How do I go about having the bank that owns the neighboring property to pay for the damages to my home?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I go about having the bank that owns the neighboring property to pay for the damages to my home?

My neighbor’s roof flew off during hurricane and landed on my home causing roof damage. My insurer wants me to pay a $17,550 deductible before they they even start the work on my home. It also changed my deductible from $1,200 which I can afford. to $17,550, without an explanation.

Asked on September 22, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The property owner, bank or otherwise, is NOT liable for damage done when a "roof flew off durring [a] hurricane." A property owner is only liable for damage to another's property when they are at fault, or unreasonably careless, in causing it. The bank was not at fault in causing a hurricane, and if the hurricane was going to peel off the roof, there is no reasonable thing they could have done to prevent this. This is, in the old terminology, "an act of God," and the other property owner is not responsible for it.
However, if the insurer changed your deductible without giving you notice of the change and not at the correct time (e.g. at policy renewal time), that may well be illegal; an insurance policy is a contract, and a contract cannot be changed unilaterally (by one of the parties) whenever they feel like doing so. You may be able to sue the insurer under the terms of your policy (for "breach of contract") to force them to pay all but the deductible that you had on the policy.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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