Whose Insurance Pays for Condo Damage from Upstairs Burst Pipe?

mc_horrified

J.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I live in a second floor condo (3 floors). A pipe broke in the guy’s unit above mine and flooded my unit. I had to replace sheetrock, carpet, hardwood, and some fixtures. Am I responsible for the cost of repairs or are he and his insurance?

Mister Condo replies:

J.M., I am sorry that you experienced such damage. There are several possible answers to your question depending on the circumstances that caused the pipe to burst. Assuming there was no malicious act or complete negligence on the part of your neighbor, the association is likely to put in a claim to repair any common elements that were damaged. It is possible that there are association-owned walls, insulation, floors, etc. that need repairing. The association’s insurance should cover that. Your homeowner’s insurance is likely going to be the insurance coverage that pays for the interior damage to your unit. The same is true for the unit owner where the pipe broke and any other unit owners that were affected by the pipe break. Your insurer may go after your neighbor’s insurer if there are any potential liability issues on the part of your neighbor. For instance, if your neighbor was a snowbird and left the heat off in the unit which caused the pipe to burst. That is a battle best left to the underwriters. You should pursue your own insurer for repairs to your unit. Good luck!

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