Florida Cast Iron Pipe Damage Claims Attorney
Florida homes and commercial properties built before 1975 commonly use cast iron pipe systems. Many of these systems are in the process of failure, which can result in costly damage to the structures surrounding them. Timely cast iron sewer pipe replacement will prevent recurring problems, system failure, extensive damage, and toxic water contamination. Between 20% and 30% of all insurance claims are for water damage. Damage from leaking pipes can sometimes cost over $100,000.00 and create a total loss of your home.
Cast Iron Pipe Issues
Prior to 1975, the vast majority of Florida properties contained cast iron pipes. The material was originally used due to its longevity and durability but was susceptible to corrosion and deterioration. The introduction of PVC rendered cast iron obsolete, but the material remains in place in many Florida buildings.
Cast iron pipe systems throughout the state are actively corroding, but waterfront areas like Tampa are even more susceptible due to the salt and moisture-rich environment. This corrosion can release rust into the water, posing health risks for some individuals. Contaminated water can also be smelly or unpleasant tasting.
Corrosion also leads to weakened, leaky pipes, which can raise consumer water bills and slowly leak sewage into personal and local water supplies. Left unmitigated, these damages can lead to total failure, resulting in major sewage leaks and devastating water damage to structures, lawns, and other property. A sewer backup into the home can be particularly detrimental to your property as well as to your health because you could potentially be exposed to harsh chemical additives, bacteria, pathogens, and other harmful substances.
Signs of Ongoing Cast Iron Pipe Failure
Corroded cast iron pipes can show several signs before failing completely.
- Rust and other sediments from corrosion can result in slow drains.
- The same buildup can cause water backups.
- Leaky water pipes can damage surrounding property.
- Cracked and leaking sewer pipes can release unpleasant odors.
- Leaks of all types can result in mold and insect infestations.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Cast Iron Pipe Failure?
Replacement of failed pipes and repair to subsequent property damage typically falls to the homeowner. In some cases, a homeowners association (HOA) may include certain related repairs in its fees; in this case, membership documents often outline liabilities. Property insurance companies have developed a number of complicated rules over the years to deal with plumbing losses. The result is often a mishmash of coverage provisions, limitations, and exclusions. Therefore, even if an insurance company says “No,” there is often a “Yes!” to be found if one knows where to look. The insurance company may send an inspector to your home to assess the damage. It’s important to file your claim as soon as the water damage becomes visible, which usually means within the first 72 hours.
Is There a Class Action Lawsuit For Cast Iron Pipes in Florida?
We do not believe so. Cast iron plumbing pipes do not last forever, so we do not believe there is a true class action lawsuit pending for cast iron pipes if they’ve lived up to their life expectancy – which is about 50 years. Your insurance company still may have to pay you for these pipes if they’ve caused damage to your property. Our firm will review your case and claim individually.
Why Do Clients Choose Williams Law P.A.?
- We know insurance companies and have helped numerous clients reach favorable property insurance settlements.
- Our trial attorneys are experienced and willing to take your case to court should a settlement prove unfavorable.
- We work on a contingency fee basis, and only charge attorney’s fees when you receive compensation for your claim.
Why Should Homeowners Seek an Attorney?
Insurance companies have a history of refusing coverage to victims of cast iron pipe failure, claiming systems have suffered normal wear and tear or reached the natural end of their lifespan. Even in accepted claims, companies can lowball the insured, leaving homeowners with costly excess repair fees or a legal struggle they are unprepared to undertake. Remember that you can also call in your own experts for estimates, which may help if you need to take legal action.
- Ordinary Wear and Tear
- Failure of Proper Maintenance
- The damage was not “Sudden and Accidental”
- Pre-Existing Damage
- Leaks Lasting Longer than 14 Days
- No Coverage for “Flood” Losses
- No Coverage for “Plumbing” Issues Generally
Pipe Leak Claims and Insurance Companies
Due to the huge amount of cast iron pipe leak claims in South Florida, insurance premiums have gotten out of control. The worst part is homeowners are forced to suffer in silence while their pipes continue to get worse, due to no fault of their own.
A Tampa cast iron pipe damage claim attorney with insurance settlement and lawsuit experience is best equipped to handle these complicated, often time-consuming proceedings.
Williams Law P.A. Can Help
If you or a loved one reside in the Tampa area and have experienced a recent cast iron pipe failure that damaged your home, personal property, or business, contact Williams Law P.A. to discuss your options. Insurance companies use many tactics to avoid extending coverage to damages relating to cast iron pipe failure. Should your insurance company fail you, enjoy peace of mind knowing that Williams Law P.A. has the insurance and property damage experience necessary to help you get your property – and your life – back to normal.
Contact Williams Law P.A. to schedule a free consultation today.