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Causes of Water Damage Are Important in Determining Insurance Coverage for Condos

Did you know that the cause of water damage to your condo could be just as important—if not more important—to your insurance claim as the type of losses you suffered? Flood and water-damage claims are often confusing for policyholders because it isn’t always clear how damage is covered under the policies they hold. Flood policies are often separate from general policies, and damages from some sources may be covered under one policy or another depending on the details.

For condo owners and associations, the confusion associated with water-damage claims is compounded by questions of differing responsibility for losses, which might fall under a particular policy held by one of a number of parties. This makes the initial cause of water damage a major factor for policyholders in the insurance-claims process that follows.

Different Coverage for Water Damage to Condominiums Depending on the Cause of the Loss Event

Policies held by the individual unit owners or the condominium association may provide wildly different coverage depending on how the damage was caused. Condominium policyholders will need to pay careful attention to how their losses might be covered under the policies they carry when water damage is caused by certain events, such as:

  • Floods and heavy rains
  • Sewage backups and line breaks
  • Broken windows or siding
  • Roofing leaks
  • Foundation issues
  • Leaking air-conditioning units, washing machines, and fixtures

Additionally, water damage from a single source can affect multiple units and common areas in a complex, which further complicates questions of responsibility.

Insurance Companies Sometimes Fight Responsibility for Condo Water Damage

While all of the above issues can create challenges after a flooding event, some of the biggest challenges that condo policyholders face are created by the insurance companies they depend on to pay their claims. To protect their own bottom lines, insurance companies may take steps to limit legitimate condo claims or take any opportunity to delay the process and make excuses for denying coverage. In some cases, adjusters may take advantage of the confusion to justify underpaying or delaying claims.

If you represent a condominium association, or if you are unit owner, you can get help with difficult water-damage claims by reaching out for legal guidance. An experienced policyholder attorney can help you sort through complex layers of responsibility, document damages, and maximize your recovery. For more information, start a live chat with our team today, or contact us directly by phone.


Join The Conversation
John 01/23/2016 10:16 PM
We have a condo in Hawaii that was unoccupied for four months. When we arrived there was extensive water and mold damage to the entire unit due to a rupture in a sink supply line (owner responsibility). The HOA called in a water mitigation company that worked for weeks including mold remediation. The water mitigation company had me sign for the completion of the work after four weeks when the HOA said we were responsible for all expenses after the master policy denied the claim. Our HO-6 policy has not given a decision. The HOA authorized removal of the drywall and carpets initially and now say that they have no responsibility? Doesn't the HOA have some responsibility or is it totally my burden as the loss originated in my unit? Isn't this considered a casualty? But excluded due to more than 14 day leakage?
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