What options do I have if unhappy with home insurance claim?

We had a leak in the master bath, which I filed a claim for with my home insurance company. They sent out a water damage company to assess the damage and it was determine that my vanity and "half of my tile" had to be replaced, & they removed the vanity and "half of the tile". Keep in mind I have a large water stain on the ceiling directly below the bathroom. For one, the amount of money I was offered barely scratched a dent in repairing the bathroom, and it was supposedly to cover the bathroom and ceiling, plus carpet stain downstairs, etc. I went ahead and recently redid the bath and put hardwood downstairs because it's something I wanted to do.

When getting the new vanity installed, it was discovered that a pipe was broken. This is not where the leak occurred, as we also fixed that. Due to no sign of water damage, the plumber is very confident that the pipe broke when the water damage company was taking out the previous vanity. I went ahead and covered the extra expense to repair this.

Questions- 

1. Do I have a legit argument to have the insurance cover the repair for the pipe?

2. I was with another insurance company before, but had to switch when I temporarily rented out my house. When I moved back in, the former company required a year pass before they will insure me again. This new company was a lot more expensive and I was looking forward to going to the first company. If I wanted to do so, would I need to cancel my current claim? I'm willing to do so to switch.

6 Answers

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  • 3 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. No.  If the pipe was damaged by a contractor...they are responsible for that damage.  However, there is never coverage for a broken pipe itself on your homeowners, but the water damage should be covered.  We use an example for this sort of thing.  Lets say your microwave causes a fire.  The microwave itself wouldnt be covered (may be a counterclaim against the manufacturer) but all of the fire damage would. 

    2. Generally, good companies wont take people with open or pending claims.  Pretty common practice. 

    To start with your original question though, did you get your own contractor and quotes?  Thats your only basis for arguing the value of a property damage claim.  You likely could have gotten more had you contested, you might still be able to get more from that original claim.  If you have an agent, they can help.  If you bought your insurance through a website...you get to ask random strangers for assistance...who dont know the whole story or anything about your coverage...

    • kham833 weeks agoReport

      Also, we "assume" it was the demolition company the insurance company sent damaged it. I paid to have it fix. I'll check with the other company their rules around recent claims. If I must, I'll cancel claim. I estimate that I'm paying about $1,800 a year with the current company for same coverage.

  • 3 weeks ago

    "the amount of money I was offered barely scratched a dent in repairing the bathroom, and it was supposedly to cover the bathroom and ceiling, plus carpet stain downstairs, etc"

    - you signed a contract to accept a certain amount of money.  It was your responsibility beforehand to get estimates for repairs to insure that the settlement covered the cost of repairs.

    Any costs of a remodel are on you, not the insurance company."Due to no sign of water damage, the plumber is very confident that the pipe broke when the water damage company was taking out the previous vanity. I went ahead and covered the extra expense to repair this."

    - that's nice but you have no proof.  In fact, you have no idea how it broke - it could be the people doing the removal, installing tile, or guess what -- a result of the sink not being connected for a period of time

    - you covered the cost, because these things happen and it's a cost of being a homeowner.

    1. no.  the insurance company covers damage repairs.  You didn't have any.

    they don't cover maintenance which is the broken pipe.

    2. your claim is paid.  you received a check.  you agreed to this check and will that, it closed your claim

    - why do you think you have an open claim?

    • kham833 weeks agoReport

      Hey, I did not receive any money yet. I was told to submit receipts afterwards to get the little offered. If you read the second question, I asked if I intend to switch insurance company, should I not accept the money. I would hate to take it and another insurer not cover me due to a recent claim.

  • 3 weeks ago

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    1.  Unfortunately, no.  "the plumber is very confident that the pipe broke when the water damage company was taking out the previous vanity"    The person who broke the pipe is responsible for repairing it and any damage it caused.  

    2.  If your former insurer will not insure you until you're claims-free for a year, I'd take that literally.   You either have to cancel the claim or wait a year after the claim is settled.   I do not know exactly what they told you.  You'd have to ask them for clarification.   Remember, they are not obligated to insure you EVEN IF you are claims-free.  

    It does get harder to get homeowner's insurance if you've made claims. 

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  • 3 weeks ago

    You might have a claim against the plumbing company if the person who repaired the pipe is willing to go into court and testify for you. (Of they will not as they do not want to be blackballed by other companies.) It would be a good "small claims" case. You would have no case without the witness.

    You would need to talk to your new insurance company and have them tell you if cancelling the claim will help you. But odds are because they already know about it, cancelling it is not going to make any difference.

    • kham833 weeks agoReport

      Ya, it cost $350 to replace. It's prob not worth it to fight in court. I'll see what the other company says, I'm hoping since I'm canceling claim and not accepting funds that I'll be able to switch. I'll post an update here, as an fyi for others.

  • martin
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Usually an insurer will ask, when you make a claim, whether you have another second insurer as well, because they often share the costs and payments. Insurance agents are happy to talk about how to go about this to your greatest benefit.

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