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Insurance Cos. Denying Chinese Drywall Claims

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Homeowners insurance policies apparently won’t cover damage caused by  Chinese drywall.  According to a Florida attorney interviewed  by BradentonHerald.com, insurers  are rejecting such claims “across the board.”

A spokesperson with the American Insurance Association told BradentonHerald that insurance companies in many states have received claims regarding Chinese drywall damage, but could not say how many. The spokesperson also said most so far have come from states where high humidity is prevalent – such as Florida.

According to BradentonHerald.com, insurance companies are citing provisions in homeowners policies that exclude coverage  for damages caused by pollution and construction defects. Many homeowners might have better luck if they file claims under the builder’s, drywall supplier’s or drywall manufacturer’s commercial general-liability policy.  However, there is no guarantee that will work, BradentonHerald.com said.

Homeowners in at least 18 states have complained that fumes from Chinese-made drywall produce a “rotten eggs” odor and cause metals, such as air conditioning coils, to corrode. The fumes have also been associated with respiratory and sinus problems in some residents. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the U.S. imported roughly 309 million square feet of drywall from China during the housing boom from 2004 to 2007.  Some estimates say as many as 100,000 homes in the U.S. could have been built with Chinese drywall.

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