Who Should Pay For Damage Caused By Your Leaky Dishwasher?

Finding out your dishwasher has a leak can be incredibly frustrating. In addition to having to replace the appliance itself, you may have to worry about plumbing and electrical repairs that result from a faulty dishwasher. If your floors and kitchen cabinetry have been damaged due to exposure to the leak, you'll also have to arrange for water damage restoration. The costs of all these repairs can be substantial depending on how long the leak went undetected or how catastrophic the damage is. In some cases, you may not be liable for the cost of repairs. Here are a few considerations to look at before you pay for the repairs yourself.

Was The Dishwasher Faulty?

If the dishwasher malfunctioned as a result of a manufacturer defect, you may be able to file a claim with the appliance manufacturer. You'll need to be able to prove that the unit was properly installed and cared for. This is why it's a good idea to always keep your original purchase and installation paperwork as well as any receipts for routine maintenance and repair. Be sure to take pictures of the appliance and all damage, and don't discard the dishwasher until any claims have been settled. The manufacturer may offer to simply replace the dishwasher, but the company may also offer to cover the cost of repairs. If you feel that the manufacturer is not dealing with you fairly, you can hire an attorney to help with your claim.

Was The Appliance Installed Properly?

When a dishwasher is not installed properly, it may be prone to leak or malfunction. If you hired a professional installation company to install the appliance, you may be able to go after that company to cover the cost of a new appliance and the cost of water restoration expenses. In some cases, the installation company is associated with the store you purchased your appliances from. Contact the retailer's corporate offices and ask what steps you need to take to file a complaint and claim. If the damage is found to be from a faulty installation, the retailer or the installation company it hired may decide to cover the cost of the repairs and appliance replacement.

Do You Have Homeowner's Insurance?

Of all the different ways to file a claim to cover the cost of damage associated with a leaky or faulty dishwasher, your homeowner's insurance policy is likely the easiest to get money from. As long as your appliance didn't malfunction as a result of your neglect to maintain your home's plumbing and electric system properly, your insurance policy will likely help you to cover the cost of water restoration repairs. You will, of course, be responsible for the deductible and any amounts in excess of what your policy covers.

What Should You Do To Protect Yourself?

Make sure to schedule routine maintenance for your appliances as well as your plumbing and electrical systems. Keep copies of the receipts for these service calls as well as any paperwork you got from the original appliance purchase and installation. Once you notice a leak, take pictures of the damage for your own records. Contact your insurance company and file a claim as quickly as possible. If your insurance company won't cover the costs or if you don't want to file a claim that might raise your insurance premiums, begin the process of seeking compensation from the manufacturer or installation company.