One common question that we get is when people wonder does renters insurance cover a leak over time. Would your Queens, NY Renters Insurance cover the damage from a leak that continued for longer than it needed to?
Generally, when we’re talking about a slow leak over time, there won’t be coverage. Here’s why.
Duty To Mitigate
First of all, you as the insured have a “duty to mitigate” your losses. That means, in a nutshell, that you’re obligated to stop the loss from getting worse to the extent that you’re able to do so safely, as soon as you know or should know of the loss.
When you’re aware that there’s a leak, you need to take steps to prevent it from continuing in order to stop the loss. That might mean making sure you close a faucet tightly, or it might mean letting the landlord know. When you notice it (or should have) is when you need to take those steps. If you don’t, and the damage continues, that damage would not be covered because you could easily have prevented it.
If it’s a burst pipe, the damage to your property would be covered, of course. But there again, you need to let the landlord know so that they can take care of it.
Mold Coverage Is Limited
Mold coverage is actually excluded from the policy document itself, and then carved back by way of an endorsement. This limits the coverage. Is there a specific reason for that?
Yes. In reality, mold is something that should almost never happen naturally in a residence. It requires certain conditions to form and to continue forming long enough to cause damage. Those conditions should not exist, and if they do exist they should be rectified. If there’s a leak, or dampness, there are steps you can take to prevent mold from forming and to fix the source of the dampness.
As a result, mold coverage is limited on your policy. See your policy document for the details.
Leaks Are Not Sudden And Accidental
Your renters insurance policy is designed to cover losses which are sudden and accidental. A burst pipe would certainly fall into that category, and is covered. On the other hand, a leak over time is neither sudden nor accidental. A leak over time is something that can and should be fixed as soon as you’re aware of it, because that way you can prevent damage rather than having to fix it.
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