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The Philadelphia Water Main Break: When A City Fails You

By July 11, 2018No Comments

Water can be calming, beautiful, and serene. Unfortunately, it can also cause devastation and extreme loss to you home or business.

On July 3, 2018, a water main broke in Center City Philadelphia, causing millions of gallons of water to fill the streets and properties located near the corner of Sansom and Juniper. This problem will be felt well beyond the closure of the corner for a couple months.

So what are you to do if your insurance company says you aren’t covered for this damage? Let me walk you through some helpful tips for navigating this difficult time. If you still find yourself without recourse, contact Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei today.

What Is The City Liable For?

First, you should know that the City of Philadelphia is only going to be liable up to $500,000 total for this damage. There is a statute that caps the damages which the city is responsible to pay, per occurrence, at $500,000.

That means that all of the property owners that have damage will be splitting the $500,000 pot, a battle that will clog up the courts without a doubt. If you would like to make a claim towards some of these funds, give us a call right away and we can help you through the process.

How Do I File A Claim With My Insurance?

Second, your property, whether it be for business or personal use, hopefully has insurance. Making an insurance claim is not always as easy as just calling your insurance company and telling them what happened. Your carrier, like any for-profit company, is in the business of making money. And the only way insurance companies make money is to not pay claims.

Imagine two people with the exact same policy file claims for water damage as a result of the water main break. One claim is filed as damage caused by “flood water”, the other is filed as damage caused by a leak from a plumbing line. Even though each individual is suffering from the same type of damage caused by the same incident, they will receive very different responses from their insurance provider.

The key is to know the right way to say what happened, and to realize that if you slip up and say one thing wrong, your claim will be denied.

If you are planning to make an insurance claim, if you have already made a claim but it hasn’t been paid, or if you are underpaid for your loss, you’ll need help. Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei will review your policy for free, discuss your options, and assist you if possible to obtain the money you deserve. After all, isn’t the whole purpose of having insurance to be paid out when you are faced with a loss?

Contact an attorney at Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei today.