On February 18, 2009, the insured suffered a large water damage loss to her beautiful waterfront home in Key West, Florida. After trying unsuccessfully to deal with her insurance company, the insured consulted with and retained the services of Public Adjuster Ed Collier. Investigation showed the cause of this water damage claim was a failed plumbing connection under her kitchen sink. Despite statements from an experienced and certified plumber, an architect/general contractor, an experienced handy man, the two tenants who had been living at the property and the insured herself, all indicating that this was a recent water loss event, Citizens Insurance denied the claim. The primary reason given for denying the claim was due to policy language that stated “constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water or steam, or presence of condensation or humidity, moisture or vapor; which occurs over a period of 14 or more days, whether hidden or not
.” All evidence indicated this was a recent event, including no evidence of any rotten wood pieces. While there was some mold growth, research into this matter showed that mold can grow in as little as 24 hours. An impasse was declared at mediation and thus with our recommendation, our client engaged legal counsel and a law suit was filed. A compromised settlement was reached post suit and the carrier ended up paying $22,000 for water damage plus $11,000 for attorney fees and costs. The insured was kind enough to send Ed a nice note stating “Thank you for all your help
.” No problem, it is these types of claims that makes our profession so fulfilling.