One of the most overwhelming things that can happen to a property owner is to be unprepared for potential property damage and to discover that the cause is not covered by their insurance policy.
Water damage caused by seepage is the leading cause of non-weather-related property owner’s insurance claims in the state of Florida. Because, water damage coverage has evolved dramatically over time, and insurance companies handle these claims differently, it is important to be familiar with your policy.
Here are some helpful facts to guide you as you evaluate your coverage.
Seepage Coverage Explained
In the context of property insurance, seepage refers to water damage that develops over time as a result of a slow leak of water. Often times, this is discovered to be due to a broken pipe in a wall or floor. Seepage may not seem like a huge issue, as compared to flooding or other natural disasters, but a slow leak over time can create significant damage that may be difficult to remediate.
What is not covered?
You should educate yourself on the risks of water damage to your property and understand the different categories of damage. For example, a leaky pipe or other damage caused by a lack of maintenance is not covered in your property insurance policy. Insurance companies consider seepage to be the result of a lack of maintenance rather than a sudden and accidental event.
A simple definition to remember is … damage due to lack of maintenance, neglect or wear and tear, as well as flood-related damage, are not covered by your property insurance policy.
What is covered?
Water damage caused from a leak within your property is covered such as a sudden and unintentional discharge from a broken pipe, accidental overflow, air conditioner leak, or water damage caused from a windstorm or hurricane.
Water Damage Risk
Most seepage risk can be avoided with regular property care and routine checks of the plumbing and HVAC system and keep an eye on your entire property for damp spots on walls or flooring.
Early detection of a broken or leaking pipe can help to limit the extent of the damage. You may not even need to file a property damage insurance claim if you identify these minor problems right away.
If you have a leak and it is hidden and unknown but continues for days, weeks or even months, and you sustain significant damage to your property, the damage may or may not be covered. Some policies have wording that excludes damage that is unknown whether it is hidden or not.
What to Do if You Discover Water Damage
If you discover water damage, it is important to stop the leak and prevent your property from further damage. There is a difference between flood and water damage. Flood water enters the property from the exterior inward, where water damage originates from within the property.
You should review and understand your insurance coverage to verify that your property is properly insured. You can also schedule a free consultation with Reliant Insurance Adjusters to walk you through your policy and coverage.
If your property has sustained damage, or your insurance claim has been underpaid or denied, call us today. We are experienced, licensed, and bonded public adjusters who work for you, not the insurance company. We are here to help. Call us at (561) 288-6434 or contact us here.
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