Broken water pipe inside house in Tampa

Tampa Water Damage Lawyer

Has your insurance company denied your claim for damage caused by a sudden water loss from plumbing, an overflow, an appliance water line or something else?  Has your insurance company tried to tell you that there is only $10,000.00 coverage and you have to come up with the rest of the money to fix your home? Don’t just believe what the insurance company tells you.  Get a free claims review. Depending on your policy language, you may have coverage that is not limited to $10,000.00 and the insurance company should pay to fix your home.

Whether or not your insurance policy will cover the damage due to a water depends on the language.  Policies typically will cover a sudden and accidental loss. Policies however typically try to exclude losses that happen over time with the following language:

Constant Or Repeated Seepage or Leakage of water or steam, or the presence or condensation of humidity, moisture or vapor; which occurs over a period of 

14 or more days, whether hidden or not.

You policy may also have the following language:

(9)  Constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water or the presence or condensation of humidity, moisture or vapor, over a period of weeks, months or years; unless

(a)  Such seepage or leakage of water or the presence or condensation of humidity, moisture or vapor and the resulting damage is unknown to all insureds, and

(b) is hidden within the walls or ceilings or beneath the floors or above the ceilings of a structure.

It is important to read your policy language because not all policies are the same.  Most policies won’t provide coverage in general if the leak has been happening for weeks, months or years.  However, if the leak was recently discovered and appears to be recent, you likely have coverage. Also, if the leak is hidden and as soon as you notice it you call in a claim, it will likely be covered.

You have a duty to lessen your damage so be sure to start to dry out the water immediately and call your insurance company.  There are companies that will assist you in drying out your home but be careful. Many of these companies want an assignment of benefits also know as “AOB”.  A recent Florida Statute changed AOBs significantly. Florida Statute Section 627.7152 changes assignments here in Florida entered into after July 1, 2019 for contractors and emergency service companies.  The following are several things consumers should know about assignments under this new statute:

-the assignment must contain a provision that allows the homeowner the right to rescind or take back the assignment without a penalty or fee by submitting a written notice of rescission which is signed within 14 days after execution of the agreement or at least 30 days after the date the work on the property is scheduled to commence or 30 days after the agreement is signed if the agreement has no commencement date and no work has begun.

-the agreement must contain a written, itemized, per-unit cost estimate 

-the agreement can only relate to the work to be performed to protect, repair, restore, or replace the damage or to lessen or mitigate against further damage.

the agreement cannot have a penalty for cancelling or rescinding the agreement

-the agreement cannot have a check or mortgage processing fee or administrative fee

-if the agreement is for urgent services or under emergency circumstances to a residence, the assignment cannot be for more than $3,000.00

-the contractor cannot seek a payment greater than the deductible from the homeowner unless the homeowner agreed to additional work at their own expense.

-the contractor cannot attempt to collect money from the homeowner, file suit, claim a lien or report the insured to a credit agency for payments arising from the assignment.

you are responsible for payment of the deductible

If you have a water damage claim and your insurance company has denied your claim, let Christopher Ligori & Associates review your claim and policy for free.  We can determine if we believe you have a case and if the denial of your claim was correct. If there is coverage, depending on the wording of your policy, there may be coverage for the full repair.  If your insurance company claims that you only have $10,000.00 worth of coverage, this also may not be correct. Don’t just assume that the insurance company is telling you the truth. Find out your rights and responsibilities and then make an informed decision.  Call us at Christopher Ligori & Associates and let us review your claim for free. 

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