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Professional Advice

Foro seguro de comunidades: ropa dañada por aguas fecales en mi tienda

Sam S.

Hi, I have a clothing store in the basement of my building, and the other day a general downspout building pipe got broken causing damage to the ceiling, wooden floor and in several clothes and merchandise that were on sale and got wet by water. All of this, with the disadvantage it was sewage.

The Insurance Company from the Community came to repair the drain and sent repairmen to fix the damaged ceiling and flooring, but the problem is that my merchandise is damaged.

There are several dresses that are totally useless so the Insurance Co. indicates that they will pay the full amount but there are others that can be washed, others that have minor damage, accessories etc. for which they  only want to pay half of their value.

It is an upscale store and I cannot sell a “defective” product so I wonder if I can do something about it.

Many thanks.

Moderator, Sergio Sanguino

Dear Sam,

First of all, to indicate that since the Insurance Co. has been repairing the store , they clearly admits responsibility in the incident. And once admitted you must bear in mind that according to the law, being the Community the responsible “they must return the damaged goods to its original state.”

That means that if an object is not as new as before after cleaned, the obligation of the Insurance Co. is to compensate you with the full amount. It is true that it is a norm on Insurance Co. to try and “rescue the goods” if possible, i.e., if a garment, for example can be sold after washed, they indemnify the injured with a percentage of its value and he can keep such harmed garment to be sold. This means that you can sell it with some sort of discount, outlet etc.

But this is only in case the insured agrees. It is a choice that is given to the insured and as you indicate that it is an upscale store, and the clothes are damaged by sewage, you can tell the Insurance Co. that your customers will not pay a high price for an item that has already been handled and washed, ironed or with some sort of defect.

The obligation of the Insurance Co. is to compensate you with the current value of the damaged items and, yes, you must submit to the Insurance Co. if requested, the damaged garments, so they can sell them if they please.

Kind regards

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