policy. For example, the insurance policy may state that water damage that occurs over time is not covered. These claims may be denied, even when the plumbing leaks behind a wall over many months or years and the homeowner is not aware of it.
On the other hand, a pipe that breaks suddenly may be covered. This lack of consistency in coverage can often leave homeowners frustrated when their claim is denied.
If the insurance company denies the claim, the homeowner can ask for an explanation of the denial in writing. There may be an opportunity to appeal the decision as well.
It may also be helpful to have a contractor or other licensed professional assess the damage and provide a second opinion. In addition, it’s always a good idea to retain repair and maintenance records.
If a homeowner believes that his or her insurance claim was denied incorrectly, an experienced attorney can provide representation and advice.