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Post Info TOPIC: mold growth due to a leaking water heater

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Posts: 11
Date:
RE: mold growth due to a leaking water heater


Just a follow-up on my earlier post concerning the water heater leaking in basement. The insurance company led cleanup by Servepro has been completed. There was a complete stripping out of everything of value in the basement rec room. I went back and took videos of the completed stripping and noted that one area on the floor is still wet minus the carpeting. While photographing the basement which is quite bare I noted one area which is quite damp and the floor underneath ones feet is slippery. Besides that Mrs. Crockerham had a successful career as an Avon Sales Representative and she had three cabinets made out of Cedar, which held quite a bit of products from her sales career. When she went downstairs to the basement, she found that her products, which she is still in the process of estimating how much it was worth, retail was gone. One of the workers told her privately that the other workers had taken it for their own private use. While they informed her that it had been damaged by the wet conditions and/or the mold. When videotaping I did notice one location of dampness on the cedar cabinet at the bottom left corner, and about big as a envelope in size, and it appeared wet to the touch inside. She is in the process of including that loss in her claim against GMAC which insures her home. Is she covered by her policy for the products taken or stolen or damaged due to the water leak? I introduced her to a local public adjuster because I hadn't recorded her home or basement prior to this incident and she declined the companies use, because she felt as a loyal premium paying customer of the insurance company she would be okay without any outside assistance. Now she realizes that probably was a mistake. Accoriding to the Michigan Insurance Commissioner's Office mole is not generally covered by policies, however the removal of mold may be covered if it was caused by water leaking, which is covered under most policies. They apparently consider mold to be the result of incomplete maintenance and that may be one reason its not covered. Just as the policy would not cover the replacement of her water heater which is what led to this water damage in the first place. The leaking water heater is considered the responsibility of the policy-owner to replace and is just worn out equipment, in the company's eyes.
At this point half of the job has been completed, now the restoration of her basement needs to be completed to her satisfaction. Since I'm new to this profession this has been an eye opener to both me and the client. She has informed the insurance company of the video and pictures I have taken and that probably will give her some leverage in this case. I will endeavor to keep this situation updated and will post on its final outcome.

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William E. Crockerham

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Posts: 247
Date:

Hello William,
It really depends on the specific policy and most policies have specific language with regards to mold/fungi.

It can also vary by state due to state regulations.  My homeowner's policy does cover mold but sets a specific dollar amount limit.  I suggest reading the policy very carefully and if you feel that it should be covered I suggest calling the insurance company and mention that you may hire an independent insurance adjuster to look at the damage.

I would hold on accepting any payment until you work this out.

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Fred Knapp
Innovative Software, LLC
Business Development & Software Solutions
www.HomeJournalBusiness.com
www.HomeInventoryBusinessForum.com

Member

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Posts: 11
Date:

This past Friday, my mother called me and asked me to come over and cut off her water, because she believed that there must have been a leak, because for the past two months her bill has doubled. When I went down to her basement, I found that her water was visibly leaking from the water heater, and I turned the water off. Later she called her plumbing company and they came out and replaced her water heater.
After talking to my doctor's office about the leak, because she's a patient there too, its a geriatric office, they advised me to have her contact her insurance company. So the adjuster perhaps, has told her that everything has been damaged in her carpeted basement, and that her water leak has caused the mold outgrowth.

But I wonder is this normal, the insurance man told her the water damage is covered but that the mold that was evidently caused by the leak is not covered?

Has anyone else encountered this seemingly narrow interpretation of damage and its gross effects?





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William E. Crockerham
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