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Property & Casualty Insurance/neighbors water heater leak & my soaked wood floor & cabinets.


I came home this morning & went into the kitchen to put the groceries away.  I heard/felt a squash feeling.  My wood floors were soaked.  I thought my heater broke/leaked.  When I checked, my heater area was full of water.  I had no leaks.  I went over to my neighbors & he confirmed his heater broke/leaked.  All he said was sorry & walked away..  GRRRR!!!!  I don't have insurance on my side but how do I go through the process of getting his insurance to pay for my damaged wood floors, Possible base kitchen cabinet damage & mold remediation/inspection?


I'm sorry to hear that your neighbor's hot water heater leaked.  Why didn't you have insurance for your property at the time of loss?  Is your home paid off?  Thank goodness it wasn't a fire, tornado, etc that destroyed your house.  I'm afraid you are likely out of luck with collecting through your neighbor's insurance policy.  His coverage begins and ends at his property line, except for his contents which are insured anywhere in the World.  Your best bet is to make temporary repairs to your home, contact contractors in your area for estimates and contact an attorney in your area for a free consultation.  You're going to have to sue your neighbor if he doesn't want to pay you directly for your loss.   

As for the mold remediation, you'll want to dry out your affected areas ASAP by drying up the water, putting holes under the base cabinets, running fans and dehumidifiers, spraying a microbial agent under your cabinets, etc...  You'll want to run the fans and dehumidifiers for 3-5 days.  You may also want to pull out your base cabinets so that they can dry better/faster.  I'd recommend hiring a general contractor that specializes in remodeling homes.  They'll help you rip out the cabinets and replace everything that's been affected.  You can hire a water clean up company to do just the water remediation, however they don't rebuild or make repairs.  If anything, they destroy your home and have you hire someone else to rebuild it, then send you the bill for $10k.  Instead, of hiring one of those drying companies, I recommend putting the $10k toward the hiring of a general contractor that will begin repairing/replacing the damaged items.  Drying out homes is not always successful as there's almost always mold under cabinets and behind walls and you'll be getting sick in about a year wondering why you can't breath correctly or are constantly going to the doctor's office.       

Finally, if you don't have the funds to make the repairs, you should look into getting a renovation loan or possibly an equity loan for the repairs.  A few of the larger banks offer those types of loans.  This way, you can be on a payment plan if you cannot cover the entire loss out of your own pocket.  

I hope this information has helped.  

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Dominick Belinchak, Insurance Adjuster


Property & Casualty Insurance Claims -- Residential & Commercial. I've worked for approximately 20+ insurance companies and have adjusted just under 1,000 claims, including residential & commercial losses that involve business interruption, fire, smoke, pipe break, hurricane, sinkhole, flood, water damage, mold, theft, vandalism, rental properties, appliance water leaks and others. If you are hitting a "brick wall" with your insurance company or insurance adjuster, or have a coverage question, please feel to ask. I'm here to help you!


Texas Independent Insurance Adjuster 2004-current Florida Insurance Adjuster 2009-2014

BS Business Administration USF (Tampa) -- 1992

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