Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Insurance Question from Portland, OR

Asked on 06/25/2010

Is this really a new claim We had water damage due to damaged pex that was used in our shower. Initially the plumber who patched said that a sawzall caused the damage. The water damage was remediated, plaster patched and then a second failure ocurred ~3" from where the original damage occurred. The damage appears to be identical, but plumber #2 identified it as rodent gnaw marks. State Farm has the original pipe and never shared their analysis results. Shouldn't they have told us the damage was rodent so we could have taken necessary steps? Is plumber #1 responsible? Is it reasonable to call it a "new" claim?

Answer given on July 04, 2010

the water damage you suffered in your shower was apparently caused by the pipe damage that the plumber found.  It seems unusual that the first plumber wouldn’t have seen the leak 3″ away if it was there at the time of the first loss, but not impossible.  Even though State Farm had the damaged pipe, it is unlikely they analyzed the damaged pipe.  Instead they would have deferred to the plumber used as to the cause of the damage.   It seems logical that damage by a sawzall might mimic rodent gnaw marks, or vice versa.  

Your question does not say whether the insurance company is considering this a new, separate claim or not.  If so, there doesn’t seem to be any responsiblity from plumber #1 for negligence.  You should discuss the situation with the claims adjuster to see if there is anyway to tie this 2nd damage to the original claim, thus eliminating the second deductible and a second claim on your record.  Another option would be to speak with the first plumber to try to work out a compromise with him. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and FreeAdvice.com AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of FreeAdvice.com nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although FreeAdvice.com has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on AttorneyPages.com to represent you.