Insurance Denial from City Water Main Break
Jan. 24th we reported water main break at 5 a.m. to the city and said water was entering our crawlspace. At 7 a.m. called again to see why no action was being taken. I left messages for mayor and city director. I went to take photos to document. The water superintendent said they were waiting to locate underground utilities before they could dig. I requested they shut the water off. He said it fed the hospital and too many others and couldn't be shut off. I told him they should divert the water to the storm drain at the other end of my property. A few sandbags would have channeled it away from my garage and house. My sump was cycling every minute. The temperatures were below freezing and thousands of gallons of water was pouring down into my crawl. It was after 10 a.m. before the leak was stopped. The mayor came out and assured me the city insurance would cover any damage. I told him my main complaint was the fact they did nothing to divert the water from my house. My entire front yard was a lake. Within two weeks, an inch wide crack appeared in the brick. The concrete garage apron heaved three inches and twisted and cracked. A portion of our asphalt driveway raised like a cake baking. We turned in a claim to the city's insurance. After four months of little communication, they totally denied our claim with no explanation. They never interviewed the city employees. They had pictures of the water coming in and the damage. But, they said the engineering report found no damage and they were denying the claim. They refused to give a copy of the report because it is "work product" and would be used in court. My homeowners is taking over now. We will file a claim with them next week. We have over $5,000 in damage. I didn't know insurance companies operated like this and weren't required to give any explanation when they issue a denial. My guess is they figure a lawyer would cost more than just paying for this ourselves. I am so worn out by the hours I have spent obtaining estimates and keeping a file. I thought if one had proof in black and white, this couldn't happen! Protect yourself! Take pictures and record any conversations for proof. They can still say no and not give any reason.