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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33703
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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We own a condo in Hawaii. We were gone extended period of

Customer Question

We own a condo in Hawaii. We were gone for an extended period of time and the kitchen sink faucet failed and caused huge water damage which when discovered had resulted in a serve amount of mold damage. The master policy denied any coverage due to the length of time before detection; I have not yet heard about the HO-6 coverage but fear the same response.
A water mitigation and remediation company was secured and has done extensive demolition and the expenses for cleaning are above $50,000. The repair costs will be astronomical and it appears there may be no insurance coverage. Water even went into an adjacent unit and caused a much smaller amount of damage.
The HOA maintains that this is not any of their responsibility. I guess this is correct since the faucet is under my control. I think this is a casualty but not covered by any insurance?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Unfortunately I would have to agree that the HOA wouldn't normally have to cover something like this since it was inside the dwelling and not in the walls or with a common element. So they wouldn't be liable.

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As for your insurance, that would be your recourse to pursue here because if there was no way to predict that the faucet would fail, then that is essentially what insurance is for....to cover damages due to an unexpected loss. So if you have private insurance coverage on the condo, then it would be the insurer that would potentially be on the hook for some or all of the damages.

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However I can foresee a situation where they try to claim that you were negligent in not ensuring that the property was inspected periodically to catch anything like this and mitigate any mold damage. They would then try to claim that they may be liable for any initial damages, but not the mold remediation because had it been discovered early, there wouldn't have been as severe of mold damage.

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But this is something that is arguable as to what is reasonable when it comes to inspection and that is what many cases like this go to court over.. If they deny your claim, you can file a formal complaint with the HI Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Insurance Division for "unfair claims practices" and they will investigate at no cost to you to see if the denial was justified.

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thanks

Barrister

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