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State Farm Insurance / State Farm will not cover my sewer pipe break

1 Philadelphia, United States Review updated:

I am writing this in the hopes that someone out there could help me, or lead me in the right direction. I recently found out I had a Sewer Pipe Break under my house. We had an adjuster come out and did the whole 9 yeards. In order for it to be fixed, a plumber would need to break up my recroom floor (the pipe is under the cement slab), bathroom tile floor and more than likely my laundry room floor (they are not sure where the damage ends without sticking another camera. We found Mold from the water leaking all along my basement wall and I have 2 small children who have all their toys down there. Long story short, the adjuster that I had come out was under the impression that it would be covered. Our home owners policy is under State Farm. All the leg work has been done, we even had a company called Serve Pro come out a put an air cleaner in our basement and tape off the closets where the mold is. The agent from State Farm came out to look at the problem a few days later State Farm sent out their plumber to confirm there was a leak and the pipe needed to be fixed. The plumber confirmed it and the adjuster went back to State Farm to get the go ahead to get the job done. I just got a call today that State Farm denied my claim stating the "wording in the policy had recently changed" and Pipes that are under the slab are not covered. This is unbelieveable!!! We have had StateFarm for 8 years ever since we became home owners, never had a claim until now. What do we pay insurance for if they are not going to pay for damamges. Where else do they expect a Sewer Pipe to be on top of your house?? This job is going to cost any where from 8, 000-20, 000 dollars. Not even counting the cost of having my basement walls ripped out, redone and mold free as well as my belongings in the basement, bathroom tile floor replaced, painting redone since the wall was cut to get to the pipe. My adjuster told the Manager at State Farm we would take him to court and he said go ahead we have a good case. I do not have the money for a lawyer let along the money to fix all the damage. Please help. State Farm is probably screwing so many others and this needs to STOP NOW. I am hoping someone reading this can help me.

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  • St
      1st of Aug, 2008

    Pull your home owners policy and see what it says. That is what you bought, and unless they have something in writing signed by you thats different, that what they have to pay..

    0 Votes
  • Al
      15th of Aug, 2008

    I had the same thing happen, and was as upset as you are, but after reading in the policy that Maintenance, normal "wear and tear' and mold are not covered losses, I had to realize that not all home damages are covered.

    The policy said 'sudden and accidental' - not over time.

    0 Votes
  • Le
      26th of Sep, 2008

    Not enough information.

    Did the pipe burst and flood your basement? Or did the pipe leak over time and finally reach a point where it needs to be replaced?

    If the pipe suddenly burst, then the damage would be 'sudden and accidental' and pipe bursts are covered by your homeowners policy.

    If the pipe was leaking over time and reached a critical point where it needs to be fixed, then no, it's not covered. It's frustrating because you cannot see the pipe, but it was deteriorating over time. No insurance anywhere covers maintenance and ongoing problems.

    +1 Votes
  • Ee
      4th of Nov, 2008

    State Farm makes it a practice to deny claims and in my situation, Serve Pro was their co-hort. I would use a 5 letter word starting with "B" but won't.

    I'll bet that State Farm told you to call Serve-Pro to do the immediate cleanup.

    In effect, any dry-out or removal by that kind of company can alter the damage assessment if Serve-Pro didn't exactly report it the way it was before they got involved. Then State Farm can stand on their report.

    These flood damage companies get their referrals from insurance companies. That's just the way it is.

    If, God Forbid, this should ever happen again. Tell the insurance company that you are just moving out- into a hotel ( I found out that was my option and they would need to pay for it- of course they never told me this at the time ) and that you will meet the adjuster there and then have the damage mitigated.

    That causes them to know that you are savvy, that you know your rights, and that they had better get make you a priority to get the damaged assessed immediately.

    If you then get even the slightest resistance, tell them that you are going to contact an attorney. Have the attorney's name ready to state before you even talk to them.

    You have to play hardball. They do. The only reason for their existance is to take your money and keep it.- Not to pay damages.
    Good Luck and Don't Give In or Give Up

    Fill out a complaint with you State Insurance Controller. Believe me, if it's State Farm, they have a warehouse full of them but push it as far as you can. Be agressive and start talking to others about it so that they won't buy from them either.

    +1 Votes
  • Ee
      4th of Nov, 2008

    PS. You have to act fast on these complaints/lawsuits against the Insurance company.

    The clock starts ticking on the statute of limitations and your legal ability to fill a claim against State Farm, Serve-Pro or whoever is appropriate.

    It is worth a 100 dollars to consult with an experienced attorney. He or She can even just read your policy for you- to make certain you are covered for the damages you've suffered and then advise you on how to proceed.

    Again- Go Get 'Em!

    0 Votes
  • No
      2nd of Apr, 2009

    You have to read your policy. I've been an agent for 10 years and the policy has clearly stated for 10 years that water damage resulting from water or water-borne material below the surface of the ground including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway, FOUNDATION, swimming pool or other structure is exluded from coverage.

    I've known this to be way an HO3 policy reads for at least 10 years and you've been with State Farm for 8 years...? They didn't suddenly change the policy language on you. It wasn't a covered loss when you bought the policy.

    Must say I love the legal advice offered in the last post...and we wonder what's wrong with world when we have to deal with people in it like that guy...LOL.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
      10th of Jun, 2009

    All I can tell all of you is "GET A PUBLIC ADJUSTER!!!" Your policies most likely have coverage for your problem. Most Company adjusters dont understand the policy they are referring to. They probably dont know what "ensuing damage" means. My parents had the same issue, SF tried to jerk them as well, but since I am a Public Adjuster, I was able to get them coverage for the damage caused by the access to the broken pipe, and the associated repairs. You are not covered to fix the pipe, but most likely have coverage for all the damage caused by fixing the pipe. Get a Public Adjuster! They are more than worth their fees. Dont let anyone tell you different. If they do, they do, they are not your Good Neighbor, and you are not in Good Hands, and they are not on your side!

    +2 Votes
  • Dc
      18th of Nov, 2009

    I notice that the only person laughing is someone who works for State Farm Insurance...that company certainly knows how to pick the right ppl to continue their methods of ripping off people who make the mistake of trusting the company.

    I've recently had a water pipe break and it flooded our laundry room. We had to get a plumber in to stop the water the next day. We were told by the insurance company to get estimates from contractors which we did and i also sent in the plumbing bill. Boy, was I stupid to think the insurance company would pay for the plumber--just because that was what caused the problem didn't mean that the insurance company should pay for it. Also, it took three weeks for the adjustor to come out and four days for her to decide that our contractors were asking too much money. Meanwhile, my family is suffering from the mold that few out of the hole for those three weeks and my daughter developed asthmas and learned how to use an inhaler, not that the insurance company cared.

    The water pipe broke on Oct 13th and we've had to battle with the insurance company until yesterday, November 17th over money. They wanted us to use their 'preferred contactor', everyone on the internet and in real life says don't do it, you'll regret it so we've had to fight to use a contractor we trust.

    Don't even bother to try to get them to pay for mold...the adjustor seemed to know the mold had been there for quite a while, how she knew by looking down that hole I have no idea, but she did her job and the insurance company won't be responsible for it of course, wrong or right.

    Through all communications with State Farm here in Monroe, NC it's been an uphill battle, the first claims adjuster disappeared, weeks later i found out that the reason she never returned my voicemails was because someone was doing her job for a few weeks. The branch manager tried to help out but got tired of it and quit calling me back like the others did. Finally, they gave the case to someone up in the Fire Division who seemed to actually know what she might be doing with negotiations.

    Anyway, after we've had over 30 years of homeowners insurance with State Farms we've learned that they don't care about how long their customers have been with them or helping them in any kind of crisis--their job is to keep as many pennies that they've collected over the years to themselves and will argue with you over every single one of them.

    If you're just starting out on the long trek of filing a claim and trying to get money out of State Farm Insurance, good luck, get ready to have a lot of phone calls ignored, miscommuncations between everyone in their company and then all the haggling and headaches...get lots of Tylenol.

    Diane Caudle

    +1 Votes
  • Wh
      31st of Dec, 2009

    same thing just happened to me. waiting for the adjuster to come out in 4 days. any idea what i should do before they get here?

    0 Votes
  • Cl
      11th of Jan, 2010

    in response to whystatefarm & everyone else: CALL A PUBLIC INSURANCE ADJUSTER ASAP!!! They, not attorneys, can help immediately and greatly affect the monetary outcome of your claim. It's unfortunate that most people do not know that you have a right to have someone on your side, the insurance company has full-time adjusters working on their side, shouldn't you have someone looking after your claim? Do you let the IRS tell you how much you owe on your taxes? Nope, we get an expert on our side because it is worth it to have someone that knows policy, protocol & procedure to ensure that we recieve everything we are entitled to under our policy & the law. This is why you should call a Public adjuster ASAP!

    -1 Votes
  • Se
      30th of Dec, 2011 a public adjuster so they can take 35% leaving you with less then what you need to do the repair work!! I did! and to the homeowner...that does suck, but read your policy and know what you purchase. Almost every company excludes that type of loss. The the mold genius...mold doesn't grow overnight...common sense would tell you that.

    +1 Votes
  • Ch
      6th of May, 2014

    A good PA will get enough to cover his/her cost even after the 35% taken out of settlement in the end.You get what you the homeowner are fully due for your loss Why do you thinks PA's exist and must be licensed in their State? Ins. Companies adjusters DO NOT have to be. So what you are saying Serio_sly is that you trust the call made by an adjuster that just spent 2 weeks in training on how to save the Ins company money?, that maight not even know the difference between corian and granite, orAustrailian Cypress flooring and pine? I challange you to look up worst home owners insurance companies on the Internet and take a look at list of complaints, and the worst out there.Go ahead take a look.You must be an adjuster for the Ins company. You just don't like when you can't go back to the office and brag about how much you saved your company and how you achieved you next little bonus.I don't know how you can sleep at night knowing you are screwing some poor person that just had damage occur to their home.

    -1 Votes

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