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Property & Casualty Insurance/condo insurance, am i liable....

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Question
i have a 1 yr old washing machine in a unit i rent out. (broward county florida)  The washer was purchased "new" from a large retailer, and installed professionally by them.  The exit hose accidentally came loose during a cycle, and water went down to the unit below.  They have some water damage (carpet, walls, etc)  My insurance company told me that the other unit owner needs to file with their insurance company....except they are uninsured. My adjuster says that my insurance will not pay their claim, and that I am not liable as it was not negligence.  
Just want to be sure...Am I liable???  Can I be sued, or really, would they win???

Answer
Lisa,

I am sorry to hear about your problem.

Whether you are liable or not will depend on a lot of things ... primarily what the condo association by-laws spell out as far as what happens in situations like this. Generally, you are responsible to insure that nothing escapes from your unit in such a way to cause damage to someone else's property. Negligence is a major determining factor and there really anything that you did here that would rise to that level.

Having said that, you need to immediately file a claim under the liability policy for whoever did the installation from the "big box store". They will be the ones who have the ultimate responsibility for any damage caused by their negligence in installing the new washer connections.

Check the by-laws ... and file a claim with the installation company.

Hope this helps!

Kevin Hromas
JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, HCRI-R/C, CPIU, WIND® Umpire
Kevin Hromas & Associates
... A Division of US Insurance Information LLC
www.KevinHromas.com

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Kevin Hromas - JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, WIND Umpire

Expertise

Insurance related issues for both commercial and residential property coverage. I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.

Experience

I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies. After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation in regards to claims issues and practices. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Organizations
Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association Member – Windstorm Insurance Network Member – Association of Property & Casualty Claims Professionals

Publications
Claims Magazine (www.ClaimsMag.com and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.) www.ClaimsPages.com, www.ProAdjuster.org, www.KevinHromas.com

Education/Credentials
JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

Past/Present Clients
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm) Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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