A recent article originating in Florida, highlights a problem that many homeowners face and none wished they faced. The article title “Insurers dropping Chinese drywall policies”, talks about some new homes being built with a Chinese drywall that emits sulfuric fumes and corrodes pipes. Sounds pretty bad, and it is, especially if it’s your house this drywall is in.
The problem could be very large considering there appears to have been 500 million pounds of this drywall imported into the United States between 2004 and 2008. The houses constructed with this drywall seem to be concentrated in the Southeast, especially Florida and coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. Texas and the Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Weatherford, and most of the areas of the State seem to have escaped this problem
Most the insurance companies are denying the claims submitted by homeowners. The basis for the denials will vary but most of the time the reasons have to do with the problem being a “pre-existing” condition, or some type of construction defect exclusion. Both of these are often times omitted coverages in the homeowners policies.
What’s worse is this. When an insurance company discovers you have this defective drywall in your house they are cancelling the policy or at the least refusing to renew the policy. When the homeowner tries to get other coverage they are denied. The result of no insurance coverage ends up being devastating for homeowners because the majority of homeowners also have loans on their homes. One condition of all these loans is that the homeowner maintain insurance. When the homeowner cannot get coverage the loan company will foreclose.
From a financial standpoint, this situation is wiping out the saving and net worth of couples and individuals. Anyone faced with this situation can only hope to find an experienced Insurance Law Attorney willing to read the insurance policy to look for and find reasons to have the insurance company to pay for the loss.