Court upholds Nationwide's denial of homeowner coverage for water seeping from upstairs plumbing
Steven and Karen Schwartzenfeld noticed water staining on the ceiling of their downstairs dining room. They called in a plumber who identified problems with the upstairs bathroom that had created a slow seepage. The water had recently penetrated the ceiling plaster after ruining the sub-floor and would cost about $40,000.00 to repair.
Nationwide claimed an exclusion in the policy covered slow leaks and that it did not have to provide any payment for the necessary repairs. It also claimed that the insureds had waited too long to make a claim because the water seepage happened more than a year earlier. The homeowners claimed that the damage to the ceiling had just happened and that Nationwide should have to cover the "new" damage. The court disagreed and dismissed their claim based on the "fine-print" exclusion.