Can my homeowners insurer legally deny a severe water damage claim from a leaking roof because it wasn’t sudden and accidental?

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Can my homeowners insurer legally deny a severe water damage claim from a leaking roof because it wasn’t sudden and accidental?

A 4year old flat roof leaning off and on since it was put on. Roofers out multiple times but problem got extremely bad about 6 months ago when I started seeing water running down my walls. Roofer refuses to call me back at this point. Hired a new roofer to build a slanted roof over the flat roof (not started yet). I know that I’m responsible for the new roof, but shouldn’t my $300,000 insurance policy pay for the inside damage? Adjuster was out yesterday and said that I didn’t have a claim.

Asked on October 29, 2011 under Insurance Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When insurers have to pay is governed by the terms of your policy which, after all, is a contract. They have to pay when the contract says they do and not otherwise. For a definitive answer, you need to have the circumstances and the policy reviewed by an attorney. That said, it is a common exclusion that insurance only covers


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