Dear PoP – Who’s Responsible?

“Dear PoP,

On February 25th there was a wind storm in DC that blew the roof off of one of the units in our apartment block onto our car and ultimately landing on our neighbor’s car. You can see in the file that the last unit in Madison Deelux is missing their shingles and aluminum siding. That’s what ended up on top of our neighbor’s car – $10 grand worth of damage, our car damage was estimated at $2-3 grand.

Both of our cars are kept in the gated garage located behind our units, which is the landlord’s property. We documented everything and reported it to our management company on the 25th as well as followed up with them in the week that followed. They told us to get estimates for the damage, which we did, and finally (yesterday) gave us their insurance information.

We received a call today from their insurance and were told they would not be paying for anything. Our insurance, which we called on February 25th and have been keeping apprised of the situation, said they can’t do anything unless we pay our $500 deductible first, in which case they will cover the rest and go after the building owner’s insurance to re-coop their losses. Even if we pay our deductible, which we will never be refunded, our insurance rates will go up as a result of this claim.

We believe that as owners of the rental property and the roof that flew off of it, the property owners insurance should be responsible. Having done all that we know to do, we would value any advice on how to move forward.”

Hmm, this is a tough one, I thought for ‘acts of God’ events that your own insurance is responsible even if it comes from somebody else’s property is responsible for the damage. Anyone ever deal with a similar situation? What do you guys think?

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