Defending Water And Mold Damage Insurance Claims In New York

Water damage in a home in New York.

Water damage is one of the most common types of insurance claims. But these claims are not only limited to losses affecting the property. Water damage can lead to related claims such as mold injury. These can cost insurers substantial sums of money, and defending against them is not easy. The insurance defense attorneys of Rosenbaum & Taylor can assist with water, mold, and related claims made against your company.

In many cases, water damage is overlooked at first. The homeowner, business owner, or tenant may delay action and allow a minor problem to become serious. Insurance companies see all sorts of claims, with many different alleged causes, pertaining to water damage. These are some of the most common ones:

  • Roof and window leaks
  • Busted or leaking water pipes
  • Sewage backups
  • Leaking appliances, such as water heaters
  • Damage caused by storms and other natural disasters

Policyholders report a variety of different property issues arising from water damage. If you’re an insurer, you are no doubt familiar with these. Among the most common claims that insurers see are the following:

  • Rotting wood
  • Rusted steel
  • Corrosion
  • Sinkholes
  • Mildew
  • Electrical problems
  • Damage to walls
  • Foundation problems

While these and other property losses are complicated enough for insurers, a far more serious issue is that of mold. Mold can cause numerous health problems, and in serious cases, it can even be toxic. In addition, mold can worsen underlying conditions like asthma and lung disease. Insurers understand that a claim involving mold could potentially cost the company a significant payout.

No one disputes that mold can pose a serious risk to health. But when water damage or mold claim is filed, it’s not always clear who is really responsible. Water and mold cases tend to result from a problem that has built up over time. For example, a leak in an attic or behind a wall has gone undetected. There are many parts of a house, business, or apartment where people simply do not go very often. If water is left to its own devices long enough, it will cause significant damage or further injury from the mold.

Not all insurance policies cover this sort of gradual damage. And if the claimant’s policy does not, your company may be right to deny the claim. As with any claim, however, it often doesn’t matter whether the insurer is in the right. The company can expect, in many cases, an aggressive plaintiff’s lawyer to file a bad faith claim denial complaint.

The first role of an insurance defense attorney is to determine what the policy covers, and what it doesn’t. Next, it’s imperative to investigate the policyholder’s claims. Any water or mold claim naturally raises scientific, medical, and other technical issues. We often rely on our network of investigators, expert witnesses, and consultants in this process. We also work to determine the substance of injury claims made by policyholders. This involves a review of medical records concerning the alleged injuries.

Where possible, we may try to settle the case with the policyholder. This depends on several factors, not the least of which is an evaluation of the risks of going to trial. We review every disputed claim on its merit and advise our clients on the benefits of settlement versus continued litigation. Of course, we often encounter plaintiffs’ attorneys who make unreasonable demands. For those, we are prepared to defend our clients’ interests in court.

Helping Insurers Defend Against Water And Mold Claims

Rosenbaum & Taylor is an experienced insurance defense law firm that has handled many different types of claims. We advise clients across the board, from questions about policy coverage to litigation. If you are in the insurance industry, we can provide your company with comprehensive representation. Give us a call to learn what we can do for you.

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