Property & Casualty Insurance/hardwood flooring

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Question
I bought a water fountain and set it up in a corner of my living room, every week I would add water as it evaporated. I walked over to add water and ended up standing on wet hardwood. I took the fountain outside, cleaned up all the water and put a fan on the area as it said to do on the Internet.
Well the next day the boards were warped about 3" high. I called 4 hardwood repairmen/installers and none of them could repair the floor and said that the old floor would need to come out(glue down engineered) and a new floor installed. The hardwood covers the living room, dining, kitchen, powder room, master and a small guest bedroom. The contractors said to do it right, all the base cabinets, baseboards had to come up. The bid is $31,000 because of all the extra items. I have a 2% deductible ($6770.00). What should I do if insurance does not agree?

Answer
Connie,

Please accept my sincerest apology.  I must have accidentally deleted my notification that I had a pending question.  Normally I am very prompt with my responses.

This is a very common problem when it comes to certain types of repairs.  Roofs, carpet, tile, hardwood...anything that covers a large area can present problems at the time of the claim. The first thing that needs to be done is that the company needs to have someone come inspect the damage.  They will do an estimate and get back with you.  Many times, the company will have a contractor come look at the damaged floor and give them a second opinion on what needs to be done.  You have to understand that a contractor will want to do as much work as possible in order to make the job worthwhile.

In the end, if there is still disagreement, the insurance policy does have a method to settle any disputes related to how much the damage truly is.  In your homeowner policy we call it the Appraisal Clause.  Basically, the company has an appraiser, you have an appraiser, and the two appraisers settle on a third party.  The three get together and discuss the issues and then come to an agreement.  

I've seen claims like this many times and it can go either way.  Right now, patience is the key.  Let the process work.

I hope that helps a little.  Let me know if you have more questions.

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Jay K. Williams, AAI, AIP, CIC, CRM

Expertise

I can answer questions relating to the following coverages: personal auto; homeowners; commercial auto; commercial liability; commercial property; business income and all other property and casualty coverages.

Experience

I have been in the insurance industry in Florida since 1979. I am currently the president of a Florida domestic insurance company subsidiary. I've taught continuing education classes in Florida and across the country. I am quite familiar with all coverages including Florida Condominium master policies and unit owner policies. I also specialize in agent professional liability. I have been a professional educator since 2001.

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I am a member of the Florida Associaion of Insurance Agents, the state affiliate of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.

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I currently carry the following professional designations: Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) Associate in Insurance Production (AIP) Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) Certified Risk Manager (CRM)

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