Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Extends Optional Sinkhole Repair Offer to 600 Policyholder Litigants
Jul 29, 2014
After finalizing a similar agreement with another law firm approximately two weeks ago involving 300 policyholders, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”) announced today, July 29, 2014, that it has made settlement offers to 600 additional Citizens sinkhole policyholders who are clients of Marshall Thomas Burnett, P.L., a plaintiffs’ law firm.
Both agreements are designed to end pending litigation and allow property owners to begin critical sinkhole-related repairs to their homes.
Under the terms of the settlement offer, which has been termed an “optional repair program,” Citizens will end legal proceedings when policyholders agree to repair the homes being affected by sinkhole activity. They will then quickly receive professionally recommended repairs, thereby avoiding further potential litigation expenses.
Also as part of the offer, Citizens has agreed to pay for below-ground repairs as recommended by a licensed professional engineer, who will monitor the work and direct any necessary additional such repairs. Each policyholder represented by Marshall Thomas Burnett who participates in the settlement will receive a five-year warranty on the repairs from the below-ground stabilization contractor.
If a settlement participant questions the effectiveness of the completed below-ground repairs, he or she will have the right to choose from a list of licensed professional engineers to re-evaluate the repairs. Also, policyholders will be allowed to choose a contractor from a list of approved vendors for above-ground repairs. Citizens will pay for additional above-ground damage caused by the sinkhole repair.
As of Citizens’ announcement today, more than 100 policyholders have already agreed to end litigation and make repairs.
“This agreement is a win for homeowners and their neighbors,” said Chris Gardner, Chairman of Citizens’ Board of Governors. “Homeowners will get the repairs needed to repair and protect their most valuable asset, while local communities and future buyers will benefit from increased property values and the knowledge that professional repairs have been completed.”
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass& Webb.
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