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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    2

    Default When My Condo Coverage is Not Enough to Cover the Predicted Displacement, Etc

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: Maryland

    The most simplified version of my situation: A contractor, licensed and bonded, was working in the unoccupied unit directly below me. The worker left solvent soaked rags in a plastic bag with some other trash. Some ? days after, the rags burst into flames and burnt out the entire unit. Through the vents, walls?, floors?, cracks? white smoke permeated my unit and everything in it. The walls and surfaces were wiped down and 4 powerful HEPA fans were left on for more than 24 hours, with little if any improvement in air quality, and all contents still stink.

    The contractor, the owners of the unoccupied unit, the condo, and I are each insured. My coverage is pretty standard, with a $1000 deductible for each displacement and contents.

    Informal estimates I've been told are that I will be displaced for 2-3 months minimum, and the walls, floor, and ceiling should probably be replaced. The content includes several irreplacable items that will require specialized cleaning. I am a fiber artist, and my finished objects, looms, yarns, and fabrics may or may not be salvageable.

    In addition, I have been receiving fairly intensive treatment for PTSD for the past 2 years, and this incident has exacerbated many of the PTSD symptoms and I've had to increase my medications. By not being able to pursue my life interests while I am displaced, my health is also impaired.

    I just want to be made whole. What should I, can I, do? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,497

    Default Re: When My Condo Coverage is Not Enough to Cover the Predicted Displacement, Etc

    I just want to be made whole.
    Nobody is ever "made whole" so quit thinking about it and get busy mitigating your losses ASAP. The longer you wait the worse it gets, the more money it costs you and the less money you get back.

    Step 1 - File a property loss claim on your condo unit owners policy. Your company will send an adjuster to assess the damage. That's the fastest way to get money for the damage to your improvements and personal property. Co-ordinate with the HOA's insurance for the repair of the structural damage to "common elements."

    Step 2 - Put the contractor on written notice that his negligence caused your damage and health impairment. You can count on that taking weeks or months to get any money from his insurance company so don't delay using your own insurance for the property damage.

    Step 3 - If there is any accuracy to the idea that you are not going to be able to live in your home for two or three months, get into a short term rental instead of a hotel. The Additional Living Expense section of your policy should help with that.

    Step 4 - The exacerbation of your PTSD falls under personal injury. You can bet that the contractor's insurance company is going to deny you any money based on that claim so you would be wise to consult a personal injury attorney and review your options.

    I am a fiber artist, and my finished objects, looms, yarns, and fabrics may or may not be salvageable.
    If you make a living as a fiber artist you may find that your insurance is woefully inadequate on those items because of the business limitations on personal property. That may turn out to be an expensive lesson on buying the proper insurance for business related activity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: When My Condo Coverage is Not Enough to Cover the Predicted Displacement, Etc

    Thanks for a prompt response. It has assured me that I have done the right things so far, and helps me formulate a plan for going forward. I know that I won't be made whole; my intended meaning was that I wasn't trying to turn these events into a financial bonanza. Thanks, again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,497

    Default Re: When My Condo Coverage is Not Enough to Cover the Predicted Displacement, Etc

    Quote Quoting cndowner
    View Post
    Thanks for a prompt response. It has assured me that I have done the right things so far, and helps me formulate a plan for going forward. I know that I won't be made whole; my intended meaning was that I wasn't trying to turn these events into a financial bonanza. Thanks, again.
    You're welcome.

    Please feel free to come back to this thread if you have any questions about the progress.

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