In Florida, failing cast iron pipes can cost you a lot of money. The damage to your home or business may be extensive—and expensive. Because of Florida’s unique climate, cast iron pipes designed to last for a century or more can fail within 25 years or less. The problems with cast iron pipes in Florida are prevalent near Miami because of its heat and humidity.
Insurance companies have vigorously opposed paying for the cost to replace and repair damage from faulty cast iron pipes. If your insurance company has denied your claim or failed to adequately cover the expenses caused by failing cast iron pipes, you have options. You can sue for failing cast iron pipes in Florida, and a cast iron pipes lawsuits lawyer can help you seek compensation for your damages.
History of Florida Cast Iron Pipe Insurance Claims
Water is never far away in South Florida. The benefit of always being near a beach or lake has a downside for home and business owners: The high temperatures and constantly damp air have led to unprecedented rates of cast iron pipe failures.
Property insurance companies don’t want to pay to reimburse their Florida clients for damage caused by leaky or burst plumbing. It is also common for them to deny claims or make lowball settlement offers that don’t come close to compensating owners for damages. The result of this is a spike in lawsuits. One Florida government official stated there were 28,000 cast iron pipe water damage lawsuits filed in 2016 alone.
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The Cost of Damage That Faulty Cast Iron Pipes Cause
A burst cast iron pipe can be a nightmare. Many South Florida homes use cast iron plumbing for water and sewage. Depending on which pipe is faulty, you may end up with a flood from above or a floor covered in filthy, unhealthy water.
Once one pipe has gone, it’s logical to want to replace all of them. You want to avoid dealing with the same headache repeatedly. However, the expense of removing cast iron pipes and installing new plumbing throughout a house averages around $15,000. Without insurance, that is a prohibitive cost for many homeowners or small businesses.
On top of replacing existing pipes, you need to repair all the water damage. This means replacing drywall, ceilings, and flooring. Mold prevention is also necessary. These expenditures can start at $5,000 and spiral, depending on the extent of the damage. If a bathroom fixture needs an upgrade, those costs can average over $3,000.
Finally, you must ensure there is no damage to your foundation. Without taking quick action, foundational damage can linger and end up crushing the building’s value in the long term. After a burst cast iron pipe, foundational mitigation and repair are typically around $4,000.
Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage From Faulty Cast Iron Pipes?
Unfortunately, insurance companies typically handle these claims by denying them. Because this issue is widespread in South Florida, insurance companies may be on the hook for huge sums. This has caused them to limit payment for cast iron pipe insurance claims.
Partly due to the threat of hurricanes, floods, and surges and partly due to the high costs of repairs, many private insurance companies limit their coverage in South Florida. Residents and business owners who can’t obtain property insurance through the market can still secure a policy with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
Even though Citizens is a nonprofit that attempts to plug a gap in the Florida property insurance market, a policy can come with strings attached. This is especially true regarding cast iron pipe insurance coverage. Because this company has such a significant presence on the Florida property insurance scene, its rules carry weight.
Citizens Insurance and Water Damage Repairs in Florida
In 2018, Citizens capped water damage repair claims at $10,000 unless a homeowner signed up and used the insurer’s Managed Repair Contractor Network to make all repairs. So, if a cast iron pipe bursts in your Florida home and you have Citizens as your insurance company, it will dictate who repairs your walls and floors. Or else it will only reimburse $10,000, no matter how extensive your water damage is.
Additionally, if you have burst pipes, you want to repair them quickly. However, if you have Citizens insurance, you need to get the company’s approval for any permanent work done within 72 hours of filing a claim.
How Our Florida Cast Iron Pipes Lawsuits Lawyer Can Help
When you work with our personal injury attorney on a failing cast iron pipes claim, you have a legal professional looking out for you and protecting your rights. GED Lawyers believes in holding insurance companies accountable to abide by the terms of your policy, and that includes covering the losses they said they would cover. We can help you challenge any bad faith claims or claim denials, or payment delays.
We can help your failing cast iron pipes case by:
- Investigate your cast iron pipes claim to determine what the issue is
- Gather evidence supporting your position that your faulty pipes claim should be covered
- Assign the fair value of your insurance claim
- Negotiate with the insurance company for fair compensation
- Handle all negotiations with the insurer and other involved parties
- File a lawsuit and fight for your financial recovery at trial
- Advise you throughout your case, explaining all applicable laws and developments
- Provide regular updates about your cast iron pipes case’s status
Our Florida cast iron pipe lawsuits attorney will give your case the personalized attention it deserves. We understand that cases differ in facts and circumstances, so we will develop a strategy that addresses the specifics of your situation. You can learn more about how our insurance bad faith attorneys can help with a failing cast iron pipes claim during a free consultation.
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Do You Have the Right to Sue When Your Florida Cast Iron Pipes Fail?
What can you do if your insurance company refuses to pay for the damage in cast iron pipe insurance claims? And how do you handle a settlement amount that falls far short of making you whole? In some instances, you can take your insurance company to court. Our Florida cast iron pipe lawsuits attorney can represent you at trial if you decide to hire legal counsel.
First, if you have water damage after cast iron pipes fail, you need to file an official claim with your insurance company. Before you can sue, you need to give your insurer the chance to do the right thing. However, insurance companies are always looking out for their own good first—not yours.
Any delays in making a claim can prevent you from proceeding with a lawsuit. Your property insurance policy has terms outlining the proper time frame for alerting the company to any issues. If your pipes suffer a total failure, this typically isn’t a problem, as you’ll file a claim as soon as possible. But if you discover minor water damage from a leaky pipe, it’s easy to ignore the issue. If you wait, you may miss your opportunity.
Contact Our Florida Cast Iron Pipes Lawsuits Lawyer Today
Because an insurance company’s first offer is never its best offer, you should avoid agreeing to any quick settlement. Once you decide to file a cast iron pipe water damage claim, the next step is to contact a lawyer who handles insurance claims or lawsuits for faulty cast iron pipes.
Experienced insurance claims attorneys can handle negotiations with insurance companies while also helping you with getting your life back to normal. Property attorneys, like those at GED Lawyers, can guide you through every stage of the process. By setting up a free consultation with our injury team, you can take the first step toward maximizing your failing cast iron pipes insurance settlement. Call us today to get started.