On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Policyholder Question – Something is very stinky with this adjuster’s position on sewer back-up insurance claim

Policyholder Question – Something is very stinky with this adjuster’s position on sewer back-up insurance claim

Q. We moved into our new house and within a few weeks, the sewer backed up into the shower and leaked out of the shower pan all over the downstairs area (very stinky!). Everyone agrees this is considered a "Category 3" leak. Remediation company came and took out the tile, flooring, a lot of drywall and dried everything out. Insurance company has no problem paying them for everything they did (they seem to work together a lot). Insurance adjuster is saying that the tile and shower pan are part of the plumbing and are not covered, but is saying that they will pay for the cement board behind the tile in the shower. They are also only planning to pay an amount roughly equal to the cost of the remediation for reconstruction (which is roughly equal to the estimate from the remediation company....because they provide reconstruction services as well). It seems ludicrous that reconstruction would cost the same as remediation. To rip stuff out and dry it out is a lower level of skill and doesn't require any materials.....but the adjuster is saying we are lucky that he is covering what he is covering. The remediation company isn't even available to do the job. We have 3 bids from other quality contractors that actually have availability and they are double the price.

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The Dreaded “S” Word – Sewage Backup Insurance Claims

The Dreaded “S” Word – Sewage Backup Insurance Claims

Sewage backup is damage public adjusters deal with more than I would like to admit. Without going into a lot of detail regarding the legal cases, (depending on the wording of the policy in question) if the backup is on the insured side of the property line or actually in a plumbing pipe on the premises, coverage for these losses should be covered under an all risk policy. Why all the litigation and confusion in the first place?  It would seem pretty basic that these losses would be covered as they clearly meet the insurance test of a sudden, accidental and an unintended event. A recent media story Home Flooded With Neighbors Sewage During Irma, regarding a client we represented highlights the problem.

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Panhandle Flooding and the “S” word…Sewage Back-up Insurance Claims. Are you covered?

Sewage backup is damage public adjusters deal with more than I would like to admit. A recent published appellant court case in Florida http://www.3dca.flcourts.org/Opinions/3D11-3277.pdf addresses the confusion surrounding insurance coverage for water and sewer losses in today’s all risk homeowners insurance policies. If you take the time to read this case, you will note this issue has been litigated not only in Florida but other states as well.  It seems the insurance industry either does not understand the issues or haven’t been following the case law as we continue to see water and sewer claims denied on a regular basis.  Without going into a lot of detail regarding the legal cases, depending on the wording of the policy in question, if the backup is on the insured side of the property line or actually in a plumbing pipe on the premises, coverage for these losses should be covered under an all risk policy. Why all the litigation and confusion in the first place?  It would seem pretty basic that these losses would be covered as they clearly meet the insurance test of a sudden, accidental and an unintended event.

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Florida Panhandle Flood Victims without Flood Insurance Still Have Options

Watching some of the video clips posted on the Pensacola News Journal website that shows the extensive flood damage in Pensacola, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach and surrounding areas, I was reminded of the thousands of homes flooded in Super Storm Sandy and the insurance claims that ensued. The one common denominator both events share is the large amount of debris piled up in the front yards of neighborhoods. Those piles of personal property, drywall and other interior building components are the tell-tale signs of flood damage.  Looking at the homes and buildings from the street or from the air in a lot of cases would not reveal the extent of damage as roofs, windows, and exterior building cladding were still intact.

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