If something goes wrong with your home, the last thing you want is to have a complete stranger messing things up even more.
Unfortunately, an insurance company will often push you to use their contractors to make repairs to your home if you file a claim. The good news is that, if those contractors cause further damage, your insurance company may now be held liable for it.
While we have been successful in these claims ourselves, a Court in Washington, D.C. has recently decided this issue in a written opinion. In the case of Hall v. South River Restoration, Inc., a homeowner was suing a contracting firm after the insurance provider USAA required that said firm perform repairs on their clients’ home.
Over the next four years, the homeowner claims that the contractor “ruined” their home with the work they performed. When the homeowner contacted USAA to complain, they were told that USAA was not liable for work done by a contractor.
Naturally, the homeowner sued, since it was not their wish that this particular firm perform the work on their home in the first place. They didn’t think they should be held liable for damages caused by a company they were forced to bring into their home.
USAA moved to have the case dismissed. Fortunately, the Court ruled that there was enough information in the pleadings that, if if the Plaintiff were to prove that the information was entirely true, they could be successful against USAA. While this particular case has not yet concluded, the fact that the Court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff’s desire to pursue legal action against their insurance company is a big deal.
So what does this mean for you? If a contractor was send out by your insurance company, whether it be to dry out your property, board it up, or put it back together, and they make things worse, we can help. The most common mistakes by contractors are 1) not properly drying out the property, leaving moisture in the walls or floor which cause mold; 2) removing much more property than is necessary to remediate the property; and 3) taking shortcuts in making repairs. If any of these happen to you, or if something else goes wrong, we can help.
We will keep you informed as this case progresses. In the meantime, if your home has been damaged by one of your insurance company’s “approved contractors,” contact Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei. We can review your policy, inspect the damage, and help you get your house back to normal.