Insurance Adjusters and Engineers and the Doctrine of Privity


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For some time, insurace adjusters and “forensic” engineers involved in the business of conducting inspections of roof and other property damage have been allowed to escape substantive scrutiny and legal (potentially criminal) liability for their often less than accurate “opinions” re the value of and/or extent of damage by hiding behind the Doctrine of Privity.

The doctrine of privity in the common law of contract provides that a contract cannot confer rights or impose obligations arising under it on any person or agent except the parties to it. The premise is that only parties to contracts should be able to sue to enforce their rights or claim damages as such.

What that essentially means/meant is that insurance adjusters and engineers who improperly deny legitimate property owner claims cannot be sued by the property owners since the insurance contract is between the insured and insurance company and not between the insured and the insurance adjuster or engineer. That was then, this is now.

With common sense applied to the DoP common law of contract, it cannot stand, for reasons that should be obvious. Insurance companies who deny, underpay and omit legitimate property damage from insured’s claims in order to save millions to billions of dollars every year and engineering companies who deny legitimate property damage in order to keep their quite lucrative inspection assignments worth many millions of annual revenue coming from the insurance companies expose themselves to class action law suits from the many thousands of insureds who are improperly denied full and proper payment on their insurance covered property damage claims.

Note to ex and current insurance company lawyers, particularly those who knowingly defend engineering companies who intentionally manipulate inspection reports - DoP does not apply to you.

More to come…