In what appears to be a promising development for those who have found themselves the victim of Chinese drywall installed in their home, the government has taken steps to insure that insurers will back their policy holders. As the faulty imported wallboard has been a serious problem for many, insurance companies have begun dropping those with policies to limit their coverage requirements in the event of a suit or claim. Doing so has left many concerned on what will develop if the providers are left to their own interests.
By dropping those who may have Chinese drywall in their homes, insurance companies limit their liability in a way that mirrors their approach to storm damage and the like. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many insurance companies claimed that, instead of wind damage, the damage incurred by homes was the result of flood damage. The problem with this was that far too many homeowners possessed wind coverage but not flood coverage and thus were facing little to no payment from their insurance company. This is the same plight faced by those whose polices have been threatened by their providers in the wake of this drywall matter.
The Associated Press reports
A prohibition against insurance companies dropping coverage for homes or businesses that contain corrosive, Chinese-made drywall advanced Wednesday in the Louisiana Senate.
The bill by Sen. Julie Quinn, R-Metairie, would bar property insurers from canceling, refusing to renew, or increasing premiums or deductibles because of Chinese drywall at a property.
People who rebuilt their south Louisiana homes after Hurricane Katrina claim the imported drywall emits sulfur, methane and other chemical compounds that have ruined homes and appliances and harmed residents’ health. The contaminated wallboard is costly to replace.
Quinn said she’s received dozens of complaints from homeowners who say they will lose their insurance because they filed a claim related to Chinese drywall or who are afraid to report their drywall problems to insurers for fear they will be dropped by the company. She didn’t, however, have specific numbers of homeowners who have lost coverage or faced a threat that they will lose coverage.
The acts of government officials to protect homeowners in this matter is important. The cooperation that is going on right now seems to support developments that will help those concerned and affected by the problematic materials that make up their walls and the structure of their homes. The problem with Chinese drywall is it is not only a faulty construction material but also taints appliances, not to mention causing health defects.
Product defect is an intricate issue that requires careful analysis not only for the judges involved but also the attorneys prosecuting the matter. While those affected by the toxic import might feel tying the problems incurred by its use is obvious, the courts have a series of procedures that require careful analysis and expert testimony to successfully win the case.
Should you suspect that you have Chinese drywall in your home, it is important for you to contact a legal expert as soon as you have contacted your builder or contractor to inquire about the materials used. A medical expert may be required as well given the health problems that have been described by those with the faulty wallboard in their home. Contacting an attorney will allow you the freedom to prosecute the matter while getting experts to inspect your residence and find all of the problems that the Chinese drywall may have caused.