If your residential property is damaged by something that happens on it, your property damage insurance policy should cover it. But what happens if it’s damaged because of something that occurs on a neighboring property? There’s a good chance the insurance company will try to deny the claim. Although every policy is different, insurance companies are notorious for finding excuses not to pay. In cases like these, however, it pays to have an experienced New York residential property damage attorney in your corner.
How third-party claims work
You may be able to file a third-party claim in the above scenario. These claims are helpful where an incident on a neighboring residential property causes damage to your own. Claims like these arise where homes are close to other homes, or connected to them. They may also come up if something on the neighboring land causes injury to yours. Here are some examples of when residential property owners might be able to file a third-party claim:
- A tree on your neighbor’s property falls and crosses the line to damage something on yours
- A sinkhole near the property line causes damage to a structure on your property
- A fire starts in the neighboring house and high winds spread the fire to your house
- A busted water pipe causes water to leak into your home and results in damage
- Renovations or other construction work on your neighbor’s property causes harm to your property
These and countless other scenarios are not your fault. But they can still cause injury to your property. That’s where filing a third-party claim is beneficial. Before you do, there are some other steps you should take to make the strongest possible claim.
Making your third-party claim
First, after damage has occurred to your property, do what you can to document it. This starts with taking detailed photographs and video of the damage. You should record as much footage as you can, from multiple angles. That includes anything on your property that was damaged or destroyed. To the extent you have pictures of your property before the damage, find those as well. They can help demonstrate the nature of what happened.
You may also want to write down relevant notes about the damage. That could include:
- The date and approximate time it happened
- When and how you discovered (e.g. did your neighbor alert you or did you find it yourself?)
- What part of your property was damaged
- Where the damage came from, i.e. which neighbor’s property caused injury to your own
- The identities of any witnesses who may have seen the damage take place
If there are any dangerous circumstances, of course, alert the appropriate emergency officials. But it’s important to not start cleaning up the property or making repairs until you document the damage.
Once the damage is documented, contact your insurance company right away to open a claim. Find a copy of your policy and make sure you follow any instructions for making your claim. Share the details you recorded with your insurer, including pictures. If you file your third-party claim correctly, your insurance company should cover it. If they refuse to, however, you may need legal assistance. That’s where our firm comes in.
Our Residential Property Damage Attorneys Are Ready To Help
Rosenbaum & Taylor represents residential property owners whose insurance claims are unfairly denied. We also work to ensure the insurance company covers the full cost of the damage and doesn’t cheat their policyholders. If you have a residential property damage claim that was wrongly rejected, reach out to us today.