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Who Pays when One Condo Leaks Into Another?

Pekar Law, P.A. Jan. 8, 2019

It is vital for every condo owner to have comprehensive liability coverage. Occasionally, the HOA will provide this, but if you own the unit, then it is likely you will need to get your own. Even if the HOA does provide it, you want to review the terms carefully to know conclusively what you will get if a leak ever develops.

Unfortunately, few insurance situations are cut-and-dry. The insurance agency will try to pay you as little as possible. The situation can worsen if the leak came from another tenant’s unit. Someone else’s plumbing fixture may have sprung a leak, and you do not know what to do when that water makes its way to your condo.

Immediately File a Claim

Insurance claims become more complicated when multiple parties are in play. The first thing you should do no matter what is get in touch with your insurance agency to let a representative know of the situation. You may also need to get in touch with the other tenant’s agency as well as the HOA’s company. It is possible your agency will cover the damages, but you need to start the process right away.

Begin the Investigation Phase

Next, your liability insurance company will begin an investigation to determine who is at fault. For example, if your upstairs neighbor left the bathtub running and then left the unit, then he or she is primarily at fault. Additionally, your insurance company will look into the HOA to see if it correctly maintained all plumbing fixtures over the years. It may not be easy, but you should go along with the process to help whenever you can.

Be Ready

With several parties in play, it is possible it will take a while for you to receive reimbursement for anything you paid for out of pocket. Your insurance company may look to have the other tenant’s agency pay it for the damages. In this case, you should expect full reimbursement shortly.