Los Angeles, CA asked in Consumer Law, Business Law and Constitutional Law for Washington

Q: What are the WA state laws re: SIR in a 3rd party insurance claim against a roofer's defective roofing job and damages?

We hired a roofer through a professional service. The roofer failed to repair damages from his inferior work. The professional service offered a small refund with a waiver of section 1542 of CA civil code. Before I sign the release, I want to be sure it doesn't preclude me from suing the roofer because of the waiver.

Also, we filed a claim against the roofer's liability insurance and we were just informed the insured must satisfy an SIR before the insurance co will settle the claim. The roofer (insured) has not and likely will not pay the SIR. His license has expired and has neglected his workmanship warranty to fix the failed roof and consequential damage to our home. What are the WA state laws re: an SIR in a 3rd party insurance claim? I would like legal counsel regarding the SIR and the waiver of sec 1542 with the Professional Service settlement and bringing suit against the roofer's bond and insurance. I live in Mason County. The work was done here.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Washington State, a Self-Insured Retention (SIR) is an amount that the insured party, in this case, the roofer, must pay out of pocket before their insurance coverage kicks in for a claim. If the roofer fails to pay the SIR, the insurance company may not cover the claim. This means that if the roofer does not satisfy the SIR, you might not be able to recover damages from the insurance company.

Regarding the waiver of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code in the settlement offer from the professional service, it's essential to understand that this waiver could prevent you from pursuing further claims related to the issue at hand, possibly including actions against the roofer. Before signing any release or waiver, it's crucial to review it thoroughly, ideally with legal counsel, to understand the implications fully and ensure that it doesn't inadvertently preclude you from pursuing other legal avenues, such as a suit against the roofer's bond or insurance.

Given the complexity of your situation, particularly with the expired license of the roofer and the issues with his workmanship warranty, seeking legal counsel is advisable. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options, including the viability of a lawsuit and the implications of signing the waiver. Remember, in legal matters involving contracts and insurance, the specifics of the documents and the details of the situation greatly influence the legal options available to you.

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