My question involves insurance law for the state of: California
My question is regarding a loss I suffered on May 1, 2019, a water pipe in my wall began leaking and destroyed a wall, some cabinets, and our hardwood flooring in our kitchen. We immediately reported the claim to USAA and we were instructed to find a contractor and submit a bid to be approved by USAA. 10 days later we submitted the bid of $33,000 and seven days after that USAA responded with a proposed settlement of $16,000. It was a very detailed bid, however, USAA insisted that the labor rates and material costs were too high. Additionally, the subtracted for depreciation on several items even though our policy states:
"EXTENDED REPLACEMENT COST COVERAGE is intended to provide for the cost to repair or replace the damaged or destroyed dwelling without a deduction for physical depreciation. Many policies pay only the dwelling's actual cash value until the insured has actually begun or completed repairs or reconstruction on the dwelling. Extended Replacement Cost provides additional coverage above the dwelling limits up to a stated percentage or specific dollar amount. See your policy for theadditional coverage that applies."
After some discussion with USAA, we decided to get another bid from a different contractor. That bid was submitted at a cost of $23,000, 12 DAYS later USAA responded again with similar complaints that the material and labor costs were too high and the proposed settlement was now $13,000, $3,000 less than the first settlement offer.
The language in my policy seems to suggest that I should be provided the replacement cost to make my kitchen whole again. The constant complaining of material and labor costs being too high is bizarre to me, I don't know how many bids I'm supposed to get before it's someone they like.
What are my options? Should I file a complaint with the California Insurance Board? Or should I hire a lawyer to review my case and speak to USAA on my behalf? I'm really at a loss of what to do as both settlement offers leave me completely dead in the water as far as getting started with the repairs.
Thanks in advance.