It is very common for Policyholders to have water damage to their property due to a plumbing leak. Most if not all property owners immediately believe that they have insurance for that, many have learned this is not always the case. Just about every insurance policy is going to have some type of exclusion to protect them from ongoing leaks. It will typically read something like this:
“Constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water or steam, or the presence of condensation of humidity, moisture or vapor which occurs over a period of weeks, months or years (sometimes worded – over a period of 14 or more days).”
There is one more sentence that has been included in several different policies that is the biggest problem for many insureds. It is written directly after the above noted language and it states: “whether hidden or not.” Upon receiving a denial letter in the mail many policyholders will read the language in the letter and agree that it makes sense, however there is a lot more to it! If you have received a letter similar to this we recommend you immediately seek the assistance of a Professional Public Adjuster or Attorney to review your policy and the fact of your case.
From what we have been seeing in the field this exclusion is being abused and many times claims are being denied based solely on this exclusion when in all reality, the leak was not ongoing. We dispute these claims and almost every time the adjuster cites: “mold proves that this was ongoing for at least 15 days”. To put it simply that is completely WRONG!
Seeing what appears to be suspected microbial growth and knowing what types of mold are present are 2 very different things. The most common mold that we see on water damage claims is Penicillium / Aspergillus and this type of mold can begin growing within the first 24-48 hours of water damage given the right conditions and can continue to germinate long after the water source has stopped which is why proper water extraction and dry out is so important during water losses.
Many times the insurance companies deny the claim based on an adjusters observations and other times they will send out their “experts” to evaluate the loss. Either way you do not have to take their word for it. You have the right to hire your own experts and representatives to make sure that you are being treated fairly. Our Public Adjusters have successfully handled many of these types of claims, call 800-801-2099 for a complimentary claim consultation .