How Improper Maintenance Can Result In A Property Insurance Denial
You purchase property insurance so that when your premises become damaged, you will have the coverage you need to pay for repairs or replacement. However, there are certain situations when insurance companies refuse to pay for damage. Sometimes, this is because the insurer is acting in bad faith but in other instances, it is due to a negligent property owner. Improper maintenance is just one example of negligence that can result in a property insurance denial. Below, our Daytona Beach residential and commercial property damage lawyer explains further.
The Duty to Mitigate Damage
Insurance adjusters will consider many factors when investigating a claim. One of these is the action or inaction of a property owner. This is particularly true when a property is older and certain elements of it have fallen into disrepair. Property insurance is meant to cover damage that is unexpected. It will not cover damage that could have been prevented with proper maintenance and repairs. Properly maintaining a property is known as a duty to mitigate, or prevent, damage.
It is true that insurance companies may deny coverage if you failed in your duty to mitigate damage. Even worse, though, the insurance company may cancel your policy completely if you do not properly maintain your property.
How to Ensure You Properly Maintain Your Property
To ensure that you receive the coverage you need in the event your property becomes damaged, you must properly maintain it. This does not mean you need to inspect it every day, but there are some common items that you should inspect regularly. These are as follows:
- Pipes: Plumbing systems are often the source of extensive water damage in a home. Properly maintaining these systems requires you to follow the recommendations of your plumber and not take shortcuts.
- The roof: You should inspect your roof regularly to ensure it does not need repairs or replacement. If you fail to do this, your home could suffer from water damage and if the roof was not in good shape, the insurer will deny your claim.
- Uneven and broken stairs: Uneven and broken stairs can result in a visitor falling, which could result in very serious injuries. Insurance will cover this, unless the stairs fell into disrepair due to improper maintenance.
- Broken fences: Fences sometimes do not last very long, particularly when they are made from certain materials. Wood fences, for example, are susceptible to rot, especially if they have not been properly treated. A rotting fence can fall on or cut people on the property, or they may not properly keep out animals and children. The damage caused will not be covered by insurance if the fence was not properly maintained.
Our Daytona Beach Residential and Commercial Property Damage Lawyer Can Help You Obtain Full Coverage
If your property has been damaged and you are unsure if you are covered, our Daytona Beach residential and commercial property damage lawyer at Bundza & Rodriguez can review your policy and property and determine if you are covered. Call or text us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free consultation.