Recently, you discovered that water has been leaking in an upstairs window. It has caused some severe damage to the sill, the wall, and the floor underneath. You might be asking yourself, “Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from leaking windows?” The answer depends a lot on your coverage. If you file a claim and it is denied, you can appeal the decision with the help of an attorney.
Whether or not your leaky window is covered depends on your policy terms. This may not be the answer you want to hear, but every homeowners insurance policy is different. Therefore, it is essential to take time after receiving your agent’s full policy to sit down and read it over very carefully. You can even use a highlighter to indicate where you have questions about your policy.
Did you know that it is common practice for insurance companies to use vague, unclear, and ambiguous language intended to confuse you purposely? An attorney that works in disaster recovery understands this is how insurance companies try to avoid paying for claims that should be covered. Most consumers expect their insurance company to be fair, cover their claims, deliver on time, and fulfill their contract. It isn’t always so easy.
Water Damage Is Usually Covered
Generally speaking, water damage is usually covered under a homeowner’s policy, but it depends on the water’s source. You are probably wondering why that would matter, but for the insurance adjuster, it does. The water source is a concern for the insurance company because most home insurance policies do not cover flood damage to homes.
If your home is damaged due to a natural disaster like a flood, you need to contact your government flood insurance program. In some areas prone to flooding or in zones where floods are recurring, you are required to buy insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can check with this agency to determine your home’s risk.
Florida Supreme Court Says No to Tricky Language Tactics
Insurance is like any other type of business contract. You are paying a company for a service or relief if some tragic event, natural disaster, accident, or damage occurs. You are meeting your obligation to this contract by paying your monthly premium. When something happens, you expect the insurance company to meet its obligations.
When working with their providers, people often experience delays, denials, and frustration. Agents often point out areas of the policy that state there is lesser coverage in certain instances or no coverage in the case of water damage. The language throughout the policy is often labor-intensive to read and confusing, and often words are ambiguous or have double meanings. Policies are written this way intentionally to deny claims.
The Florida Supreme Court has decided with the policyholders. They ruled that in cases where the insurance company uses vague or ambiguous language and attempts to deny a claim, the courts will rule in favor of the policyholder. In the case of water damage, it shouldn’t be an automatic denial. There are many ways water can damage a home that is not flood-related.
Common Non-Flood Related Water Damage
Common ways that water can get into your home and cause damage without a flood are extensive. A broken window or sill that has loosened can cause water damage from a window. Water can get into your home and cause damage from a leaky roof, a burst pipe, a sewer backup, or even a broken appliance. If it is not related to a flood, it should be covered.
If your insurance company is stalling, let them know you are aware of their tactics. Tell them that you know floods are not covered, but this is not flood-related damage. You expect them to honor your contract with them. If they don’t budge, then you may need to file an appeal with a disaster recovery attorney.
Who Do I Call If My Insurance Company Denies a Valid Water Damage Claim?
If you have filed a claim with your insurance provider for water damage and it has been denied, you can appeal the decision. Contact the offices of GED Lawyers for advice on your next steps to fighting back. GED Lawyers has worked with Florida residents to help them through many disasters and recover their claims.
GED Lawyers can help demonstrate that your non-flood-related water damage should be covered when you need a fair settlement. If your insurance offers you the compensation that does not correctly cover the repairs, you can stand up to them with the help of a disaster relief attorney.