is a release of seeking further damages necessary before a settlement check is issued to a homeowner?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2013

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Insurance Question from Fort Pierce, FL

Asked on 03/19/2013

is a release of seeking further damages necessary before a settlement check is issued to a homeowner? I am in an HOA and had damages from a broken pipe that the HOA was responsible for as per their insurance policy. A settlement amount was determined by their adjuster and a check was issued to me. No demolition work has been done yet so more damage may be found. However the HOA requires me to sign a release of any further claims against them prior to delivering this check to me to repair the damages. Is this proper or legal to hold the check "hostage" as they are doing?

Answer given on March 27, 2013

If the HOA was responsible for the damages to your uniit due to a broken pipe, they should also be responsible for taking care of the repairs to your unit and the pipe. A settlement check from their insurance com;any would be made payable to them and they should handle the cashing of the check and the repairs to the pipe.Talk to your HOA and ask them why they are not taking care of the repair to the pipe and checking into any additional damage. Ask them why they are asking you to sign off before the entire damaged area is inspected. If they are not cooperative, see if you can speak with the insurance company to see if they can assist you in finding a contractor to make the repairs. Also ask them about checking the area for additional damage before settling.

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