ELPO attorney pushes insurer for proper replacement
by Mandy Hicks
A Kentucky attorney filed a lawsuit this week that could have implications for anyone in Kentucky whose property was damaged in the wind storm of 2008 or the ice storm of 2009.
Attorney Bob Young of English Lucas Priest & Owsley in Bowling Green, Ky., filed the suit this week in Jefferson Circuit Court in Louisville, Ky. The case is 09-CI-9669and it was received by the court and filed on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.
The plaintiff is Mark Huber, who owns a home in Louisville that was damaged during an ice storm in January 2009. His roof was damaged, and the insurer, State Auto, refused to pay for replacement of the entire roof, instead paying only for replacing shingles in the area of the damage. The State Auto representative noted that the shingles wouldn’t match, but refused to pay to replace the entire roof. Kentucky law requires that insurers pay for materials that match existing items.
Kentucky Administrative Regulation 806 KAR 12:095, Section (9)(1)(b), states, “If a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not reasonably match in quality, color, or size, the insurer shall replace all items in the area so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance.”
According to the lawsuit, adjustor Robert Kustasz of State Auto wrote an e-mail to Mark Huber telling him “we do not owe to match the roof color.”
Young is seeking punitive and compensatory damages through a jury trial on behalf of his client.
“Homeowners need to know that they have rights under Kentucky law to demand that their insurer replace the damaged parts of their home with items that are a reasonable match,” Young said. “Replacing parts of homes with items that do not match degrades the value of the property and can have a detrimental effect on the future sale of a home. This law also applies to cars or any other insured property.”