Chinese drywall threatens home owners policies in Florida

Miami HeraldOctober 8, 2009 

Homeowners living in houses with suspect Chinese drywall are already in a bind: Their air conditioners stop working, a rotten-egg smell permeates their homes, they suffer a litany of health problems including troubled breathing, nosebleeds and headaches.

Now, some of them could lose their property insurance coverage.

Many homeowners have filed claims with their home insurers to repair the drywall damage. That's turning out to be a dead end: Most property insurers are denying the claims because homeowners policies don't cover contamination or building material defects.

But once an insurer knows there is drywall damage in a home, the existing damage could be the trigger for not renewing a policy unless repairs are made.

That's the dilemma for James and Maria Ivory. The couple retired to Punta Gorda from Colorado in February, buying a home for $109,000 that was built in 2006. The Ivorys had to have the air conditioner replaced right away and noticed metals were corroding shortly after moving into their home, which had never been lived in.

They filed a claim with their insurer, Citizens Property Insurance, to rehabilitate the home, asking for the drywall to be ripped out and corroded items be replaced, among other repairs.

Read the complete story at miamiherald.com

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