Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another unit

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Latest post Wed, Jan 18 2017 11:58 AM by SoHo. 7 replies.
  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 7:46 AM

    • SoHo
      Consumer
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    • NJ
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    Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another unit

    Hi, I'm looking for some guidance on how to deal with this situation.

    I'm the owner of a condo unit that was damaged as the result of the sprinkler pipe leak caused during construction in a unit above mine. I was advised by the building management company that the building insurance is not in effect on my unit because the damages to my unit fall below the per unit deductible ($10,000) on their master policy. While the building management is filing the claim for the damages to the common areas and units that were heavily damaged they can't do anything about my unit. And becuase I don't have my own condo insurance I should deal directly with contractor's insurance. Please advise on how should I proceed and what I should reasonably expect from contractor and their insurance to take care of the damages. And is it possible that my building's insurance is still responsible for filing the claim for my unit?

     

     

     

  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 8:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another unit

    SoHo:
    I was advised by the building management company that the building insurance is not in effect on my unit because the damages to my unit fall below the per unit deductible ($10,000) on their master policy.

    That wording is a bit odd, but I guess the gist of it is that the insurance maintained by the condo association/board and/or management company won't cover the damage to your unit.

     

    SoHo:
    I don't have my own condo insurance

    Sorry, but that's beyond foolish.  Do you have a mortgage on your condo?  It's hard to imagine that your mortgage loan agreement (if you have one) doesn't include a requirement that you carry condo owner's coverage.

     

    SoHo:
    I should deal directly with contractor's insurance. Please advise on how should I proceed and what I should reasonably expect from contractor and their insurance to take care of the damages.

    You've (partially) answered your own question:  you "should deal directly with [the] contractor's insurance [carrier]."  I don't really understand what your question about what you "should reasonably expect" means, but the first thing to do is contact the contractor who caused the damage and ask for information about its insurance (and hope that, unlike you, the contractor carried proper insurance).  Also, I don't know if NJ requires contractors to be bonded, but you probably should look into that also.

     

    SoHo:
    And is it possible that my building's insurance is still responsible for filing the claim for my unit?

    In the abstract, virtually anything is possible, but no one can opine intelligently about the extent of "building's insurance" without reading the policy.

  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 8:31 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,417

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another unit

    IF adjusterjack wanders in...he knows a lot about this .....

    Absent some language in CC&R to the contrary, you may be up creek wo a paddle ...

    You claim would be against the owner above .

    You have burden to prove owner and his/her contractor were negligent ......not just a mere " accident " 



  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 8:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another unit

    Drew:
    You claim would be against the owner above .

    The owner of what?  Above what?  The OP's claim is against the contractor who caused the damage (and, secondarily, against the contractor's insurance).

     

    Drew:
    You have burden to prove owner and his/her contractor were negligent ......not just a mere " accident "

    Most accidents result from negligence, so the point of this comment is unclear.

  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 8:43 AM In reply to

    • SoHo
      Consumer
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    • NJ
    • Posts 3

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another u...

    I've contacted the contractor's insurance. Investigator hired by the contractor's insurance is going to come in tomorrow to inspect the damages. I guess I will know more then.

    Sorry if my question was very general but since this is the first time I'm dealing with this situation, and yes, lesson learned, I need to get condo insurance, I wanted to know if I'm within my rights to demand from the contractor to repair the damage or have their insurance policy to pay for the repairs.

  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 9:41 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
      Lawyer
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    • Joined on Sat, Dec 9 2000
    • NV
    • Posts 5,468

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another u...

    You have the right to demand anything you want, how the insurance company will respond is anyones guess.

  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 11:43 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,417

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another u...

    You can demand all you want ...but you don't really know who did what as to Construction in unit above yours ...was it by licensed contractor..with all proper permits in place  ...for the work underway ....with the proper skill groups on the job.....I.E. it probably takes a licensed plumber to work on a sprinkler system ...if contractor used some semi skilled carpenter to relocate a sprinkler line..that might well be negligence .....It sure might help your barter position if you had a handle on what supposedly took place . 



  • Wed, Jan 18 2017 11:58 AM In reply to

    • SoHo
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Wed, Jan 18 2017
    • NJ
    • Posts 3

    Re: Condo - damage caused by contractor working on another u...

    I actually know some details... Yes, it was a licensed general contractor with proper insurance. They did not work on the sprinkler line but damaged it while working on something else.

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