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Old 07-10-2016, 12:03 AM   #1
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Flood in basement - who in liable?


Long story short i live in a townhouse and they were doing some upgrades to the drain pipes to a few units, and during the middle of the job at night it poured and since the plumbing company didn't seal the pipe going through the foundation the result was it flooded the basement. Our basement was originally unfinished when built but was finished before we moved in by the previous owners. We have insurance but not sure if we're covered for upgrades, but I'm not sure if this matters that it was done before we moved in. Who is liable, and should I have my basement returned to the original condition before the flood regardless if i have insurance that covers upgrades?
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:00 AM   #2
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


You should start by contacting your insurance company. If they cover all but the deductible, then you can decide if it is worth going after someone for that amount.

If your insurance company covers less that 100% or does not want to restore it to the previous level, then you can consider going after the contractor, who should have insurance.

I suspect if your insurance pays for anything they will go after the contractors insurance to get reimbursed.

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Old 07-10-2016, 08:59 AM   #3
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


One thing that may come back and bite you on the butt, is was the basement finished with a permit?
That's one out your insurance company could use to not pay to have it refinished and could just pay for the clean up.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:07 AM   #4
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


You need to check your insurance policy to see if there are any caveats regarding payment for damage. I am not familiar with any cases where failure to pull a permit affected the payout by the insurance company, but perhaps Joecaption has specific knowledge of such a case. Normally insurance policies cover specific perils, with exemptions. Flood due to burst pipe is usually covered, however flood due to rising water would usually require a special policy. In any case, insurance policies are often complicated, hard to read, difficult to interpret, and written in bizarre legalese. Start by contacting your agent. Determining if the contractor has liability is a complicated legal issue, only your attorney can offer useful advice on that type of issue.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:14 AM   #5
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


Do you own your land and home separately (with some kind of mutual ownership of shared side walls)?

Or is your property part of a condominium or cooperative?

Or do you jointly own all of the land and the entire building together with the other residents?

How did the water enter your basement?

I would file claims first with the homeowner's association (if any) and with the contractor, and with whomever engaged the contractor, with a copy marked "information only" to your own insurance company. The last copy lets your insurance company know that a claim may be filed with them too.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-10-2016 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 07-10-2016, 01:54 PM   #6
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


The main difference between a townhouse and condo is that you own the land also with a townhouse.
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Do you own your land and home separately (with some kind of mutual ownership of shared side walls)?

Or is your property part of a condominium or cooperative?

Or do you jointly own all of the land and the entire building together with the other residents?

How did the water enter your basement?

I would file claims first with the homeowner's association (if any) and with the contractor, and with whomever engaged the contractor, with a copy marked "information only" to your own insurance company. The last copy lets your insurance company know that a claim may be filed with them too.
it is similar to a condo where we don't own the land, and we pay a strata fee

the water entered the basement around the pipe that went through the foundation, and it wasn't sealed
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Old 07-11-2016, 10:56 AM   #8
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Re: Flood in basement - who in liable?


thank you everyone for your responses, I have spoken with the strata comp (who is dealing with the plumbing company) and filed a claim with my insurance company. we had a restoration company spend a lot of time drying/tearing up stuff over the weekend, and today I am getting a call back from my insurance company.
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