Stephannie Ciantro, Claims Manager, discusses what you need to know about water damage.
Here’s a scenario: You are a property manager or board member, and you get a call from a unit owner to say that there are water marks on the wall, and there seems to be some moisture. The first question will be: “Is there coverage for this? “
The truth about water damage, as with any claim, is that the cause of the loss will dictate whether coverage exists or not. Most policies will provide coverage for damage resulting from a burst pipe, but all policies contain exclusions for wear and tear/deterioration, and many exclude seepage of water as well.
The reasoning for these exclusions is the same: property policies are written to provide coverage for sudden and accidental occurrences, not issues related to long term damage or what can be considered a maintenance issue. So, damage resulting from a leak that has been ongoing for several months will more than likely be excluded, whereas damage resulting from a burst pipe, will likely be covered.
In addition, seepage through cracks in a facade that causes damage will more than likely be excluded, whereas damage resulting to the interior after an exterior wall was damaged from a covered cause of loss like a hurricane, would more than likely be covered.
That being said, it is always the recommendation of Mackoul & Associates to report water claims to allow the carrier the opportunity to evaluate the exposure and determine exactly where coverage lies.
For more information, please contact us.