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I own a public co-op apartment. I have Allstate Homeowners, this is covered, already verified with insurance agent and started a claim.

Here's what happened:

Valve attached to main building hot water pipe failed completely, scalding hot water shooting all over the inside of my kitchen cabinet. Couldn't reach in to shut off valve because of scalding hot water spraying into your face. Wife ran downstairs, got maintenance up here in under 5 minutes, by 10 minutes, hot water in building was shut off and they were in here with shop vacs getting as much water up as they could. Maintenance guy replaced the valve, they turned water back on, everything is fine.

Water didn't get into any surrounding apartments. water soaked into half the living/dining room and ruined the carpet. water warped and ppeled the cabinet and drawer. completely soaked carpet in two closets. soaked into hallway carpet. got into bedroom with laminate tile flooring, I'm worried about warping and mold.

We took many pictures trying to document as much of the damage as we could.

Called insurance, they opened claim, assigned an agent and said he would call me back within one business day.

My question is how do I even begin to get this fixed? Who do I call? Just google "contractor nyc" or what? I assume my insurance is going to want estimates and licensed contractors and stuff?

Also, what is reasonable to claim? Obviously, I need to replace the whole areas of carpet that part of them are damaged, I can't just cut it out and replace part. but what about the warped cabinet? Even just replacing one cabinet, it won't match what I have.

anyone been in this situation? Thanks for reading, and I look forward to the responses.

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You dont have to do much - your insurance adjuster will come out, take pictures, document damage , prepare a detailed list and can even provide a list of reputable contractors they use in othher claims

You don't even need to get estimates unless you want to use a different contractor

Good thing you were home at the time, imagine the damage if you hadn't been able to shut it off as quickly as you did. Taking pictures was a good idea, too, just in case.

I think Allstate provides a workmanship guarantee if you use one of their preferred contractors, ask the claims adjuster for a referral. I would suggest getting at least three estimates, at least one from a contractor not referred by Allstate. The different opinions will help you get a good idea of what really needs to be done and how much it should cost. Also, I'd imagine you'd want to get this done as quickly as possible before the mold gets worse.

You can do a Google search for water damage cleanup services. The insurance adjuster is probably the best source of information about what you need to do to have the claim approved and paid in a timely manner.

The insurance company has preferred list that they will provide you.

Make sure you don't use the word "flood".

right I only said over and over valve broke.

unfortunately, they keep harping on getting the broken valve, but the maintenance guy who replaced it took it, probably threw it out. I've called inquiring about it but they basically told me they don't have it but they'll sya whatever they need to since it wasn't sabotage or anything. Hopefully it isn't a big deal as long as the incident report is straightforward.

my coverage for this sort of thing is only $4500 with a $100 deductible. I'm going to up this next year based on my experience because water cleanup alone is costing me $1600. That only leaves me $2800 for replacing the carpet and any damaged cabinets. Definitely not going to cover barely any of it

Hopefully I can figure how to pay for this stuff with such limited funds. Should have had the cost of replacing the kitchen insurred, but live and learn.

Thanks for the help.

hsilman said:   right I only said over and over valve broke.

unfortunately, they keep harping on getting the broken valve, but the maintenance guy who replaced it took it, probably threw it out. I've called inquiring about it but they basically told me they don't have it but they'll sya whatever they need to since it wasn't sabotage or anything. Hopefully it isn't a big deal as long as the incident report is straightforward.

my coverage for this sort of thing is only $4500 with a $100 deductible. I'm going to up this next year based on my experience because water cleanup alone is costing me $1600. That only leaves me $2800 for replacing the carpet and any damaged cabinets. Definitely not going to cover barely any of it

Hopefully I can figure how to pay for this stuff with such limited funds. Should have had the cost of replacing the kitchen insurred, but live and learn.

Thanks for the help.


I don't know how co-ops work, but the co-op won't pay for damages that are their fault?

tante said:   hsilman said:   right I only said over and over valve broke.

unfortunately, they keep harping on getting the broken valve, but the maintenance guy who replaced it took it, probably threw it out. I've called inquiring about it but they basically told me they don't have it but they'll sya whatever they need to since it wasn't sabotage or anything. Hopefully it isn't a big deal as long as the incident report is straightforward.

my coverage for this sort of thing is only $4500 with a $100 deductible. I'm going to up this next year based on my experience because water cleanup alone is costing me $1600. That only leaves me $2800 for replacing the carpet and any damaged cabinets. Definitely not going to cover barely any of it

Hopefully I can figure how to pay for this stuff with such limited funds. Should have had the cost of replacing the kitchen insurred, but live and learn.

Thanks for the help.


I don't know how co-ops work, but the co-op won't pay for damages that are their fault?


In my condo, I am responsible for "limited common elements" that serve only my unit, even if they are physically outside the boundaries of my ownership (like an electrical conduit in the basement, once it makes its final branch to my direction.

HOWEVER, the condo assn does have an insurance policy that's far more liberal, even covering things clearly inside my unit like my kitchen cabinets and stove. It might not make much sense, but the policy does cover it, so when I had a small kitchen fire, they agreed to cover my damages to basically anything that was in the unit before I moved in, even though these things are clearly not the assn's fault nor responsibility (rule of thumb, not legalese). So check out your building's policy, you might catch a break.

tante said:   hsilman said:   right I only said over and over valve broke.

unfortunately, they keep harping on getting the broken valve, but the maintenance guy who replaced it took it, probably threw it out. I've called inquiring about it but they basically told me they don't have it but they'll sya whatever they need to since it wasn't sabotage or anything. Hopefully it isn't a big deal as long as the incident report is straightforward.

my coverage for this sort of thing is only $4500 with a $100 deductible. I'm going to up this next year based on my experience because water cleanup alone is costing me $1600. That only leaves me $2800 for replacing the carpet and any damaged cabinets. Definitely not going to cover barely any of it

Hopefully I can figure how to pay for this stuff with such limited funds. Should have had the cost of replacing the kitchen insurred, but live and learn.

Thanks for the help.


I don't know how co-ops work, but the co-op won't pay for damages that are their fault?


What makes you think its the co-ops fault? AFAIK for condos, the COA won't cover any incidents that occur inside your unit unless they were caused by an event outside your unit. The valve broke either because of being worn or defective. In any case, I fail to see how the coop could have prevented, or should have known about it failing.

unfortunately, the co-op won't be covering this because the valve that broke was installed inside my unit. it is my responsibility.

Allstate had the company's insurance information on file and they basically aren't going to cover anything for me, so it's up to my policy.

I guess the good thing is the adjuster said she thinks they will give me the max, so I can at least try my best to replace stuff.

word to the wise: don't skimp on insurance for this stuff, either insure stuff for what it actually would cost to replace it, or have the funds set aside just in case. in my case, I should have had double the coverage I did, and probably 20k worth in case of a catastrophe.

hsilman said:   
my coverage for this sort of thing is only $4500 with a $100 deductible. I'm going to up this next year based on my experience because water cleanup alone is costing me $1600.


If you can afford fixing the small stuff yourself, when you decide to raise your coverage limits, consider raising your deductible as well. If you had a $150 loss, would you really file a claim for the $50? Raising your deductible to $500 or even $1000 will significantly reduce your premium.

And you don't really want to get on the insurance co.'s radar filing a bunch of $200 claims anyway.

ko22 said:   hsilman said:   
my coverage for this sort of thing is only $4500 with a $100 deductible. I'm going to up this next year based on my experience because water cleanup alone is costing me $1600.


If you can afford fixing the small stuff yourself, when you decide to raise your coverage limits, consider raising your deductible as well. If you had a $150 loss, would you really file a claim for the $50? Raising your deductible to $500 or even $1000 will significantly reduce your premium.

And you don't really want to get on the insurance co.'s radar filing a bunch of $200 claims anyway.


good idea, definitely something to think about.

well, I remeasured the rooms that were effected, and they are actually smaller than I thought. If I install the flooring myself I might be able to get away with reflooring 90% of the apartment. I'm definitely willing to learn, and I have 3 friends who have either built a home from the ground up or renovated their homes before, so I have some help/guidance. The floor under the carpet is some kind of vinyl tile, so that's another plus because it means the floor will be even and easy to lay something over without worrying about evening out the concrete base.

I'm still concerned about the kitchen cabinets. They are ikea, and I doubt the model is made anymore. I'm going to look into replacing the 2 cabinets that were effected, and seeing how much getting new matching doors for the rest of the kitchen will cost. We're talking a 50 sq foot kitchen here, so hopefully it won't be too bad for 2 new cabinets and 6 new doors.

i wouldn't think it would be very expensive these guys sell doors and full cab's

hsilman said:   well, I remeasured the rooms that were effected, and they are actually smaller than I thought. If I install the flooring myself I might be able to get away with reflooring 90% of the apartment. I'm definitely willing to learn, and I have 3 friends who have either built a home from the ground up or renovated their homes before, so I have some help/guidance. The floor under the carpet is some kind of vinyl tile, so that's another plus because it means the floor will be even and easy to lay something over without worrying about evening out the concrete base.

I'm still concerned about the kitchen cabinets. They are ikea, and I doubt the model is made anymore. I'm going to look into replacing the 2 cabinets that were effected, and seeing how much getting new matching doors for the rest of the kitchen will cost. We're talking a 50 sq foot kitchen here, so hopefully it won't be too bad for 2 new cabinets and 6 new doors.

thank you for the link, I'll look into it.

wasn't planning on remodeling the kitchen, but maybe I can add it to my list of things to learn how to do. Good to have older friends who have been through this stuff before!

i'm going through it right now, had a broken drain pipe behind the cabinets, mold ect..
insurance tried to settle for $5400, quote for mold remediation was $4200, hired my own adjuster, learned quite a bit, i settled for $24k

hsilman said:   thank you for the link, I'll look into it.

wasn't planning on remodeling the kitchen, but maybe I can add it to my list of things to learn how to do. Good to have older friends who have been through this stuff before!

yeah, unfortunately for me hindsight is 20/20 on this issue. I'd much rather be paying similar insurance costs to have 2-4x the coverage and 10x the deductible than what I have now. That's what I get for not really thinking about the policy I'm taking over or how to best insure the property. Luckily if I can do the work myself and figure this stuff out it will be a relatively inexpensive life lesson.

For anyone else reading this thread ...

$100 deductible homeowners insurance was pretty common ... 30 years ago. Today there's very little purpose in anything less than $500 deductible, or even $1k depending on the pricing.

Anything involving water damage is likely to be difficult to resolve for less than $10k.

BEEFjerKAY said:   For anyone else reading this thread ...

$100 deductible homeowners insurance was pretty common ... 30 years ago. Today there's very little purpose in anything less than $500 deductible, or even $1k depending on the pricing.

Anything involving water damage is likely to be difficult to resolve for less than $10k.


I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this policy was set up 20+ years ago and never changed. I inherited this co-op from my grandmother who had been living here since the late 70s and I never reviewed the insurance or changed anything.

I looked into the cabinet scenario, and I think the most cost effective thing for me to do is buy new base cabinets for the ones that were affected(sink and corner cabinet) and then buy new doors to match for the rest of the cabinets. Should be able to get the kitchen done for $500 or so if I can install the new cabinets myself. If I had proper coverage I'd be getting the kitchen renovated, c'est la vie.



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