Many homeowners insurance policies cover far more plumbing-related issues than a homeowner might think (or an insurance company might let on).
At Sunshine State Law Firm, cast iron pipe claims are one of the most denied by insurance companies. But this doesn’t mean you have to pay for everything out of your own pocket.
If your home has suffered water damage, it is very important that your potential claim be reviewed by an expert so that you do not give up coverage to which you are entitled, and for which you paid.
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Cast Iron Pipes: Hidden Danger
Cast iron pipes, common in Florida houses built before 1975, have not well served the houses in which they were placed.
Cast iron rusts, leaks, and other forms of pipe deterioration over time. We have seen many houses in which cast iron pipes have deteriorated or completely broken down. This can result in plumbing issues ranging from slow drainage to complete failure of the plumbing system.
These plumbing problems will lead to physical damage to your home. Even in cases in which obvious damage seems slight, if left unchecked it will likely grow worse over time.
Pipe Damage Claims
Plumbing problems do not fix themselves.
In fact, the more delay that there is in reporting a water damage claim, the more likely it is that the insurance company will try to argue the damage isn’t covered, or that the homeowners failed to keep their end of the bargain by not quickly acting to notify the insurer and limit their damage.
In order to have a claim, two things need to happen. First, there needs to be an event that you can identify, such as a toilet overflow, backup, or water intrusion.
Second, there must be damage to your home that resulted from the event. The damage does not need to be catastrophic; it merely needs to involve physical harm caused to something that reduces its value, usefulness, or normal function.
Sometimes an insurance company will deny a claim outright or accept a claim but offer far less money than the claim is worth. Sometimes they will sit on a claim without making a decision, perhaps in the hope that you will give up and leave them alone.
But accepting a reduced payment, while signing away your right to pursue justice in the courts, may leave you worse off than you were to begin with.
What Can You Do?
Most insurance policies do not provide coverage to repair failed cast iron pipes. They do, however, usually provide coverage for the cost to tear-out and repair the parts of your home necessary to access the failed plumbing system.
The cost of tear-out can run into tens of thousands of dollars, and is frequently more expensive than the actual water damage itself. Damages may also include the cost of additional living expenses if you need to move out of your home while the repair work is being done, as well as repair or replacement of any items of personal property that suffer water damage.
If you have such coverage, you should not fail to take advantage of it. Yet many insurance companies will not notify you of this. Instead, they will issue a denial as soon as they hear the words “cast iron pipe.”
If your cast iron plumbing insurance claim was denied, you don’t have to accept it. You have the right to fight back for every penny you deserve.
Our experts fight cast iron pipe cases for a living, all day, every day. Our Attorneys have an extensive background in fighting home insurance claims and is intimately familiar with the tactics the insurance company will use to try to deny your claim.
The insurance companies have an army of lawyers on their side; do not try to face them alone.
If your claim for cast iron pipe failure was denied, call us to schedule a free evaluation of your claim. You do not pay us unless we recover for you; there is no risk or obligation to giving us a call.