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Question DetailsAsked on 6/15/2011

Advice on insurance coverage after tree damage

We live in Maryland and we had a tree fall down on our house in December. After much wrangling with the insurance company, work is finally getting done on our house, which we're extremely pleased about. Our insurance company is paying for the damaged areas obviously. Recently, however, the contractor tells us that the particular cedar siding on our house is no longer made. So, they want to use a different type of material to match (but it isn't cedar). Also, because damage was done to only portions of the house, and the insurance company is only covering the replacement of damaged areas, the stain is not matching either. So, my question is, is our insurance company responsible for covering the cost of replacing all of the siding if the contractors cannot find a suitable match? Part of our wrangling with the insurance company had to do with 'making the house back to the way it was before the tree fell on the house.' Well, having mis-matched siding and stain was not how our house was before the tree incident. What rights do we have (before we look into getting a lawyer).

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4 Answers


Our siding was blown off one side of the house due to high winds. We had the same situation as you. The same siding was no longer available and if they did one area, it would not match the rest. The adjustor came out and gave us a check to repair the damage. We got three estimates. We submitted the estimates and explained that the siding would all have to be replaced. We received another check that covered the cost minus the deductible. The only difference here may be that the siding we replaced was only for three sides of an addition to the building, so the additional cost was another 1000.00 dollars. It sounds like you have a whole house to contend with which would be quite a bit more. Still, you should get those estimates and try to get it replaced. Also, rather than a lawyer, which can be costly, try an insurance arbitrator. I used one in a previous home and it worked quite well. They arbitrate for you with the insurance company and keep a percentage of what you receive. It worked very well for me.

Answered 9 years ago by anmlprht


It sounds to me that the insurance company could make a good faith effort to repair the damage but if the stuff isn't made anymore then it becomes an impossible situation. I don't think the insurance company should have to pay for something that wasn't damaged.

No, I don't work for an insurance company.

Answered 9 years ago by harry


Sounds like it will be hard to get the insurance company to come out and give a new quote overriding the first one. Becarefull of how much of a fight you put up, it sounds like a MUCH more expensive claim then having the tree removed - don't get canceled. How many claims over the past 20yrs have you made?

Answered 8 years ago by help1968


Realizing this is too late for your case, but maybe helpful for other readers in the future.

I have served as an expert to an arbitrator or adjustor on several similar cases involving redwood siding, stone facing, and glass - in each case, the insurance company, client, and adjustor came to an agreement in one of two ways:

1) have a custom fabrication company make replacement material which is basically an exact match

2) replace an entire wall of covering in a material that suits the homeowner, even though not matching the rest of the house - in one case a brick facade replaced a fake-brick EIFS system which the insurance company wouldnot allow to be put on because of the inherent flaws in EIFS. Ditto to a glass case, where a certain textured treated glass was no longer available - a totally different glass type was used to give the building a two-tone look.

In your case, a replacement cedar product could certainly be custom milled to match the appearance, and certainly the stain could have been mixed to an almost perfect match - I have worked on renovation jobs where as many as 20 different stain/wood combinations and a month of drying/exposure time, and in one historic national park headquarters building even tested under high-intensity lights and twice dailyk wetting and drying to simulate solar fading were tried using pint stain cans, to get a reasonable match. Certainly overkill for a house, but I have tried as many as a half stains before to get a match, as well as custom mixing two stains (always from same manufacturer) to get a matching blend.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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