Vortens Toilet Tanks

Last year, we announced that Vortens was having problems with their toilet tanks and as a result, home and business owners were experiencing cracking and subsequent water damage. Recently we heard from two owners who had encountered the defective tanks. A photo of a cracked tank is shown below. The fact that we heard from two owners confirms that defective tanks are still in use and consumers want to know what to do. If your property is insured, contact your carrier as soon as possible, take pictures of all damage including the failed tank pieces. If you start cleaning up, do not discard anything. It is especially important to save all of the pieces of the tank; your carrier’s adjuster or investigator will want to take possession of all evidence. Be sure to make notes of all phone calls, meetings, and happenings that take place in regard to repairing your property. The notes will come in handy if you have to go to court and testify against the manufacturer. On the other hand if you are not insured, you can try to file a claim with the manufacturer directly. If that doesn’t work, you can try and find an attorney who will take your case on a contingency fee basis. That is, the attorney will work on your case and will be paid only if you collect anything. Typically, attorneys working on a contingency fee basis will take 33% of what ever is awarded.

Cracked Vortens Toilet Tank

Cracked Vortens Toilet Tank

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Be Careful How You Treat Your Engineering Investigator!

Consider the following incident involving a vehicular impact and damage to the vehicle’s transmission. Assume that the driver hit an object in the road and claimed that the object caused damage to the transmission’s oil pan.  In short, fluid leaked out and the transmission was ruined.  On the surface, this seems like a plausible scenario and it would be reasonable to conclude that the failure of the transmission could occur after being hit by flying debris from the object that was struck.  However, what if evidence was found to indicate that things were not  as they appeared?  Needles to say, the final conclusions went against the owner’s claim.  Understandably, the owner would be upset and most likely not open to an alternative explanation.  If you are trying to get your insurance company to pay off on a claim, the last thing you want to do is insult the investigator.  The investigator has no interest in the outcome of the settlement between you and your insurer.  As a result, if you accuse the investigator of acting improperly with no evidence to support your accusation, neither the investigator or your insurer is going to feel inclined to help you in any way.  Not many people know this but, whenever a claim arises, the policyholder can hire their own engineer, appraiser, adjuster, attorney and anyone else they need to help prove their claim.  However, professional help does cost which is why insurers are seldom opposed in the claims process.  So, when you are faced with talking to an engineer, adjuster, appraiser or anyone else hired by and insurance company, be as polite and honest as you can be.  If you disagree with something, you can ask questions but, don’t insult or accuse the inverstigator of taking a “kickback”.  Instead, the time for an appeal ccomes after the initital decision is made by the insurer.  After that, appeals can be made directly to the insurer.  If there is  no satisfaction, then file a complaint with your state consumers affairs department or the office that regulates insurance companies.

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