REDDING, CALIFORNIA -- Insurance Fraud by CSAA and City of Redding Complicity in taking no action. California State Auto Association also known as AAA is my homeowners insurance carrier. As a part of the homeowner policy CSAA covers sewer line replacement or repair as it pertains to root damage. I have had root intrusion in my sewer line which I share with two (2) other households before it hits the sewer main. Most recently in 2000 and again in 2001 I filed a claim for root intrusion with CSAA.
My line at ** shares the line with 1664 Walnut Avenue and 2514 Placer Street before it hits the main on Placer Street. Rick ** my agent for CSAA started the claim, then set about starting the work through Twyman Plumbing without first letting me know. I complained and the work stopped. Rick ** was belligerent to my wife and I over the event.
To shorten the story however, the work was finally given to Schuler Plumbing under CSAA claim # **. I was told by Marty Schuler that all the remaining pipe up to the main would be replaced with new ABS pipe thus eliminating further root intrusion. However, he did not complete the work. A section under Placer Street was not done. Schuler said not to worry - the roots under the road would not be a big issue. I might need to have the line cleaned out yearly and that should last another 10 years.
For me this was not acceptable. I complained to CSAA. I complained to the Department of Insurance under file #CSB-**. In the mean time Enterprise Plumbing was called by CSAA to videotape the line. CSAA would not let me see the videotape. That is not until the Department of Insurance contacted them. Then I not only got a copy of the tape but I also got some of my co-payment refunded to me.
It all looked good on paper. But, the problem under the road still remains. According to Enterprise Plumbing two spots still existed where root intrusion was occurring. CSAA said they would not cover any further sewer line replacement. Besides, according to them, this root intrusion was due to normal wear and tear. On the written estimate sent to CSAA it stated damage was present due to root intrusion and normal wear and tear.
It was obvious to me upon viewing the videotape from Enterprise Plumbing (dated 11-01-00) and a prior video tape made by Marty Schuler Plumbing (05-18-00) that the section under Placer Street had damaged sewer pipe due to root intrusion. Mr. C. ** [**] of the Department of Insurance said that litigation might be a worthwhile direction to take. I wrote a letter to a prominent CSAA Board Member and well known person in the Redding community on May 21, 2001. He forwarded the letter to the San Francisco main office.
I received a response from James **, Regional Claims Manager, Redding Office dated June 4, 2001 stating that the problem with my sewer line under Placer street was now a maintenance issue to be shared by the parties using the line. It went on to say that the damage under the street would cost an estimated $13,000.00 to repair and was not part of Marty Schuler Plumbing's work estimate even though a sleeve insertion was attempted at the time of the repair. Redding Municipal Code (RMC) Section 14.16.310 specifies "Not more than one premises shall be served from each service connection (lateral)."
As this code section was adopted in 1993, the subject properties are grandfathered because of their age, to the extent that as long as the nonconformance is not intensified and any repairs do not exceed 15% of the replacement value of any improvement in any one year, the nonconformance may remain in place (RMC Section 18.58.060A, F).
This is according to a letter I received from the City of Redding Code Enforcement Supervisor dated June 20, 2000. It appears the city doesnt follow its own rules since the residence at 2514 Placer was completely rebuilt including the foundation due to a fire in 1997. To further draw attention to this, the property at 1664 Walnut Avenue also went through major renovation in 2000.