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Property Damage Insurance Claim Denials Based on Wear and Tear

by Whitfield Bryson | Bad Faith Insurance | Share

Under common all-risk insurance policies, the policyholder must only demonstrate a covered loss was sustained during the policy period. Then, the insurance company must cover the loss unless a policy exclusion says they don’t have to. Insurers include various exceptions in these all-risk policies, one of which is called a “wear and tear” exclusion.

Insurance carriers routinely include policy exclusions for “wear and tear.” These provisions protect the insurer from liability in the event its insured fails to properly maintain, repair, and replace deteriorated and/or defective portions of its insured property. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will claim damage is from wear and tear, even if it isn’t, in an effort to avoid paying out funds on a valid claim.

When a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood occurs, insurers commonly try to pin the blame for property damage on a preexisting property condition. One of the most common exclusions that insurance companies invoke to deny claims is “wear and tear.” An example with regard to roof damage claims could be when an insurer points to the date of the age of a roof or the maintenance record for a roof as reasons why the roof is damaged, rather than natural disaster damage.

A false claim by an insurance company that damage resulted from wear and tear can often result in an insurance bad faith lawsuit. This excuse is particularly common on aging commercial properties, even if they are in good shape. In these situations, the insurance company may be denying the claim improperly.

Commercial Insurance Attorneys

If you submitted a claim and your insurance company is asserting the property damage resulted from wear and tear and is not covered by your policy, you should contact the insurance lawyers of Whitfield Bryson LLP today. Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with insurance company tactics. We have taken action to address many serious violations of insurance law by insurers, including when insurers falsely claim damage was preexisting or resulted from wear and tear. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.


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