It is not uncommon for us to work around our homes, install shelving or hang pictures. I know that I have almost dropped a hammer and have scrambled like an acrobat to catch it before it hit my tile flooring. Thankfully I caught the hammer, but some have not been so fortunate and the hammer hit the floor causing the floor tile to chip and/or crack.
Years ago, our insurance policies covered damage to tile floors when accidental damage occurred. Although the insurance company may have put up a fight, they ultimately gave in and paid to replace the entire tile floor which may have been continuous throughout the home. Through the years, many insurance companies got crafty with their language and placed special policy limits for flooring into our insurance policies thereby limiting the coverage:
Cosmetic and Aesthetic Damages to Floors. The total limit of liability for Coverages A and B combined is $10,000 per policy term for cosmetic and aesthetic damages to floors.
1.Cosmetic or aesthetic damage includes, but is not limited to:
d.Any other damage
to less than 5% of the total floor surface area and does not prevent typical use of the floor.
2. This limit includes the cost of tearing out and replacing any part of the building necessary to repair the damaged flooring.
When Hurricane Irma came on sure in 2017, our client sustained damage to their marble flooring when a tree fell on their home damaging the roof. An opening was thereby created allowing water to enter their home and damaging quite a bit of the home including the flooring.
What does this have to do with the above policy language? Had that opening not been created allowing the water to enter their home, their flooring damage may not have been covered. And unbeknownst to our client, their policy contained his language “any other damage” as noted above and the insurance company tried to argue this point and limit their payout on the flooring. We were able to resolve the claim favorably for our client, but that tricky wording could have certainly changed the course of their claim. I will continue to repeat myself and cannot stress enough how important it is to know and understand your insurance coverage as I wrote in a prior blog The Never Ending Erosion of Insurance Coverage – Do You Know What You Are Covered For?
Many of our clients, including past clients, call us regularly to inquire about their policies and coverage and ask our suggestions. We are always happy to assist and if you have any questions or would like us to review your policy, you contact us here.