The bath tub in my condo overflowed, damaging the ceiling of below unit. Is this covered by my homeowner’s insurance?

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2012

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UPDATED: Apr 23, 2012Fact Checked

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Asked April 23, 2012

1 Answer

To decide who's insurance, if any at all, will pay for the damages depends on some other factors. Why did the tub overflow is an important question, and could alter the liability for the damage significantly if the tub overflowed because the building owner did not make necessary repairs. The best way to resolve the issue could be to file with your condo insurance company and let them decide who is at fault. Keep in mind that your own insurance company may not pay the claim either if there is reason to believe that you could have avoided the damage by taking reasonable precautions.

Did the tub overflow because of a backed up drain? The building owner is usually responsible for the plumbing and other utility wiring until it enters your dwelling. So if the plumbing is backing up because of a drain that is clogged or broken pipe in the walls, floors or even outside the building, then the landlord or property owner should have insurance that would handle the claim.

If the tub overflowed because you got distracted and left it filling for an extended period, then you could try filing a claim with your own insurance company, but this is a touchy area and the company could deny the claim based on negligence on your part. If that happens, then you would be personally responsible for the damages, and would have to pay them out of pocket.

On the other hand, if the tub overflowed because your child jammed a toy soldier down the drain when you were not looking, then you might have a legitimate claim to file against your condo insurance policy. Since you were not aware of the toy in the drain, negligence is not an issue, and since you or a member of your household caused the ensuing damage, the claim would be settled as a liability claim, repairing the damages caused to someone else.

Answered April 23, 2012 by Anonymous

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