Recently, an insurance claim was filed for damage to the inner wall, wooden floor, and even a part of the carpet in a residential house due to a plumbing pipe burst. The claimant, however, received an unfortunate notice after a visit by the insurance company inspector that stated that this claim fell under a category that did not qualify for any compensation.
The disappointed homeowner asked our company if we could take his case. After listening to his detailed story, I realized that this incident occurred due to ignorance of basic common sense regarding insurance compensation. The estimated compensation amount was about $20,000. If he had received the compensation, it would have allowed him to receive about $20,000 in repair cost after deductibles to fix his house with new pipes.
In the case of this house, within the past year and a half, the water pipes inside the house burst in four different places on four different occasions. When the insurance inspector came out for the first time to inspect the damage, he saw traces of partial repair that had already taken place to plaster walls in two or three places in other rooms; however, the partial repair had not been completed and the walls were left unpainted. As a result, the insurance company denied the claim, applying a clause in the insurance agreement regarding old and worn out construction materials being left alone.
There is no correct answer as to what is considered old and worn out, but the insurance company concluded that, in this case, it was obvious and thus the claim was denied.
In the case of this house, they should have either made a claim when a pipe first burst or they should have properly repaired it. This is a sad case the pipe burst again during a time when the home owner was collecting the expenditures in order to replace all the plumbing pipes.
Using this as an example, homeowners should make sure they do not take a loss in an insurance claim.
Jung Park, PA
Excel Public Adjuster