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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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I suffered a significant water damage loss at my vacation

Customer Question

I suffered a significant water damage loss at my vacation property home in Pennsylvania in 2008. I submitted my claim to Travelers Insurance at the time and after a site inspection by a Travelers Property Loss Specialist the "NET SETTLEMENT CLAIM" came to $40,036.06.
But during the course of this initial site inspection the Travelers Insurance Specialist noted that by back door exterior stair riser was not to code and if I did not repair this in 3 days my entire policy would be canceled and no funds would be disbursed regarding the loss to the home structure itself.
At that time I did repair the "reported' outside stair riser problem in the required time frame to Travelers satisfaction feeling that Travelers was just looking for an excuse to get out of this loss.
During the course of repairs to the home itself, disbursements were made in 3 partial releases during the course of reconstruction totaling $34,153.03. This reconstruction, due to the extensive nature of the loss was not completed until August 2009.
On August 31, 2009, after the completion of repairs I notified the bank who disbursed the funds (Wells Fargo) and Traveler's Insurance in writing, per their request and requested the remaining $5883.03 disbursement be released to me. These monies were needed by me to cover final reconstruction costs owed to my contractor which had to come directly out of my pocket since my final remaining balance disbursement was contingent the home being completely repaired.
Additionally, I requested in writing and per my policy agreement an additional $1500.00 to cover costs of personal property which had to be placed in storage as well as damage to some personal property in my home at the time of the loss which I have receipts for.
I never heard back from Travelers Insurance regarding my final disbursement of monies, so in April 2011, I submitted a written request with all the appropriate receipts and paperwork regarding this claim to Traveler's Insurance. Shortly thereafter I was contacted via telephone by a Traveler's Insurance Representative who said that he would be in contact with me to address this matter but needed to review the file.
As of this date I have not heard back from Traveler's Insurance.
Do I have any recourse in this matter?
I contacted Traveler's Insurance this month to ask for a possible reduction on my home insurance policy since I had a complete ADT security system installed there.
Surprisingly, but not so surprisingly, I just received a letter from Traveler's stating they are canceling my policy because they consider my vacation home vacant and no longer covered under their policy.
Thank You
***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I am a licensed Pennsylvania professional and will do my best to assist you with your concerns.

Paul, the answer that I will provide will likely not be favorable. But before I do that, let me check a few factors. Just to be clear, this was a policy that you still have (or had until canceled by them), and you have this assurance from them stating that they will cover the costs in writing? Is the property in PA or somewhere else?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Policy is good until November 26, 2015Policy clearly states what I can recover regarding a loss of use and or property storage due to loss.
The Estimate for Repairs is a 25 page very detailed document showing where each piece of wall board and nail will be replaced totaling over $40k of which I only received about $34 K.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property is in Harveys lake, PAIt is my vacation property which I visit and stay at with friends and family during the summer months and almost every holiday.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Travelers knew this was a vacation home and actually required that I get renters insurance in California where I work and then "piggyback" this lake home property on a separate home owners insurance policy with Travelers as well.
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your patience.

Under Pennsylvania law, specifically 42 Pa.C.S.A. §5525(a), the code sets forth the statute of limitations on a breach of contract claim at four (4) years. This is based on the date when the breach took place, and arguably that is when they made a promise to pay, but failed to do so. Even in the most favorable light to you, that would around August 2009 when they finally failed to pay the final deposit. Because of that, and unless you can argue that they continued to renew the terms, that is what governs and therefore I see this as waiting too late under state law to effectively pursue. I am sorry!


Dimitry, Esq.

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