Leaks are never convenient.
Too often, a leak will happen behind a wall, under a cabinet, or somewhere else you could never see it. By the time it shows its ugly face, it may have been going on for more than 14 days. In many cases, the leak could be slowly running its course for weeks, months, or even years.
Once you finally find it, you do what anyone would do: You call your insurance company. Surely you are covered for this damage that you didn’t know about, right?
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many times, insurance companies will try to deny you your claim, insisting that it does not owe for losses that occur for a period of 14 days or more. They may also say that they don’t cover for leaks that occur for weeks, months, or years.
Luckily, we have some good news for you. Recently, Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei were successful in a case against Allstate where its representative testified – under oath – that there is coverage for the first 13 days a leak occurs. This coverage applies regardless of how long the leak was going on for, under Allstate’s HO3 Policy (their all-risk policy).
In the case of Hayes v. Allstate, docket number 170700225, filed in Philadelphia, I took the sworn testimony of Allstate’s representative who testified as follows:
Question: When a pipe breaks, it can leak [and] the first 13 days it’s leaking, is covered under this insurance policy, correct?
Answer: It does say weeks, yes.
Q. Now, we heard that it took Ms. Hayes a little while to save up the money to make the repair. Is there any exclusion, anywhere in this policy that excludes [the water] damage for the first 13 days that this leak is occurring?
Q: So to phrase it another way: Is Ms. Hayes covered for the water damage that occurs under this policy, [for] the first 13 days?
This testimony is extremely important for one main reason: It means that Allstate should be paying money and providing coverage on every single long term leak denial they have ever issued under the HO3 Policy.
I want to repeat that because it bears repeating: Allstate owes its insureds money on every claim that is denied for being a long term leak, because there is no provision in Allstate’s all-risk policy that would exclude coverage for water damage caused in the first 13 days of a leak.
If you have been denied by Allstate for a long term leak – whether it be a plumbing leak, roof leak, or some other leak – and you haven’t been paid at least for the damage caused in the first 13 days, then give us a call. We will be happy to speak with you, not only about getting you paid for the damage to your home, but for additional Bad Faith damages, since Allstate officially has no reasonable basis to deny coverage for the first 13 days a leak is occurring.