PROPERTYCASUALTY360.COM NATIONAL UNDERWRITER | JULY 2018 | 19
date of discovery is the date of loss.
But because there is obvious damage
over time in this case, and dry rot in
another room, these facts support the
carrier’s denial of the claim for an
IS WATER DAMAGE TO YARD AND
Question: We have an insured who
had a leak occur in the line running
from her house to the municipal
sewer. According to the local borough, the leak caused the dirt to sink
and compact, which in turn caused
a large hole under the sidewalk and
part of the street.
The insured had to have the line
dug up and repaired. The sidewalk
was saved and the street repaired
after the hole was filled in.
Her insurer is refusing to pay
for the cost to do any of the repairs.
We think, though, that because the
insured was responsible for the yard
and sidewalk, these costs should be
covered. What’s your opinion?
— Pennsylvania Subscriber
Answer: The yard, sidewalk and pipe
might be the insured’s responsibility
to maintain, but that doesn’t make any
of them covered property. The policy
doesn’t cover land, and the plumbing
leak, from the line to the street, did no
damage to covered property so as to
trigger coverage for reasonable repairs.
If the ISO HO 00 03 10 00 is involved,
the cost to replace part of an “other
structure” is covered, but only if a
building is first damaged by a plumbing leak.
As for the sidewalk, that might or
might not be covered property. In some
areas, the sidewalks belong to the
municipality but it is the homeowner’s
responsibility to maintain them.
But, from what you state, this
appears to be more of a liability claim
rather than a first-party property
damage claim. The borough might be
alleging that the insured’s negligent
maintenance led to the damage to its
property — the street and the sidewalk
— and therefore, it is the insured’s
responsibility to repair the cause of the
damage. So, this might mean getting
the claims adjuster involved again.
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