Homeowners in Florida who are struggling with Chinese drywall problems got some good news out of Louisiana this week when a judge there ruled that standard homeowner’s policies should cover the damage caused by the faulty building material.
Louisiana and Florida are currently the epicenters of Chinese drywall issues. Due to a shortage of drywall and a residential housing boom in Florida and reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina, cheap Chinese drywall was imported to these states. Homeowners who had a home built with Chinese drywall soon began to complain of a sulphuric acid smell, and corroding appliances and wire and metal work in their homes. Because of confusion and difficulty identifying the actual manufacturers and importers of the bad drywall, many homeowners have had no choice but to resort to filing homeowner’s insurance claims.
Insurers — fearing having to pay a mounting number of claims — have fought tooth-and-nail to avoid paying any claims. They have raised several policy exclusions — language in insurance policies designed to limit the coverage available to the insured — as excuses not to pay. The decision from the court in Louisiana is the first time a judge has ruled on these exclusions.
In this instance, the trial judge invalidated every policy exclusion raised by the AIG-family insurance company involved in that case. The insurance company has vowed to appeal. Read more about the case here.
We salute the judge in Louisiana for closely studying the issues and issuing a courageous ruling. We handle insurance dispute cases. Call us at 407-644-4444 with questions.