90-Year-Old Woman Stuck In HOA, Insurance Blame Game
KDVR-TV (Denver, CO)
DENVER (KDVR) — A 90-year-old Denver woman is stuck in a damaged condo as her homeowner's association and insurance company point the blame at each other for a pipe burst in her building hallway.
Sadie Licata has been living in her condo at the Windsor Gardens for nearly 20 years now.
On March 20, a pipe burst in her condo's communal hallway sending water flooding into Licata's and two other neighbors' homes.
Her HOA fixed the pipe in the hallway and paid for emergency water restoration services including ripping out Licata's kitchen flooring and molding along her walls. However, months later the floor and molding are still not replaced.
"I'm sitting on cement that's hurting my legs because it's cement," Licata said. "I've got arthritis in my knee, I shouldn't be walking on cement. The carpet was wet all the way through here too and they said it all has to be torn out."
Licata's son Joe has been fighting to get his mother's home fixed, pleading back and forth with her HOA and the insurance company she pays to protect her, The Hartford.
"Both of them are just passing the buck back and forth, it's just ridiculous," Joe said. "It's aggravating. It's really frustrating knowing my poor mother is going through all this and yet they don't give a damn."
Joe asked the FOX31 Problem Solvers to help. We contacted the HOA and The Hartford to ask about the holdup.
The Windsor Gardens Association responded to our request with this statement:
Ms. Licata's unit was involved in a water loss on March 20, 2022, resulting from a sudden and accidental water pipe burst that occurred under the concrete slab of the first floor. Windsor Gardens repaired the pipe and paid for the emergency water restoration services provided to the three units involved.
Unfortunately, Ms. Licata experienced flooring damage from the water loss and her insurance company is recommending replacement.
Ms. Licata informed the association that she installed the flooring when she moved to Windsor Gardens. As such, the flooring is considered an improvement and betterment installed by the Unit Owner. In accordance with the Association's Declaration, Owners acknowledge that insurance coverage for improvements and betterments installed by Unit Owners shall be at the cost of each individual Owner.
The association has advocated for her over the past several weeks and strongly encouraged her insurance company, Hartford Insurance, to extend coverage under her policy."
A representative from The Hartford shared the following statement:
We take the privacy of our customers' information seriously, and, as a practice, we do not discuss specifics of individual claims.
Generally speaking, when a pipe bursts in a condominium causing damage to common areas and individual units, the homeowners association's insurance covers some of the repairs and the residents' insurance covers others. It can take time to sort out which insurance policy applies to each damaged piece of property. We are working with the homeowners association on a resolution for our customer so that the damage can be repaired as soon as possible. Customer service is a top priority for us, and handling claims is at the heart of what we do."
"My contention is, get it fixed. Why let these people sit around in this stuff for over two months now? It's ridiculous," Joe said.
Following the Problem Solvers' contact with The Hartford, Joe tells FOX31 he got a call from a supervisor. According to Joe, the supervisor said she just got his mom's case from March on her desk and he should be receiving names and numbers for contractors soon.