Dispute over cost of windstorm damage leads HOA to file suit against Philadelphia Insurance

By Amanda Thomas | May 13, 2018

© Pattanaphongphoto | Megapixl.com

ST. LOUIS – A homeowners association in Missouri is suing its insurer in a dispute over the cost of property damage. 

In a lawsuit filed May 9 in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Carlyle Townhome Association accuses Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company of failing to participate in the appraisal of property damage and breach of contract following hail and wind damage from a storm in May of 2016.

The complaint notes that Philadelphia Insurance doesn’t dispute a covered loss occurred and provided an estimate for the damages. The estimate provides a replacement cost of nearly $345,000 and an actual cost value of nearly $282,000.

Carlyle, however, alleges that Philadelphia Insurance erroneously estimated the value of the loss. Its own estimate is nearly $1.7 million. The policy reportedly contains an appraisal provision detailing contractual rights and obligations when both parties dispute the value of the property loss. 

Carlyle selected Thomas Irmiter as its appraiser in December 2017. According to the Missouri Standard Policy language, the insurer was obligated to appoint an appraiser within 20 days from Carlyle’s demand for appraisal. 

The lawsuit alleges the insurance company refused to participate in the appraisal process after Carlyle made a written demand for one pursuant to Missouri statute and the insurance policy. 

Carlyle asked the court to “compel Philadelphia to participate in the appraisal process” and deny the company the right to nominate an appraiser. Carlyle also alleges Philadelphia Insurance  breached the contract, saying Philadelphia failed “to issue full payment for a covered loss.” 

Carlyle is represented by Carol R.M. Moss of Hellmuth & Johnson, PLLC in Edina, Minnesota. 

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Circuit Court of St. Louis County U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

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