Insurance Companies Drop Drywall Victims
Some homeowners are upset after learning that they’d been threatened cancellation by their insurance companies for simply for filing a claim. The claims filed were related to property damage as a result of drywall imported from China.
The problem started when homeowners began to recognize that their drywall was defective; it was emitting sulfide fumes that were suspected of causing corrosion of electrical wires and plumbing. Families also reported health issues related to the drywall, including skin irritation and respiratory problems.
In Florida, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has notified those policyholders that filed claims that their policies won’t be renewed if the problem isn’t fixed within six months of the date of notice. The insurer says those claims aren’t covered in their policies because they fall under the category of pollution and builder defects. It is up to the homeowners to repair conditions that could lead to property damage and additional claims down the line.
Replacing drywall and corroded counterparts in an average-sized house can cost between $80,000 and $100,000; however, doing so will supposedly solve the problem for those insured under Citizens. Universal North America (a unit of Universal Group, Inc. in Puerto Rico), on the other hand, has already notified one Florida homeowner that his policy was canceled after filing a claim.
While there has been no resolution to the problem yet, an attorney is working with several homeowners to rectify the situation, citing that it’s unfair to punish them for doing the right thing and filing a claim. The drywall, which is currently under investigation with several state and federal agencies, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, may be in up to 100,000 reports across the country built between the years 2006 and 2007.