Property Insurance Exclusion for Constant or Repeated Leakage of Water

March 14, 2018
David Adelstein – Florida Construction Legal Updates

A property insurance policy, no different than any insurance policy, contains exclusions for events that are NOT covered under the terms of the policy. One such common exclusion in a property insurance policy is an exclusion for damages caused by "constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water…over a period of 14 or more days."

The application of this exclusion was discussed in the recent opinion of Hicks v. American Integrity Ins. Co. of Florida, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D446a (Fla. 5th DCA 2018). In this case, while the insured was out of town, the water line to his refrigerator started to leak. When the insured return home over a month later, the supply line was discharging almost a thousand gallons of water per day. The insured submitted a property insurance claim. The property insurer engaged a consultant that opined (likely, correctly) that the water line had been leaking for at least five weeks. Based on the above-mentioned exclusion, i.e., that water had been constantly leaking for over a period of 14 days, the insurer denied coverage. This denial led to the inevitable coverage dispute.

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dadelstein@gmail.com



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