What is a condo owner's liability for water damage to a neighbor's unit?
Our water heater burst suddenly. Damage to tenant below us. Their insurance company paid for it. Can their insurer ask us for money they paid out?
M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney Answered 5 years ago| Contributor
Condo's generally have a master policy. This covers the building itself, exterior walkways, etc.
But, depending on the by-laws, you are responsible for generally the walls in. So the condo owner below probably was insured for his/her contents and made a claim under his/her policy.
What will happen is that the insurance company will "subrogate" the claim - step in to the shoes - of the condo owner below and sue you for the money it paid out.
It is very common for a water heater to leak in to the apartment below and cause damage. And yes, you may indeed be responsible. Do you have the type of insurance that covers damage to others? Check your policy. Did you report he water heater problem? Notice may be an issue. Call your insurance agent and check on the type of policy you have. Also look at the Condo Rules and Regulations as well as the by-laws to double check who is responsible for what. Good luck.