Who should pay?

A contractor tore down an apartment building that was adjoined to my house and caused damage to my roof and roof line. Contractor’s insurance company denied my claim. I then filed a claim with my home owners insurance and they turned it down because the estimated damage was less than my deductible. I don’t think I should be responsible for any deductible because it wasn’t my fault or my home owners insurance companies obligation. What recourse do I have?

Asked on April 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse is to due the contractor (you sue the contractor him- or itself, not the insurer) for the damage: if you can prove (e.g. by credible testimony, of yourself, your family, any contrators you hire to repair the damage, etc.; by any examinations done by insurance adjusters; by photographs; etc.) that they caused the damage, you can get a court order requiring them to pay. (At that point, if they have relevant insurance, it is most likely that their insurer will pay for them.) If the amount at stake is equal to or less than the maximum limit for your small claims court, suing in small claims, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees, is an excellent option.


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