Q: I am selling my house…buyers had engineer inspect back deck and engineer determined hollow and sinking underneath and cracking on walls…said foundation was safety hazard and had to reduce price by around $6000.. Turned in claim to florida citizens..they sent adjuster but they sent me certified letter stating that their investigation may take many months..the certified engineer made his inspection in october 2011…i have sold the house and it will close in about a week…i have incourred a sizeable loss of value in my home..can i sue citizens?

A: In short, no. There are really two issues here that you face. First, insurance companies in Florida are not liable (under the contract at least) for loss of value to the home. These cases are governed by the contract (i.e. the insurance policy) and that contract does not cover lost value therefore you have no basis for seeking those damages when you claim Citizens breached the contract. Second, Citizens in particular has immunity from bad faith type damages. Bad faith damages are also known as extra-contractual damages because you are asking for money that is outside of the contract you had with the insurance company. Therefore, if Citizens is found to be immune from damages outside of the contract and the contract does not cover loss of value, there is not a strong stance to take in your situation unfortunately.

This also brings up another issue of timing and how long it seems to take to get reports. I will address that in another post soon but it still should not impact your situation especially if you have already sold the home.

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