Homeownership comes with maintenance issues and one of the most unpleasant and expensive homeowner issues Floridians deal with involve damage caused by water leaks. When a leak is discovered, the first question people have is whether their homeowners’ insurance policy covers it.
Unfortunately, the answer in many cases is “no”. If you have a leak that you believe should be covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy, and you are concerned the insurance company will exclude coverage, it is important for you to seek assistance from experienced Broward County property damage lawyers as soon as possible.
Short-Term Leaks vs. Long-Term Leaks
Most homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage for leaks that are discovered and remediated right away, but exclude coverage for damages which result from longer-term, gradual exposure to leaks.
This can be true when the insured knew the leak was present and did nothing about it, but insurers will also contest paying for long term leaks in situations where it honestly took a long time for the homeowner to notice it, particularly if the leak is hidden behind drywall, above ceilings or below floors.
A Limited Exception
In South Florida, many residents only live in their homes for part of the year. It might be that they live in the North during the warmer months, or maybe they are retired and travel for several months per year. Whatever the reason, residing in the home only part of the year can lead a homeowner to be unware of a leak when it first occurs. When leaks occur in a place where it is difficult to notice, it may take quite a while before it is discovered.
Under these circumstances, it cannot be said that you should have discovered a leak sooner. This does not mean that your insurance company will automatically agree to provide coverage, but this is one of the few limited scenarios possible to bring the claim outside of the exclusion. However, many insurance companies limit or deny coverage based upon a home owner’s pattern of being absent from the home for extended periods of time.
Call Saavedra Goodwin
If the insurance company denies your claim and states the leak was a long term leak, our seasoned insurance claims attorneys can work with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement. Long-term leak disputes are very complex, and the best bet is to be diligent in looking for leaks.
It is a good idea to have a proxy to look after your property if you are away for extended periods of time. Anything you can do to avoid a leak in the first place is the best course of action. However, if you are in a situation and the leak has already occurred, and the insurance company is disputing coverage, call the experienced insurance claim attorneys at Saavedra Goodwin at (954) 767-6333 or use our convenient online contact form.