Skip to main content
Insurance

5 Common Reasons Why State Farm Denies Water Damage Claims

By April 15, 2024No Comments

How to Fight Back When State Farm Denies Your Water Damage Claim

Water damage can be devastating for your home and your wallet. Whether it’s from a burst pipe, a leaky roof, or a natural disaster, water damage can ruin your furniture, flooring, walls, and personal belongings. It can also lead to mold, mildew, and health hazards.

You might think that your insurance policy will cover the costs of repairing and restoring your property, but that’s not always the case. State Farm, the largest and most popular insurance company in the US, reject water damage claims regularly (although not always correctly). In fact, denied water damage claims are a common complaint among policyholders.

But why does this happen? What can you do if it happens to you? In this blog post, we will answer these questions and give you some tips on how to fight back if State Farm denies your water damage claim.

What Are the Top Reasons That State Farm Denies Water Damage Claims?

State Farm, like any other insurance company, is in the business of making money. They want to pay as little as possible for your claim or avoid paying it altogether. That’s why they have a team of adjusters, lawyers, and experts who will look for reasons to deny your claim or reduce its value.

Some of the most common reasons why State Farm denies water damage claims are:

  1. Mold or microbial growth in the damaged areas: If State Farm finds any signs of mold or microbial growth in your property, they could use it as an excuse to deny your claim or limit your coverage. They often try to claim this is a sign of it being a longer problem, but they ignore the fact that mold can start growing in as little as 24-48 hours according to FEMA and countless other publications.
  2. Repeated leakage or seepage: State Farm covers sudden or accidental water damage, but there is an exclusion for water damage from a plumbing system, shower, shower pan, or the HVAC system that occurs over a period of time. State Farm will regularly claim that that your water damage was caused by repeated leakage or seepage over a period of time, and then they deny the claim. But as talked about at length in the linked article, this language is ambiguous and State Farm needs to show how long the leak needs to be going on to be excluded.
  3. Failure to Maintain: State Farm’s policy, like most other carries including Allstate, Farmers, USAA, and other, requires you maintain your property. Insurance policies are not intended to be maintenance policies. If you have water damage from your own failure to maintain something, you may receive a denial letter.
  4. Wear and tear: State Farm does not cover damage that results from normal wear and tear, such as aging, deterioration, or corrosion. And while they may try to deny your water damage because of wear and tear, the truth is that the wear and tear damage doesn’t apply to the water, just the thing that broke, allowing the water to escape.
  5. Faulty installation: State Farm doesn’t cover damage that results from faulty installation. If they can blame the damage on this, they could argue that the installer or the manufacturer is responsible for the damage, not them. But just like with wear and tear, faulty installation doesn’t usually apply to the resulting water damage.

So What Can You Do?

If State Farm denied your water damage claim, you have the right to challenge their decision and seek fair compensation for your loss. Here are some steps you can take to fight back:

  • Review your policy: Read your policy carefully and understand exactly what it covers and what it excludes. Look for any clauses or endorsements that might apply to your situation.
  • Gather evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible to prove your claim, such as photos, videos, receipts, invoices, repair estimates, and expert opinions. Document everything that happened, from the date and time of the water damage to the steps you took to mitigate it and to the communication you had with State Farm. Keep copies of all your records and correspondence.
  • Appeal the denial: Write a letter to State Farm explaining why you disagree with their denial and why you believe your claim is valid. Include all the evidence and documentation that supports your claim. Be polite, professional, and persuasive. Ask them to reconsider their decision and provide you with a fair settlement.
  • Hire a lawyer: If State Farm still denies your water damage claim or offers you a low settlement, you may need to hire a lawyer to represent you. They can help you negotiate with State Farm, file a complaint with the state insurance department, or take them to court if necessary. They can also protect your rights and interests and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Many policyholders will run into this issue at some point and struggle to get their claims paid. Having a trusted and experienced lawyer on your side can make a huge difference.

If State Farm denied your water damage claim, call us today and we will do what we can to help. Contact Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei now to speak with one of our attornies.