It’s easy to underestimate the destructive power of water, but even a small leak can cause severe damage if left unaddressed. Unfortunately, just because you have homeowner’s insurance doesn’t mean your policy will cover your losses.
Whether or not your insurance company will cover your repairs ultimately depends on the language of your policy. For example, if you purchased a standard HO3 insurance policy, it should pay for damage resulting from a burst pipe, but it might not cover flood damage. That means if the damage occurred outside your home, you will need evidence to prove that it was caused by a “covered peril.”
If your home sustained water damage but your insurance company refused to cover your losses or offered an unfair payout, contact my office to discuss your situation. I will evaluate your policy, answer your questions, and help you enforce your rights. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free initial consultation with a Fort Lauderdale insurance lawyer from Leader & Leader P.A.
7 Signs of Leaky Pipes and What to Do If Your Home Sustained Water Damage
Stopping a pipe leak early could be the difference between a few superficial repairs and a major restoration project. If you notice any of the following signs of a leaky pipe, be sure to contact a water-damage remediation specialist as soon as possible:
- High water bills;
- Sagging or stained walls;
- Ceiling stains;
- Rusty appliances, pipes, or fuse box;
- Damaged flooring;
- Mildew or mold growth; or
- A musty smell, which may be indicative of mold growth.
If your home sustained water damage, it is essential that you take steps to give your homeowner’s insurance claim the most favorable chance of success. Before you even talk to your insurance company, call my office at 954-523-2020. Your insurance provider has financial incentive to find reasons to deny and undervalue your claim, and I will help you avoid making misguided statements that would harm your claim.
Here are a few tips that will strengthen your claim’s chance of success:
- Review your policy carefully so you know your obligations as policyholder;
- If there was a witness, make sure you know how to contact them in case you need them to support your claim;
- Always communicate in writing so there’s a paper trail in case your claim is mishandled;
- Consider consulting an attorney that focues their practice of insurance claims before giving any recorded or sworn statements;
- Keep all receipts, invoices, and other documentation of damages;
- Create a detailed list of all your damaged items;
- Gather records of previous maintenance work and inspections of your home;
- Keep notes of any calls and conversations regarding your damages, claim and/or with your insurance company or its representative in case there is the need for litigation. Document who you spoke to (get as much identifying information about them as you can such as first and last name or first name and some id number or some other manner to identify who they are);
- Keep a folder/file with all documentation, photos, receipts, letters, invoices, estimates, etc.; and
- Do not sign any release if you are not obligated to do so and consult a qualified lawyer in the area of property insurance claims before signing anything!
If your home sustained water damage and you want to do everything in your power to enforce your rights, contact my office to discuss your case. If your claim has already been undervalued or denied, I will assess your policy and any correspondence with your insurance company to determine if you may have been a victim of an improper denial, an under payment, lack of benefits due being afforded to you or insurance bad faith. Call 954-523-2020 to schedule a free consultation with an insurance claims attorney in Fort Lauderdale.