DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver woman is still without a car months after a water main break in her neighborhood flooded the car and totaled it in her garage. She called on the FOX31 Problem Solvers for help, saying she’s now been denied by the program Denver Water has to help in situations like this.

Denver Water has a “No-Fault Main Break Assistance Program” designed to help people affected by main breaks, especially when insurance may not cover the damage. That’s exactly what Dawn Hand said she’s going through, making it hard for her to understand why she was denied.

On Feb. 2, a massive sinkhole emerged in Hand’s neighborhood after a water main break that sent water flooding into her complex’s garage.

“By the time I could see it, it was well up to the seats in mud and the car’s totaled. Then I filled out a claim with the Denver water and they had an adjuster come out,” Hand said.

Who does Denver Water’s main break program help?

Denver Water’s website for the assistance program lists several ways they can financially help impacted customers in breaks like the one in Hand’s neighborhood. At the bottom of the list, two points state they help cover limited payments for damage to uninsured personal property and payments to cover damage to vehicles up to the applicable vehicle insurance deductible.

“This is my personal property and they’re supposed to cover it up to like $21,000, and my car is worth, well, less than that,” Hand said. “But just today, I finally got a call back from the safety director, and he said that they’re not going to do anything about my car. Kind of tough luck.”

Hand waited months for answers while borrowing a friend’s car in the meantime. Her personal car insurance only covers liability, so she said none of this water main break-related damage is covered.

Denver Water shared the following statement with FOX31:

We understand how challenging damages from a main break can be, which is why Denver Water developed its No-fault Main Break Assistance Program. This allows us to help impacted customers, especially where insurance may not cover the damage.

For vehicles, the Program authorizes reimbursement up to $1,000 toward a deductible, but does not authorize payment of any amount for the vehicle that is damaged and not insured at its owner’s decision. Customers were reimbursed the amount of their deductible up to $1,000 for vehicle damage caused by this break.

We did review and deny the claim asking for the vehicle to fall under our property provision of the Program instead of treating this as vehicle damage, as that does not align with the Program details or how we have handled other vehicle claims in the past.

Denver Water