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Cast Iron Pipe Problems in Florida: Do You Have a Lawsuit?

Cast iron pipes are commonly used in older homes and businesses built before 1975, but they are known to deteriorate over time. You may have a potential lawsuit if you have experienced damage to your home or business due to problems with cast iron pipes in Florida. 

Understanding your rights and options can help you seek compensation for the damages you suffered. To learn more about your options for a cast iron pipe lawsuit, contact our law firm, Tighe P.A., today for a free consultation.

Why Do Cast Iron Pipes Fail in Florida?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, cast iron pipes and water mains normally last for approximately 50 years. Many of Florida’s problems with cast iron pipes stem from corrosion, rust, and mineral buildup. 

In Florida, the humid, warm climate can contribute to the deterioration of cast iron plumbing. If left unaddressed, there can be significant damage to your home or business.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Cast Iron Pipe?

The cost of cast iron pipe replacement can vary depending on the extent of the damage, the location of the pipes, and the method used for replacement. On average, it can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, or more, for pipe replacement. Additionally, the cost may increase if you have to replace or repair other property or items, such as drywall or a concrete slab.

Does insurance cover cast iron pipes in Florida?

Coverage for cast iron pipe claims in Florida depends on the terms and language of your insurance policy. Some policies may cover the cost of replacing cast iron pipes, while others may not. It’s important to review your policy and speak with your insurance provider to clearly understand what is covered under your policy.

Why Was My Cast Iron Pipe Claim Denied?

Insurance companies are profit-driven and earn more money by denying claims and benefits. However, there are several reasons why an insurance company may deny a cast iron pipe claim.

Failing to file your claim on time

Under Florida law and subject to certain conditions, you have five years (95.11(2)(b)) to pursue a bad faith lawsuit against your insurance company. Many insurance companies also place time limits for reporting cast iron pipe claims. 

Specifically, many insurers follow the 2016 rule created by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. This rule requires property owners to report claims within 72 hours or face the risk of having coverage denied.

Not paying your premium

As insurance is a contract, you must pay your premium to receive coverage and benefits in the event of a loss. Your cast iron pipe damage claim may be denied if you have not been paying your insurance premiums. Similarly, your claim may be rejected if you fail to pay on time.

Making false statements 

Insurance companies are always wary of possible fraud. They view each claim with a degree of suspicion as people may embellish or lie to receive coverage or compensation for unrelated damage. Providing false information on your insurance claim can result in a denial, which is why you should remain truthful throughout the claims process.

Insufficient documentation of damage

Proper documentation is key to a successful claim. Document the damage from the cast iron pipes with photos, estimates, and inspection reports. If you fail to provide enough evidence of the damage, your insurance company may deny your claim.

Exclusion clauses

Some insurance policies may have exclusion clauses, which specifically exclude certain types of damage like water damage due to burst pipes. 

Under Florida Law, damage due to a burst pipe may not be covered if the endorsement clause excludes water damage, regardless of the policy’s language. Check your policy for any exclusion clauses before filing a claim or even purchasing the policy.

Not taking preventative measures 

While insurance is designed to provide security, it does not allow a policyholder to act carelessly. This is because insurance companies require policyholders to take reasonable steps to protect assets and prevent possible damage. If you could have taken steps to prevent the damage caused by failing cast iron pipes but didn’t, your claim may be denied. 

How Might Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith?

Insurance companies have a legal and moral responsibility to act in good faith. Specifically, they must handle and settle claims fairly. However, there are instances where insurance companies may act in bad faith, which can result in them facing civil liability. 

Denying your cast iron pipe claim with no explanation

If your cast iron pipe claim was denied without a clear explanation, this might be an instance of bad faith. Stated simply, insurance companies are not permitted to deny claims summarily. Instead, they must have a good faith basis to deny a claim.

Offering lowball reimbursements

Policyholders do not make insurance claims unless they have suffered a loss. This means they are somewhat vulnerable. If your insurance company offers you a low settlement offer for your cast iron pipe claim, they may be acting in bad faith by taking advantage of your desire for a prompt resolution.

Failing to do a prompt investigation

When insurance companies fail to conduct timely investigations, they leave their policyholders in limbo regarding essential issues such as coverage and benefits. If your insurance company fails to do a prompt investigation into your cast iron pipe damage, this may be an instance of bad faith.

Delaying response time

Under Florida Law (627.70131(1)(a)), insurance companies have 14 days to respond to claims. Additionally, insurance companies must make a decision regarding a claim within 90 days. Your insurance company may be acting in bad faith by delaying the response time on your claim, which can result in you suffering further damages and expenses.

How to Determine If You Have a Lawsuit for Cast Iron Pipe Damage

If you have experienced damage due to cast iron pipes and your insurance claim has been denied or undervalued, it may be best to speak with an insurance claim attorney. 

A Florida insurance lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and determine if you have a potential lawsuit for cast iron pipe damage to your home or business. Specifically, an experienced insurance attorney can review your policy and the facts of your accident to determine if you have a valid claim against your insurer.

Call an insurance attorney before filing your claim

Before filing a cast iron pipe damage claim, speak with an insurance attorney. Do not take on an insurance company alone! At Tighe, P.A., we can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the claims process to ensure the best outcome for your situation.

How Tighe P.A. Can Help with Cast Iron Pipe Damage Claims & Lawsuits in Florida

Tighe P.A. is an experienced law firm focusing on insurance claims and lawsuits in Florida. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the claims process and seek compensation for the damages you have suffered. 

To learn more about our services, contact our law firm today for a free consultation!

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