What to do if my hot water heater sprung a leak and now my kitchen floor is falling in?

UPDATED: Mar 15, 2013

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What to do if my hot water heater sprung a leak and now my kitchen floor is falling in?

Insurance company refuses to fix it saying it was a slow leak and that’s not covered. They also said mold wasn’t covered. Can I sue them for the now much greater damage to my house. The dry rot is so bad I can see underneath the house and I don’t have the money to fix it. Hope my kids or anyone else doesn’t fall through and get hurt.

Asked on March 15, 2013 under Business Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have the right to sue your insurer if you believe they are not honoring their policy. You would sue them for breach of contract. However, bear in mind that the insurance policy is a contract and therefore, they are obligated to cover only those events or causes of damage which the policy states they must cover, and may exclude from coverage anything which the policy, on its face, says is excluded. Therefore, it is very possible that your policy does not in fact cover "slow leaks"--most, such as my own policy, do not--and may not also cover mold. Review your policy carefully, to see what is and is not covered; if after that, you believe that the damage in this case is covered, you may wish to sue your insurer.

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