My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Massachusetts
To give a little background on my issue, I had solar panels installed over my entire roof and they were done so incorrectly. The solar company admitted it was due to faulty installation after several visits and 5 leaks. Finally the solar co. insurance carrier has accepted my estimate of damages and agreed to pay but wants me to sign 2 releases (one for mold damage and the other for roof repair, interior damage). The solar company did not check my entire roof and we have not had a heavy rain since the issues began so the amount I submitted for the roof repair is only the amount to fix the known leaks. I am waiting for the solar company to get back to me because I requested that they check the entire roof for leaks prior to me accepting any payments. I did tell this to the insurance company but they can only deal with the known issues so they sent me the releases to sign. The releases both have the wrong "date of occurrence" and is off by several months. The releases also state the following paragraphs that seem to release them from a lot more than just paying me for damages caused by them.
"the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, has remised, released and forever discharged, and by these Presents does remise, release and forever discharge the Releasee of and from all debts, obligations, reckonings, promises, covenants, agreements, contracts, endorsements, bonds, specialties, controversies, suits, actions, causes of actions, trespasses, variances, judgments, extents, executions, damages, claims or demands, in law or in equity, which against the said Releasee, the Releasor ever had, now has or hereafter can, shall, or may have, for upon or by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, from the beginning of the world to the day of the date of these Presents."
"I agree that this settlement is in full compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim both as to the question of liability and as to the nature, extent, and permanency of damages including but not limited to all property damage and remediation expenses resulting from water intrusion events, including any water, moisture, mold and that the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability. I further agree that the nature, extent and results of the damages sustained by me are not now all known or anticipated, but nevertheless desire to settle and compromise said claims in full."
The insurance company previously emailed me stating they are accepting full liability for the leaks and this seems to contradict that.
There is also an indemnification clause that states:
"INDEMNIFICATION. Customer agrees to indemnify and defend (solar co name removed) from and against all third party claims, including but not limited to, its heirs, executors, administrators, and successors, allegations, claims, actions, suits, demands, damages, liabilities, obligations, losses, settlements, judgments, costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees and costs) which arise out of, relate to or result from any facts or claims made or released herein."
What does the indemnification statement mean?
The insurance company sent out an appraiser and then only told me about the appraiser's estimate for painting the interior. When I asked about the mold, roof and other damages (insulation, etc.) the insurance company told me to submit my estimates and almost immediately approved them. This makes me think the appraiser must have either appraised a higher amount for damages or saw something that I have yet to discover. Otherwise, I believe the insurance adjuster would have sent me his appraisers estimates and only paid that amount. I hate to seem paranoid about signing these releases but I am bound into a contract with the solar company for the next 18 years and I don't want to sign anything that will make me liable for any future leaks that have yet to be discovered. I'm wondering if this is standard language or something I need to be concerned with. My last question is are the solar company or insurance company required by law to provide me with their investigative reports from when they came out to evaluate the damages and/or the full appraisal? Where there are 5 leaks on all different parts of my roof, I'm afraid that if a new one arises in the next year that they will claim it's the same one as before and I will have nothing to prove where the specific leaks were (pics of interior damage but that would be about it).
Thank you for any guidance you can give me.