R.F. from Middlesex County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I had water leak into my condo from ice dams. My insurance had the adjuster come down and access the damages. Downstairs, the ceiling popcorn was damaged in the kitchen and hanging along with the upstairs bedroom ceiling. He later notified me I had to go through master policy. My association then had their adjuster come down and they said they would be fixing it and the claim didn’t have to go through my insurance. Now when both adjusters were at my condo they both said that the whole downstairs would have to be fully scrapped even the living room as the kitchen ceiling flows into it so it would all match. My condo management company said they would be hiring their own contractor to fix the damages. When he came (the contractor) he even said the whole downstairs would have to be scraped in order for it all to match. At this point I got a breakdown on what will be fixed and they’re now telling me that they will be only scraping the damaged parts of the ceiling and resprayed and that it would match and to not worry. I feel as if they’re taking the easy route along with probably pocketing insurance money as I’m sure they were paid to have the whole downstairs fixed as both adjusters measured it and said it would have to be done. Is there anything that I can do to make them fix my condo the correct way?
Mister Condo replies:
R.F., this is an unfortunate situation to say the least. If what you are claiming is true, there may even be some fraudulent insurance claim activity to boot. Your first job is to document with pictures and in writing as much as you possibly can. You use the phrase “said” to describe lots of these transactions and that is where your case is weakest. Adjuster don’t just “say” things; they write reports. You need to get copies of these reports if you are going to challenge the association and to back your claim of “pocketing insurance money”. That may be what happened but you can’t prove it with “said”. Also, these adjusters were not in your employ. You may not be able to get the report from the association’s adjuster but you should be able to get the report form your own insurance company. Armed with that written information, you should write to the Board and ask that the repair be made properly. If they refuse, and it sounds like they might, your next remedy is a lawsuit. You should consult a local attorney to see what further rights you have and to bring suit against the association for failing to make the adequate repairs. If the association / management company / contractor “pocketed insurance money” as you allege, the party who should take action against them is the insurer, not you. If you know the name of the insurance company and wish to alert them of your concern, you may do so. However, that isn’t likely going to help you in your quest to get the repairs made properly to your unit. Good luck!