W.R. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Mister Condo replies:
W.R., I am truly sorry that you are dealing with the aftermath of a burst water pipe at your condo. As you may have noticed, there has been a great many questions similar to yours recently. The particularly cold winter has caused an increased number of burst water pipes at condos here in Connecticut and throughout the country. While most associations and homeowners have insurance, there seems to be a lot of room for insurers to wiggle out of which insurance company needs to pay for the restoration.
My best advice has been to get both insurers involved and let them duke it out. The condominium has a Master Insurance policy that should provide the primary protection. However, if they claim that negligence or willful misconduct occurred they don’t have to pay. Was the temperature in the area of the burst pipe at 50 degrees or higher? Did the unit owner (you) do all that you could do to prevent the burst pipe? If it was under a cabinet, was the cabinet door open to encourage heat circulation? And so on, and so on. The bottom line is that the insurance company only wants to pay for covered losses so it is in their best interest to show why the loss shouldn’t be covered. At that point, your homeowner’s policy should kick in but they may also try to claim that it isn’t covered under your policy as the primary coverage should be attributable to the condo’s Master Insurance. Do you see the problem here?
In a worst case scenario, you may need to hire your own attorney to sue either one or both of the insurance companies so that they come together and work it out. As if dealing with the burst pipe wasn’t enough, you are very likely going to find yourself in the middle of an insurance battle as well. I wish you good luck in settling this matter.