Ask an Expert: Should I get my insurance involved over a leak from my dishwasher?
By Teri Karush Rogers |September 24, 2013 - 2:04PM
Q. Our dishwasher leaked into our neighbor's apartment and damaged her living room ceiling. Our place is fine. Do we need to involve our insurance company or just hers and offer to pay her deductible? Or are we better off paying the super to fix up her ceiling?
A. This would be easier to answer if your dishwasher had caused a fire instead of a flood, say our experts.
"There really is no way of knowing how extensive water damage is," says apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage. "Water can travel surprisingly long distances. You might be surprised to find that it has entered an apartment several floors below or to the side and destroyed artwork or a floor. If the owner is on vacation, you might not find out for several weeks."
If you fail to notify your insurance company now, you could be on the hook personally should other problems come to light down the road, potentially including mold.
That means your insurance company will be notified anyway "when your neighbor's insurer tries to recover the insurance payment in full--not just the deductible--from you and your insurer, assuming you are at fault," says Schneider.
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