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Hollywood Water Damage Attorney

Water damage is amongst the common types of property damage a homeowner can expect to encounter, mainly because there are lots of potential causes with culprits ranging from busted pipes, faulty appliances, and broken windows to leaky roofs, sewage backups, and weather-related flooding, amongst other things.

One mistake property owners make is assuming that their home insurance policies cover all kinds of water damage. But that’s not always the case. Insurance policy providers generally insert very fine print in their policies that allow them not to cover some common and specific causes of water damage, like flooding caused by storms. A Hollywood water damage attorney from Klotzman Property Damage Lawyers can help navigate this situation.

While most contracts cover many other types of water damage, insurers will, in most cases, look for ways to avoid paying them in full. Common tricks insurers use include drowning you in paperwork, offering lowball settlements, asking for excessive damage assessments, and outright rejecting claims based on technicalities.

If you are currently going through such a situation, you should contact a professional property damage lawyer and have them deal with the insurance provider on your behalf. For water damage insurance claim solutions you can trust, contact Klotzman Property Damage Law and let us help you fight for your right to compensation for damages sustained. Call 954-915-7405 now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our team.

What is water damage, legally?

While water damage is quite common, it still isn’t that well understood. According to one study, 4 in 10 property owners in the country have experienced some form of loss thanks to this issue. So, what exactly is water damage?

Well, the general definition of the issue is described as water that destroys the inside or interior of a house and is typically caused by:

  •  A burst pipe that saturates a floor, wall, or ceiling.
  •  Storm damage that breaks windows and gets walls and floors wet.
  •  Rain that gets through the roof and damages walls and ceilings
  •  An overflowing toilet that soaks a bathroom floor

If your home has experienced any of the damage mentioned above, you’re likely wondering if your insurance policy covers it. And since each policy is different, you may need to review your policy for the specifics. While accidental events are generally covered, any destruction instigated by the negligence of repairs is generally not covered.

When it comes to the legal side of things, what is covered and what is not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy can be quite confusing. Here’s an example for you to shed some light on the matter.

Let’s say your Hollywood home endured a night of quite heavy rainfall brought about by a tropical storm and your walls and roof are damaged. If that was not bad enough, one of your friends who lives a short drive away from you had water accumulating outside his property, which eventually made its way into the house, flooding his home.

While both scenarios are similar, they won’t be handled the same way.

The fact that damage caused by flooding and water damage are two different or separate problems usually comes as a surprise to many. That’s because they are classified under separate sets of insurance.

If your buddy had only had homeowners’ insurance, he would be out of luck trying to get his insurer to pay for flood damage without flood insurance. That’s because homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, and flood insurance doesn’t cover water damage. Due to this, businesses and homeowners located in areas considered high-risk need to have both policies to insure their property from all risks.

To make things a bit clearer, here is a look at the difference between flood and water damage.

How Is Water Damage Different from Flood Damage?

While the root cause of these problems is one, flooding and water damage aren’t the same thing. According to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), a flood must meet the following sets of conditions:

  •  An overflow of inland or tidal waters.
  •  Mudflow
  •  A collapse or subsidence of a piece of land along a body of water.
  •  A sudden or unusual buildup of water on the surface from any source.

Water damage is damage that occurs before the water reaches the ground. Flood damage, on the other hand, occurs when there’s an excessive pooling of water on the exterior of a building. The destruction caused by flooding water will also, in most cases, affect several properties at once, while water damage only typically affects one property.

While these statements ring true, they shouldn’t be taken at face value. Make sure you review your flood and homeowners’ insurance policies to get the cover that best suits your needs.

A woman with a burst pipe who needs to call a Hollywood water damage attorney

Common Causes of Water Damage

Most buildings that experience water damage typically have several water intrusion sources. The outside of any building has several areas that are prime for leakages, like the roof, decks, exterior walls, doors, and windows, and are subject to low-grade waterproofing and sealants, especially around areas where components connect.

Common causes of water damage include:

  • Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
  • Roof damage
  • Blocked drains
  • Water heater leaks
  • Severe weather
  • Clogged gutters
  • Groundwater seepage
  • Substandard building design
  • Land grading that slants toward the structure instead of away from it
  • Plumbers’ leaks
  • Construction mistakes, such as improper window installation

How can water damage my property?

Some of the damage water causes to buildings include:

  • Structural damage: This type of damage might show visible signs like cracking, sagging, and breaking. It is worth noting that most insurance policies won’t cover structural damage that was not caused by a specific event.
  • Ruined drywall: When exposed to water, drywall will start to crack and deform and becomes more prone to mildew and mold growth.
  • Mold and Mildew: The growth of mildew and mold after a water damage incident can be quite distressing since it won’t go away without the underlying cause being treated first.
  • Ruined flooring: Tiles, carpets, laminate, and other types of flooring are all prone to water damage.
  • Damaged or ruined personal items

What Can I Recover in My Water Damage Claim?

When it comes to water damage claims in Florida, the main damages that you can recover from your claim are mostly economic. In most cases, you’ll only be able to receive compensation for the losses you incurred and the cost you had to incur to renovate your home. Due to this, you must do your best to ensure that you keep a copy of all repair and replacement costs and present them to your insurer when filing your insurance claim for reimbursement.

Why Would My Water Damage Claim Get Denied?

There are lots of reasons why property insurance providers deny insurance claims for flood and water damage. Here is a look at some of the most common ones:

  •  Water Damage from a Long-Term Cause: Most carriers deny insurance claims because they believe that the water damage the person is claiming is long-term damage caused by their failure to properly take care of their property. The carrier might argue that a burst pipe or mold damage resulted from the homeowner’s failure to maintain temperatures inside his home, or might argue that water damage was caused by a water leak that was not fixed quickly enough.
  •  Damage Caused by Flooding, Not Water Damage: Even if a homeowner’s insurance policy covers water damage, it typically excludes damage caused by flooding. For this reason, homeowners must buy separate flood insurance. Flood damage is frequently regarded as including water damage from runoff or erosion.
  •  Damage from Water, Not Flooding: Flood insurance carriers, on the other hand, frequently deny coverage because the damage is non-covered water damage. For instance, it might be questioned whether the damage was caused by flooding or by a lot of rain.

Even if the insurance provider doesn’t reject the claim, they could delay processing the payment or make the payment itself. Additionally, the carrier might settle the claim with a meager payment.

How Can a Water Damage Lawyer from Klotzman Property Damage Law Assist?

Working with an insurance provider that seems to only know how to say “no” is challenging. A water damage lawyer in Hollywood, Florida, can help you navigate the legal system and advocate for your rights. Insurance companies are more likely to accept or fairly value a claim presented by a lawyer than they are when a policyholder handles the claim dispute themselves. We can file a lawsuit on your behalf if your insurance company rejects, undervalues, or otherwise violates your right to seek compensation as per the Florida Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.

Contact A Hollywood Water Damage Attorney from Klotzman Property Damage Law Today

It is common for water damage to go unnoticed until it has already caused significant harm to your building. Water damage is generally quite sneaky. Additionally, water damage can have a terrible impact on your health, particularly if toxic mold is involved. If you live or work in a structure that has been damaged by water or moisture, contact Klotzman Property Damage Law now to speak to a professional Hollywood water damage lawyer for legal advice and representation.

Call 954-915-7405 to schedule a free consultation and have your case reviewed by our competent lawyers today.

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