How can I get my renters insurance company to cover water heater damage?

"The condo I rent has an inadequately installed water heater that's caused damage to my unit and the unit below. The previous tenant installed it without getting permission from management. My insurer won't cover the damage because I didn't install the water heater. Now I'm on the hook for thousands in repair bills. Is there any way I can convince my insurer to provide some assistance?

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Answer
“I am sorry, this sounds like a frustrating situation to be in! Water damage is often one of the most confounding things for policyholders because the insurance typically only covers sudden and accidental damage (like water damage occurring from a burst pipe). Often, water damage occurs gradually over time and remains undetected until major damage has been done.
That being said, this really sounds like something you shouldn’t have to worry about. If you are a renter, this is the landlord’s issue and their policy would need to cover the repairs, or they would need to pay out of pocket. Your renters policy should cover your personal property that was damaged. It would be best to inform your carrier of the situation, and you may need to involve a lawyer. Your carrier won’t pay for the condo repairs, but they may help with legal fees if you are sued for liability or help you bring action against the landlord’s policy. “
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Shannon Martin
Answered on Apr 08, 2021
Shannon is an expert in personal lines liability insurance with 13 + years of insurance industry experience. She also served as a special insurance liaison to AARP members for 6 of those years. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette and currently resides in NY with her family. Shannon is also an amateur juggler, ukulele player, and is a time travel paradox theory enthusiast.
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