February 27, 2024
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By LAUREN VICTORY

The lives of suburban husband and his wife were completely turned around in one big explosion.

The homeowners’ horrifying home discovery only got worse. Lauren Victory, CBS 2’s Lauren Victory, explains the cost-intensive situation which left homeowners on the hook.

The house of Vassi Saviano and Dominick Saviiano in Bloomingdale is only decorated on the exterior. Inside, there’s not a lot left.

The room they were standing in was much cleaner six months earlier.

“I could not open the door fully because there was something blocking it,” said Vassi.

This was drywall that had caved in and insulation that fell. They had just left the house to grab a quick meal.

Dominick stated, “As Dominick and I walked to the top of the stairs you could clearly see that the ceiling had fallen on all our furnishings, including our drapes.”

The insurance company sent them another shock.

AllState said that they were unable to cover the collapse of the ceiling, and blamed wear-and-tear. Savianos were responsible for the tens and thousands of dollars of damage.

He said our attic was not maintained properly and that it is due to its age. It’s also just uncovered,” Vassi said.

They didn’t get it. The house was not damaged by water or holes.

How do you keep an attic? Vassi said. If you look through the hatch you will see a vast sea of insulation.

AllState was bombarded with their questions. Eventually, an engineer from the company arrived to inspect the ceiling. There was a third surprise.

“You can tell where glue has been slopped on,” said Vassi.

The drywall was attached to the beams using glue. CBS 2 received a copy from the Savianos of an engineer’s report. The expert highlighted in red areas where there was no glue. The expert also noted areas where the nails were too close together.

The ceiling is not adequately supported.

“I am stunned,” Vassi said.

The Savianos were shocked but not discouraged. Expert analysis revealed that the ceiling had been improperly installed when the Savianos purchased the home in early 1970s.

“I thought, Hey, This confirms everything we have been saying to AllState for years,” said Vassi. It’s not your fault!

She was mistaken.

AllState has not changed its position on the refusal to cover stories. The Savianos lived in sleeping bags and suitcases at the condo of their son for months. CBS 2 conducted an interview with them. They feel trapped and confused.

How can we be held responsible for work done 52 years ago? Dominick spoke.

Janet Ruiz from the Insurance Information Institute (III), an organization which partners with insurers to educate the public on insurance basics, stated that many homes had construction defects.

Ruiz explained that homeowners insurance covers specific types of losses, such as fire, theft, and wind.

Ruiz stated that it is unlikely any insurance company will cover construction defects dating back to 1971 which lead to ceilings collapsing in 2023.

She said, “That is a terrible thing to happen but over time it has happened.” It is just wear and tear.

They found that other parts of their house were hanging by a thin thread. The Savianos don’t have a clue when they will be able move back into their home.

“It is very sad,” said Vassi.

Dominick also added “Depressing.”

They wonder whether other homeowners need to be concerned about the ceilings collapsing.

CBS 2 received an invitation from another home owner on the same street who had cracks appearing on her ceiling. Cracks appear in a T shape, as though the ceiling were buckled.

The Savianos have seen their costs rise. The Savianos could sue the builders, but the said the original company no longer existed.

Victory: What is your goal in doing an interview for the news?

Vassi:

The lesson is that you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

AllState maintained its position on the decision not to cover the Savianos. CBS 2 asked AllState what homeowners who have construction defects could do to protect themselves. AllState did not answer this question.

Ruiz suggested that people who own older homes look at home warranties. CBS 2 conducted some research, but couldn’t locate any warranties that cover the wear and tear of a ceiling that can lead to its collapse.

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