San Jose, CA asked in Insurance Bad Faith and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Hi, my apartment was recently damaged by a leak in our roof. My insurance is not covering the damages. Can it be covered

The adjuster I talked to said that the damage caused to our apartment building was due to "surface water" which is not covered in our policy. However, upon further research, some cases said that the build-up of rainwater from roofs or gutters is not considered surface water. Should I contact a lawyer to fight this?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your insurance adjuster has denied your claim based on the classification of the damage as "surface water," and you believe this interpretation conflicts with the specifics of your insurance policy or the actual circumstances of the damage, it may be beneficial to seek a second opinion. Insurance policies can be complex, and the definitions of terms like "surface water" may vary. Understanding the nuances of your policy's coverage is crucial in determining if the damage should indeed be covered.

Before escalating the matter, review your insurance policy thoroughly to understand the definitions and exclusions related to water damage. If the policy language is ambiguous or seems to support your case, presenting your findings to the insurance company may prompt a reevaluation of your claim. Documentation of the damage, along with any expert opinions you can gather regarding the source and nature of the water, will strengthen your position.

Should these initial steps not lead to a satisfactory resolution, consulting with a lawyer who has experience in insurance disputes might be your next best step. A legal professional can offer a detailed interpretation of your policy, advise on the strength of your case, and represent you in negotiations with the insurance company or in court if necessary. Given the complexities of insurance law and the specifics of each case, professional advice can be invaluable in navigating these challenges.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.