methods to collect on third party homeowners insurance claim

Submitted by zeeck on Wed, 11/14/2007 - 01:58

retired couple live next door but travel a lot (often not home for months). their secondary water line broke and flooded both mine and their properties. this water line eventually got shut off (I had to contact the city to get them to come shut it off) but after a few days I noticed the top of my driveway starting to tilt a little (this tilting occured right near where the flood was...the rest of my driveway is fine). the ground was very wet near the driveway (took 4 days to completely dry out). I called my insurance company (allstate) and they said they do not cover flood damage outside the home. however, they said the neighbors homeowners insurance policy should cover the damage to my driveway. I filed a claim with the neighbors insurance company and the did investigate the damage (although very slowly). the said they believe the tilting to my driveway was already their (and gave some baseless arguments backed up by a state licensed civil engineer). they refused to pay any of the driveway repair ($3000) but said they would give me $1000 under the "good neighbors' provision of the neighbors policy. my question is what are my options to try and collect payment? I've read that getting your own insurance company involved can sometimes help (although I just barely switch my homeowners insurance to another company). the neighbors are still not home (been on vacation for 2 months) although I think they may be back soon. has the neighors insurance company broken any laws by not acting in good faith when conducting an investigation? all comments are much appreciate. thanks...zeeck

Posted: 14 Nov 2007 11:20 Post Subject:

Good morning Zeeck and welcome to the community...

has the neighors insurance company broken any laws by not acting in good faith when conducting an investigation?

First good or bad faith is first party. But really how did they not display good faith effort if they even had an engineer?

I've never heard of this 1k they have offered you and would almost think that is a 'pay off'...take the money and go away...I've never heard of it......I surely don't know everything, and perhaps this is state or company specific, my HO policy doesn't say anything about it. If this company is state farm then ''good neighbor'' makes sense doesn't it?

When your neighbor does return do you think he/she would know enough about your drive to tell their company, 'hey, i'm telling you that this was NOT that way prior to this water break." If so I think that would be your best bet....Have you talked with them on the phone about it maybe?

As to your company assisting, I don't think that would be of any benefit in this particular case, because you have no coverage for this loss.

When did you (or did you) have this drive poured? Do you happen to have any pictures (recent) of the driveway maybe in the back ground that you could enlarge (at Walmart or on the computer) that could/would show the prior condition? Clearly you are left to PROVE that this was not seeping or settling prior to their flood, and I personally think your neighbor (their insured) taking your part is your best hope, short of hiring a structural or civil engineer yourself....

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