Insurance Claims: Replacing Cast Iron Pipes For Florida Homeowners
Insurance companies in Florida have faced thousands of lawsuits over water damage claims involving cast iron pipes.
“The Sunshine State” brings to mind beach days, carefree and fun. But if you live in a Florida home with cast iron pipes, all that sun and sea can add up to a huge unexpected expense: failing sewer and water lines. Nearly 40% of all Florida homes were built before 1975, a time when cast iron pipes were the preferred (and only) option available.
However, cast iron pipes were installed in many homes and businesses well into the 1970’s, in part because they were thought to last 80 to 100 years.
In fact, those longevity numbers may be true for many parts of the country, just not so for Florida. This is partially a result of our State’s saltwater and corrosive soil. The sad news is that many homes and businesses are experiencing corrosive pipes 50 or more years sooner than originally anticipated.
Common Symptoms of Cast Iron Pipe Damage May Include:
- Slow drains
- Clogs and/or backups
- Toilets flushing slower or needing multiple flushes
- Sewer fumes
- Roach/pest infestation
- Warped wood floors
- Loose, raised or broken floor tiles
- Health related issues for persons living in the home
Insurance companies are seeing an increase in the number of water damage claims as a result of cast iron pipe corrosion. And, as you might expect, policyholders are seeing their claims denied and delayed as more and more insurance companies re-write new policies to exclude coverage of this problem.
Don’t Accept Your Insurance Company’s Claim Denial
The insurance company told my client her water damage was due to ‘wear and tear’ of cast iron pipes, which was not covered under her policy. This is not unusual. Often, insurance claim denials are written in such a way as to make you think there is nothing that can be done. And if your insurance company does pay, it is often far less than what is needed to make the repairs.
Talk to an Expert
Instead of relying on the insurance company as the final decision, my client contacted me to review her policy. After a thorough evaluation, I was able to show that she did, in fact, suffer a covered loss and therefore entitled to compensation to the tune of $93,000. Her case is not unusual. While some policies may not cover all of the cast iron replacement, they will often cover a significant amount including breaking ground to access the plumbing for the repair and restoring your home once the work is done. In many cases the insurance company may also cover ‘code compliance’, which is the cost of bringing your home or building up to the new code.
How Residential & Commercial Policyholders Protect Themselves
Cast iron insurance claims can become complex and time consuming, which is where an attorney who works only for policyholders can provide time savings and expertise in protecting your rights and negotiate a fair settlement.
The information provided here is intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice.
About Desir Law Firm
Attorney Leonard Desir is the founder of Desir Law Firm, a boutique insurance law office representing only insurance policyholders. We work with homeowners, renters, homeowner associations (HOAs), condominium associations, small and mid-sized businesses, and commercial property investors throughout the State of Florida.
When damage happens to your home or business, you have enough to worry about without having to worry about whether your insurance company will act in your best interests. Learn how Desir Law Firm can help you with your insurance damage claim. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Florida law allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees and costs from your insurance company, if you prevail in a lawsuit. At Desir Law Firm, even if we do not prevail, you will not owe money to an attorney since our cases are taken on a contingency basis. It is truly a win-win situation to hire an insurance attorney to dispute a partial or complete insurance denial or partial payments.