Property damage can be very frustrating, but a denied claim from your once trusted insurance company can be calamitous. Water damage is statically the second most severe of all property damage claims, right behind fire and smoke damage. Water damage can come as a result of a leaking roof, a pipe burst in your home or even due to external factors such as storm or flood. The cause and extent of the water damage needs to be clearly defined, as your insurance policy may not cover all types of water damage. Many insurance providers have steadily declined coverage on water damage claims over the years. From a sewage incident to a natural disaster to neglect, water damage can come as a result of many occasions, and fast.
One key differentiation in these insurance claim cases is between water damage and flood damage. A typical homeowner insurance policy will specifically dictate that water which causes damage to a home prior to coming into contact with the ground is not to be considered flood water. If the damage is in fact considered to be as a direct result of flood water, you should then consult your flood insurance policy. Flood damage can be appropriately defined as damage directly caused by water that has previously been on the ground. Certain areas in the United States are more prone to flooding than others and may require a flood insurance policy to be purchased, but not all.
At the first sign of water damage, it is important to initiate any feasible emergency mitigations possible to your property. Consider exercising your option of hiring your own private expert to evaluate your water damage claim. Water or flood damage can leave homes vulnerable to even further damage, resulting in things such as weakened walls, doors, windows, appliances and other types of structural damage. If theft, explosions, or fire, etc. occur as a result of water damage, these subsequent damages may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance even if the initial disaster is not. However, any damage that is directly caused by the water may not be covered. Determination of coverage may be assessed by a representative.
Additional problems to be aware of that can come as a result of water damage, are mold and decay.
Another possible build up following any type of water damage, that can cause harm to the home as well as its residents, is mold. Mold can lead to health problems, including but not limited to: respiratory infections, bronchitis, and asthma. Because mold is directly caused by moisture, again it is vital to make repairs as soon as possible following water damage as a preventative measure. Mold damages typically require laboratory testing to identify the best course of action to remedy the particular type of mold. Mold damage may be either covered by your flood insurance policy or by your homeowner’s insurance policy, although this is not always the case.
Decay can be defined as the decomposition or decline in excellence of an object. Decay is commonly found in wood, also referred to as wood rot, which serves as a basis for many properties. Decay has the possibility of attracting insects such as termites and carpenter ants, and is ultimately covered by fungi. Untreated, mold and decay can cause irreversible damage.
As a policyholder, you expect your insurance company to maintain honesty with you, as well as ensuring your full understanding of what types of damage are covered under your insurance policy. If you as a homeowner file a claim with your insurance company, under the pretenses that the water or flood damage you have experienced is covered, and the claim is denied, the insurance company may be at fault for misleading you.
Ice Dams and Roof Collapse
The weight of ice and snow in northern regions can cause a roof to become damaged or even collapse. The water content of snow can vary but ice is often completely made of water; therefore, it is very heavy as one inch of water weighs 5.2 pounds per square foot. As it accumulates on rooftops, the weight of snow and ice can certainly damage and in some cases, destroy a roof.
Ice damming is a second damaging event that is caused when the warm air that is circulated in a house meets the ice and snow on a roof, then causing the bottom layer to melt. The water then flows to the edge of the roof, which is typically poorly supported by the structure, and there isn’t warm air underneath it. This water builds and freezes at the edge of the roof and the continued water flow will build up and work its way under shingles. This often causes shingles to be dislocated and water can work its way through the ceiling and into homes.
The highly professional firm of Merlin Law Group is one of very few that solely focuses on property insurance law and bad faith claims. Representing home owners, business property owners, condominium associations and more, the Merlin Law Group pledges to ethically, diligently and efficiently represent their clients. If your water damage insurance claim is underpaid, delayed or denied, please contact Merlin Law Group for a free consultation.