Why Would a Water Damage Claim Be Denied?
On This Page
  1. Water Damage Claims Basics
  2. Common Reasons for Denial of Water Damage Claims
  3. Property Insurance Attorneys Help People Seek Damages from a Water Claim
  4. Call Our Texas Water Damage Attorneys for Help With a Claim

Why Would a Water Damage Claim Be Denied?

Why Would a Water Damage Claim Be Denied?

Water damage can be a business owner or homeowner’s nightmare, potentially leading to significant financial strain and property loss. When faced with such disasters, many turn to their insurance policies for relief. However, not all water damage claims are straightforward. Understanding why an insurer might deny a claim is crucial for effectively managing your recovery process. Reasons for denial can range from the nature of the damage itself—such as gradual damage that occurred over time—to issues with how the claim was filed, including missed deadlines or insufficient documentation. 

Furthermore, unreported property modifications can also lead to complications during the claims process. Navigating these challenges often requires more than just a detailed submission; it might necessitate the expertise of a Corpus Christi property insurance claims lawyer. Such professionals can offer invaluable assistance, helping to clarify policy details, ensuring compliance with filing requirements, and advocating on your behalf to challenge unjust denials.

Water Damage Claims Basics

Water damage coverage is a crucial component of property insurance, but understanding its scope and limitations is essential for homeowners. In insurance terms, water damage is typically defined as harm caused to a property by water that does not involve external flooding. This can include situations such as burst pipes, leaky appliances, or water ingress from a storm-damaged roof.

The types of water damage covered by standard insurance policies usually focus on sudden and accidental incidents. For example, if a washing machine hose suddenly breaks and floods your laundry room, or if a heavy storm causes your roof to leak and water damages your interior, these events are generally covered.

The key criterion here is the unexpected nature of the incident, excluding any gradual damage that could be attributed to wear and tear or lack of maintenance.

However, there are common exclusions and limitations in standard policies that homeowners must be aware of. Many policies specifically exclude damage caused by unresolved maintenance issues, such as ongoing leaking faucets or a slowly worsening roof condition. 

Additionally, standard policies do not cover flood damage, which is defined as water damage caused by water entering the home from natural bodies of water overflowing, necessitating separate flood insurance. Understanding these details can help homeowners better prepare and possibly mitigate risks that are not covered under typical insurance policies.

We have offices in Houston, Corpus Christi, and Victoria; and will travel to any corner of Texas if we are capable of preventing an injustice.

Carrdigan and Anderson

Common Reasons for Denial of Water Damage Claims

Insurance companies often reject claims based on issues related to the nature of the damage, such as gradual versus sudden occurrences, and policyholder compliance, including timely reporting and accurate documentation. Understanding these reasons allows property owners to effectively navigate the claims process and advocate for their rights under their insurance policies.

Lack of Maintenance

Insurance claims for water damage are frequently denied due to lack of maintenance, as insurers expect homeowners to undertake regular upkeep. Common maintenance-related issues that lead to claim denials include old, corroded plumbing, or a roof that has been in disrepair for an extended period. 

Regular home or property inspections are crucial, helping to identify potential problems before they escalate into significant damages. Conducting these inspections can provide evidence to insurers that the property has been well-maintained, thus supporting the validity of a claim should disaster strike.

Gradual Damage

Gradual damage refers to water damage that occurs slowly over time, such as from a slowly leaking pipe, as opposed to sudden incidents like a pipe bursting. Insurance policies typically cover sudden and unexpected damage but exclude gradual damage because it is considered preventable with proper maintenance. 

There are numerous cases where claims for gradual damage were denied, reinforcing the need for home or business owners to monitor their property’s condition regularly to catch and address issues early, thereby avoiding claim denials.

Incorrect or Incomplete Claim Filing

Timely and accurate filing of claims is imperative to their approval. Common mistakes include incomplete documentation or missed deadlines, which can lead to a denial of the claim. To avoid these pitfalls, policyholders should thoroughly document the damage immediately after discovery, using photos and detailed notes. 

It’s also crucial to review the policy’s reporting requirements and adhere strictly to these timelines. Keeping organized records of all communications with the insurance company can further support your claim process.

Unreported Upgrades or Renovations

Failing to report significant upgrades or renovations to an insurance provider can jeopardize a water damage claim. Changes that alter the value or structural integrity of the home, like a bathroom remodel or basement finishing, can affect insurance coverage. It is essential for owners to update their insurance information following any renovations to ensure that the new work is covered and that the policy reflects the current state and value of the home accurately.

Type of Water Damage

Understanding the difference between flood damage and other types of water damage is crucial when dealing with insurance claims. Flood damage, typically defined as water damage that comes from outside the home (e.g., from overflowing rivers, storm surges), is not covered under standard homeowner’s insurance policies and requires separate flood insurance. 

On the other hand, water damage from internal sources, such as burst pipes or roof leaks, is usually covered. Knowing these distinctions helps homeowners seek the appropriate insurance coverage for their needs.

Property Insurance Attorneys Help People Seek Damages from a Water Claim

A water damage claims lawyer can be an indispensable ally for claimants navigating the complexities of insurance claims. Our legal professionals know how to handle policy nuances and can advocate effectively on behalf of homeowners or business owners facing denials or underpayments. 

Attorneys are particularly valuable when an insurer engages in what could be considered bad faith practices—such as unjustifiably denying a claim, failing to conduct a thorough and timely investigation, or not paying the full value of a claim. An insurance claims lawyer can challenge these actions by negotiating directly with the insurer, preparing and organizing the necessary documentation to support the claim, and ensuring that all procedural requirements are met. 

If necessary, our water damage claims lawyers can also represent the homeowner in court to contest bad faith insurance practices, helping to secure a fair settlement and hold insurance companies accountable for their obligations under the policy.

Representing the injured in all areas of Texas that extends back over 40 years

Carrdigan and Anderson

Call Our Texas Water Damage Attorneys for Help With a Claim

If you’re facing challenges with a water damage claim for your home or business, don’t navigate this complex process alone. Contact us Carrigan & Anderson, PLLC for assistance and advocacy to ensure your claim is fairly evaluated and compensated. Let us help you secure the recovery you deserve.

At Carrigan & Anderson, PLLC we can talk to you about your options and rights.

Carrdigan and Anderson