Fungus Devours House, Insurance Company Error Leaves Homeowners Holding The Bill

Like a freeloading cousin who shows up unexpectedly, a rare fungus moved in and quickly took over a California house. The homeowners say they got it in writing from its insurance company, Safeco, that it would pay for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and fungus removal, but the insurer says that was a mistake and is only offering to foot a fraction of the bill.

“It looked like there was French bread growing up thru the floor,” the homeowner tells L.A.’s Fox 11 about the fungus that appeared to come out of nowhere. “It had grown up around the legs of the dresser.”

It was eventually determined that the fungus was Poria incrassata, a rare, fast-spreading, wood-eating fungus that can ruin an entire house in about a year.

After some finger-pointing and back-and-forth with Safeco, an insurance company employee told them in writing that they would be covered. Clean-up and removal crews were called. Walls, floors, and just about everything else in the home was gutted to eradicate the fungus.

And then Safeco gave them the bad news.

In spite of the fact that they homeowners had gotten it in writing that they would be covered, they say Safeco told them its employee had been mistaken about a clause in their policy and that the insurance company is only responsible for $10,000 of the $350,000 in damage and clean-up done to the house, which currently looks like it’s been hit by a tornado.

The homeowners, one of whom is a lawyer, have filed a suit against Safeco.

What to Do When Fungus Attacks: MyFoxLA.com

What to Do When Fungus Attacks [MyFoxLA.com]

Thanks to Jon for the tip!