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My neighbors home has been vacant for 9 months or more.In Jan. a pipe in their home broke on the second floor no one knew this for a least a week!! It completely filled their basement (7′ of water ). I live down hill from them. Since we had alot and I mean alot of snow I didnt realize the water i seen in my back yard and on my drive was flooding water not melting snow. The excessive water came in my basement and now My walls have begun to bow out I video taped all this when it was discovered. Walls are cracked and now every time it rains even the melting snow my basement gets wet. My home policy dosen’t cover flooding since I live in a high area but dosen’t their’s cover when their property causes damage to someone elses like say a tree falling for example my insurance company told me to contact them they have said they will send someone out. By the way the home owner next door his company denied his claim. He didnt notify them that the house was vacant.

10 Thoughts on Need someone who knows home insurance.?
  1. Reply
    Jedi Master YODA
    July 29, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Get a FREE Consultation from a reprutable agent such as The Traveler’s and ask for specific questions and assistance or call your Agent to get a FREE Consultation today! OOD LUCK! 🙂

  2. Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Anyone with a home whether vacant or occupied should have coverage. You would probably have to sue the owners of the other home and their insurance would either pay for it or because of their negligence the owners of the home would be liable. This seems reasonable to me but then we are talking insurance companies who are routinely known for weaseling out of paying people. If this fails I would contact a local news station and get someone to do a story on what happened. Most big companies hate having their reputation soiled.

  3. Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 3:28 am

    In the US, no homeowners policy covers flood waters — PERIOD.

    Regardless of where you’re located, every single square inch of American soil is designated as a “flood zone” (though the designations vary widely, as you would expect.) Floods aren’t only rising waters from lakes/streams, etc. but also include ground water and mudslides coming off of hillsides, just as you describe.

    You say that you didn’t realize the water coming into your basement was from your neighbor’s home, not from the melting snow. That indicates to me that you normally have water in your basement when it snows and the snow subsequently melts.

    It’s going to be very difficult for you to prove the cause and effect of your neighbor’s negligence if you’ve regularly had water in your basement as a result of melting snow.

    That isn’t to say that you can’t (or shouldn’t) try to collect from his insurance policy. But it’s going to be an uphill battle (if you’ll pardon the pun.)

  4. Reply
    thirsty mind
    July 29, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Have you called your insurance company/ It is their job to either cover you or to lead you to the cause of their “non-coverage” . Still you have a legal claim.

  5. Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Internal pipes bursting is a covered peril, although groundwater is not. They’re probably not filing a claim because it would reveal that the property is vacant, which would invalidate their claim. Their insurance might consider this secondary damage where the primary cause (internal pipes) is a covered peril, but the vacancy will prevent the claim from being honored. So, you can sue the neighbor, and they won’t be able to have their insurance pay for it, and their insurance company will drop them for lieing about the occupancy of the house. Their lawyer will probably say that you can’t prove that the water was from the neighbor vs. the snow (the same way a lawyer for Big Tobacco might say “how would we know if he would have gotten lung cancer even if he didn’t smoke two packs a day!”).

    By analogy, if you had neighboring apartments (or his above yours), the other guy’s insurance would pay for damage done to yours by an internal pipe burst. The trick is proving that the water from his house caused your damage; as said, the primary cause (internal pipe burst) is a covered peril; I’ve never seen this scenario played out.

  6. Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 4:04 am

    Well, in order for their LIABILITY policy to kick in, you will have to PROVE that they were negligent. That is pretty darned hard to do. You have to be able to PROVE that they expected the pipe to burst, and didn’t do anything about it.

    Oh, and you can’t file a claim with their insurer – you have to sue them.

    If the furnace broke down, and they didn’t know it for a week, that’s not negligent. If the furnace wasn’t turned up high enough, and there was a sudden cold snap, that’s not negligent either. And if they shut off all the pipes except one, well, that’s not going to do it, either.

    I don’t think you’re going to get them to pay for it.


  7. Reply
    Bill R
    July 29, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Document, document, document.

    two issues

    1. You must prove it is not flood water. Water from a burst pipe is not flood water.

    2. any residential house that is vacant for more than 30 days is NOT insured even if it has a policy on it UNLESS it is classified as a vacation property.

    The problem is the pipe is not in your house.

    Check with the owner to determine what kind of policy he has re vacation/residence. Then submit your claim to his company with your documentation. Be prepared to take this to court and maybe even file suite on the owner and insurance company.

    It may be time to talk to a lawyer.

  8. Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 4:54 am

    The reason YOUR insurance didn’t pay is because the water entered your house at or below the surface of the ground, which is excluded. I’ve looked at a lot of cracked and sagging basement walls, and I very much doubt that was caused by your neighbor’s plumbing leak.
    Yes your neighbor has liability insurance to cover their negligence. The question is, how did your neighbor cause this to happen?
    Simply citing your neighbors property as the source of the water is not enough.
    Did the pipe freeze?
    Was the house heated?

    FYI your tree example-If the wind blows your neighbor’s tree onto YOUR roof, your neighbor is not liable (he did not cause the wind to blow), but your insurance would normally cover it as wind damage.

  9. Reply
    ~*~ Myssie ~*~
    July 29, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Flood is generally defined as “Rising water” You cannot place a claim on his insurance or expect them to pay for it, that’s why YOU have insurance on your home. Place the cliam have the company come check it out. Or contact your agent to see exactly what your policy states in regards to Water damage and see what the actual definition of “Flooding” is according to your insurance company. every policy is different, and your agent should be able to explain your policy language in laymens term. After all, that’s why they get a commission to service your policy.

  10. Reply
    July 29, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Most home owner’s policies cover water damage only from your own broken plumbing. Clearly, your own home owner’s insurance does not cover water damage from your neighbor’s property. However, they are liable for at least some damages caused to others by conditions on their property. What you have to do is claim damages against their home owner’s liability insurance. There is no sure way to identify their carrier or policy number without their help, but, if they have a mortgage, and their mortgage company pays their insurance premium out of an escrow account, and you can identify the mortgage company, they may be willing to identify the insurance company to you. You must file a claim with your neighbor’s insurer, not yours.

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