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When To File A Claim On Water Damage From Upstairs Condo

Written by Rami Boaziz on June 6, 2018 at 2:02 PM.

Water damage is one of the most common types of property damage in South Florida, ranging from pipe breaks and AC leaks to shower leaks. Homes, condos, and commercial properties can all suffer from this giant issue, but what if the source of the damage is not your property? This is a problem to consider, especially for those condo owners. Depending on the location of your property, you may have to deal with filing a claim on water damage from upstairs condos.

Let’s say you come home to your condo and realize there’s a huge leak coming from above. Your next steps will determine how successful you are at solving the problem.

Locate the source of the water damage

Now that you’ve spotted the issue, it’s important to locate the source of the damage and discuss it with the upstairs condo owner immediately. This water damage coming from your ceiling could be anything, so it’s best for both you and this upstairs condo owner to address this quickly. This avoids further damage that can go from just water damage to more severe issues, like mold.

Prevent further water damage to your property and the upstairs property

To restrict the amount of damage done to your own property and the upstairs property, it’s necessary to communicate to the owner the importance of using these emergency tips:

-Remove any excess standing water from the unit: any excess water could result in mold damage later, so this is important to consider for your property as well. A public adjuster, depending on the firm, might have a direct line to a water remediation company and can get the water damage company out to your property quickly.

-If applicable, remember to shut off breakers before you remove any electrical devices in wet areas: this could also apply to your own property depending on the severity of the water damage.

-Prevent all furniture and personal belongings from getting damaged further.

-Don’t forget to remove valuables from the damaged area to a dry area of the property: again, this depends on the severity of the water damage.

-Pick up loose items from the floor: other kinds of property damage could occur as a result of this damage, so search your property carefully.

-Don’t leave wet fabrics, books, magazines and other items on wet carpets or floors: Items like this could just lead to mold in the future if forgotten.

-Don’t use a dry vacuum to remove water.

-Don’t use electrical appliance while standing on wet carpet or surfaces, especially not on wet concrete.

Review your insurance policies and condo laws

The next step in this process is reviewing your insurance policies to see what exactly would be covered. But before you can do this, it’s crucial to know which party is responsible for the damages. Let’s say in this example the water that was leaking from your ceiling was actually coming from a shower leak of a bathroom in the upstairs condo. Who is responsible for this? Who should file the insurance claim? Even if it seems obvious, this actually all depends on your condo and the condo association.

In Florida specifically, there’s a condo insurance law for that. The Florida Statute Section 718.111(11) deals with condo associations and its insurance policies. Under this law, the association must repair any portion of the condominium property insured by the association and damaged by an insurable event. The law also says,

“the coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit…appliances, water heaters, water filters…or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner.”

Call a public adjuster

Once you’ve sorted out responsibility, the responsible party needs to file a claim. In this step, you should call a public adjuster. When doing this, it’s important to have all the necessary information on hand. This information includes the following:

Name of insured, address, phone number, e-mail and policy number

Description of loss: Time and date of loss, location of incident, detailed description of damages

Authority notification: Please note all authorities notified (fire dept., police, etc.)

Emergency Service Companies & Damage Mitigation: Let them know if you have already contacted any emergency service companies or performed any sort of damage mitigation.

If you’re not very informed on an issue such as water damage from upstairs condos, it’s easy for a company to take advantage. Calling a professional public adjuster with experience dealing with all kinds of water damage is the best thing to do. A public adjuster like Stellar Adjusting has experience that allows them to spot all possible damage, both current and long-term. This will make sure you get the maximum award out of your insurance.

Hire the right public adjuster to put your insurance dollars to work.

Stellar Adjusting has a team of experts with 24/7 Access To Claim Information. Call us today at (305) 396-9110 for a FREE claim analysis.


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