If you’re a Florida homeowner, it can be difficult to know what to do when water damage occurs. Water damage is one of the most common causes of property loss in the state, accounting for millions of dollars in damages each year. Fortunately, homeowners may be able to file a water damage claim with their insurance provider and receive compensation for the damage. Despite this, water damage insurance claims often get denied.

If your recent water damage insurance claim has been denied, contact Herman & Wells for assistance. Our water damage insurance claim lawyers have years of experience helping Florida homeowners with water damage claims and can help you build a strong case for getting your claim approved. In this blog post, we’ll cover the most common reasons Florida water damage insurance claims get denied.

A Floridian involved in a motorcycle accident fills out their injury claim form.

The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post

  • 1
    Water damage incidents not typically covered in Florida include flooding from rivers or coastal waters, intentional acts, plumbing in poor condition prior to the incident, sewer backup and overflows, and mold from water damage.
  • 2
    If water damage is gradual due to a leak over time, it may not be covered.
  • 3
    Insurance providers typically require proof of the water damage incident for claims and may deny a claim if documentation is missing or inaccurate.
  • 4
    Repairing any damage before an insurance claim is made can complicate or result in denied claims.
  • 5
    Insurers may deny claims if sufficient preventative measures weren’t taken to mitigate further water damage or deadlines were missed when filing the claim.
  • 6
    For wrongfully denied claims, a lawyer with experience handling such cases can help build a strong case against your insurance provider.

The Specific Water Damage Incident Wasn’t Covered By Your Policy

When you buy insurance, you agree to certain terms and conditions. This often includes exclusions. Some water damage incidents aren’t covered by your policy – for example, water damage caused by flooding from a river may be excluded from a policy. If the water damage wasn’t explicitly included in your policy, it may be denied.

What Kinds Of Water Damage Incidents Aren’t Typically Covered In Florida?

In Florida, some typical water damage incidents are not typically covered under insurance policies. These include:

  • Flooding from rivers or coastal waters
  • Intentional acts of vandalism or other malicious behavior
  • Damage caused by plumbing that was in poor condition prior to the incident
  • Sewer backup and overflows

Mold from Water Damage

Mold is covered by your home insurance if it is the result of water damage related to a common peril. If situations such as burst pipes or an AC system overflow allow mold to grow, your homeowner’s insurance will cover all or some of the mold removal costs because the mold is considered an extension of water damage.

The Water Damage Developed Over Time Due To A Gradual Leak

Ordinarily, leaks manifest gradually. The destruction becomes worse over time as water accumulates. Insurance providers presume that it is the homeowner’s role to remain on top of plumbing and maintenance problems in their houses. That means they anticipate you to notice and take action sooner rather than later.

If water damage is gradual due to a leak, over time it may not be covered. Insurance providers typically only cover sudden water damage incidents that happen suddenly, such as a pipe bursting or a water heater leaking. Be sure to check your policy for water damage conditions.

What About If You Were Unaware Of The Leak Prior To the Damage Becoming Visible?

It’s possible that water damage may be denied even if you were unaware of the leak prior to the damage becoming visible. Insurance providers typically have strict standards for water damage claims and may require proof of maintenance or upkeep before approving a claim. Not all leaks will be obvious and noticeable.

It’s common for homeowners to not notice the leakage until the damage is already done. For example, leakage usually occurs within walls unbeknownst to a homeowner. The damage seems sudden to the owner and they weren’t avoiding routine maintenance. However, from the perspective of the insurance companies, the situation looks different, which is why insurance companies avoid offering coverage for leakage and seepage in the first place.

Your Claim Was Missing Critical Documentation

Your water damage insurance claim may be denied if it’s missing critical documentation. Insurance providers typically require proof of the water damage incident, such as photographs or repair estimates from a professional contractor. Without this evidence, your water damage claim may be denied.

Your Proof Of Loss Form Was Inaccurate

If your proof of loss form is inaccurate, it may be denied. Proof of loss is a document that outlines the water damage and repairs that need to be done, including repair cost estimates. Insurance providers review this document closely and may deny your water damage claim if it doesn’t meet their standards.

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