December 8, 2023


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Lebanon Family shocked after insurance denies coverage of water damage caused by pool collapse

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) — Just about everything in the Moyer’s basement was ruined when thousands of gallons of water came rushing into their home in Lebanon.

“I just heard clanging and banging and that was the basement doors being ripped off their hinges,” said Steve Moyer, homeowner.

Moyer was standing in the above-ground pool in his backyard when it suddenly collapsed.

“I was at the one edge of the pool and all of a sudden the opposite end just opened up and I turned around and watched all the water just go out of it. We estimate about 14,000 gallons of water was in the pool and approximately 8,000 to 10,000 gallons went into our basement the remaining water went into the neighbor’s yard,” said Moyer.

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The damage to the neighbor’s property was covered under the Moyer’s liability insurance.

“We were told the damage to our home would not be covered at all,” said Moyer.

When the Moyers bought the home three years ago the above-ground pool was already there. They said when they filled out their homeowner’s insurance application they “checked the box” that asked if they had a pool, so they assumed it would be covered.

The insurance company said the pool collapsed due to corrosion and all the water that rushed into the home was considered “surface water”, which is not covered under the policy. The Moyer’s claim was denied and they were left with a hefty bill.

“We estimate probably about $25,000. We had personal items, several couches, a computer, and my son had his bedroom down there. All of it is gone,” Moyer said.

The Moyer’s reached out to the abc27 Investigators for help.

We contacted Pennsylvania Insurance Department, which regulates the insurance industry. It encouraged the Moyer’s to file a complaint, which they did.

The abc27 Investigators also contacted the Moyer’s insurance company and the trade organization it belonged to, the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, to ask why this wasn’t covered. A few days later the Moyers got a call.

“The insurance company said it had reversed its decision. They didn’t give us any reason at all they just informed us they have decided to cover the damages. It was a huge sigh of relief because we weren’t sure what we were going to do. We were looking at taking a second mortgage out on our home. We are grateful for {abc27} spending the time to come out and for helping us,” Moyer said.

The Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania says if you are considering putting in a pool do not place it too close to your home and have the pool routinely inspected because insurance policies typically do not cover corrosion or normal wear and tear.

If you already have a pool the federation encourages you to call your insurance agent and ask specific questions about what is covered and what isn’t.