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  1. #1
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    My question involves insurance law for the state of: California

    Hello. So, I had interior water damage after the very heavy rains a month+ ago. After fixing the roof leak, I filed a claim for interior damages (the ceiling collapsed in places). Shortly after, I received and submitted three quotes from licensed contractors for all the interior repairs plus everything else associated with it. (I was in the building industry for years and know what needs to be done.) Now, my homeowner’s insurance company (major name) is being VERY pushy about me getting more quotes from their list of “preferred contractors.” Hmm.

    That said, the notice at the bottom of the adjuster’s emails always has the below statement: “Independent contractors on this list are not employees or affiliates of (insurance company) and does not perform repairs, retain contractors for customers or guarantee the quality of repair work. (Insurance company) customers are under no obligation to use any particular contractor and the use of a particular contractor is strictly voluntary. (Insurance company) customers are responsible for the selection of the contractor and payments to the contractor for the work performed. The cost of the repair or mitigation services can be submitted to (insurance company) for consideration and reimbursement but is subject to a review of the coverage afforded by the customer's policy.”

    So my question is, is getting quotes from the "insurance company preferred" contractors mandatory on my part or only voluntary? After reading the above a few times, I cannot quite tell.

    Additionally, my 98-year-old mother lives in the house and given the Covid-19 issues with all the workers inside, I will need to put her in a hotel during the repairs (estimated at 10 days or less). I keep asking if there is compensation for this. The insurance company says "yes" on the phone, but so far, I cannot get a reply in writing.

    Thank you for your input!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    He can be as pushy as he likes unless he says you must tell him no. If he does say you are required to make him show you that on the policy.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2018
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Thanks. Good point.

    I told them recently that as I understand my rights, I have no obligation to do so, and want to exercise those rights. Not sure if that is a good enough "no" for them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post
    So my question is, is getting quotes from the "insurance company preferred" contractors mandatory on my part or only voluntary? After reading the above a few times, I cannot quite tell.
    Voluntary, but that doesn't mean the adjuster can't strongly urge you to obtain a quote from one of its preferred contractors.


    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post
    Additionally, my 98-year-old mother lives in the house and given the Covid-19 issues with all the workers inside, I will need to put her in a hotel during the repairs (estimated at 10 days or less). I keep asking if there is compensation for this. The insurance company says "yes" on the phone, but so far, I cannot get a reply in writing.
    If the only reason to put your mother in a hotel is COVID-related paranoia (in other words, if it's not a problem for you to be there), then I'm skeptical that you'll get compensation for that. However, this is an issue that unquestionably has never been tested in the courts, so it's very difficult to predict what might happen. You'd be better off if you could make a reasonable argument that neither of you can live there while the repairs are being done. And, of course, read your policy documents.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post
    Thanks. Good point.

    I told them recently that as I understand my rights, I have no obligation to do so, and want to exercise those rights. Not sure if that is a good enough "no" for them.
    It would be for me but you not trying to get me to write you a check.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Quote Quoting LowTide
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    So my question is, is getting quotes from the "insurance company preferred" contractors mandatory on my part or only voluntary? After reading the above a few times, I cannot quite tell.
    No, it's not mandatory. How close are your three quotes to each other? Give me the totals and an idea of what repairs have to be done.

    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post

    Additionally, my 98-year-old mother lives in the house and given the Covid-19 issues with all the workers inside, I will need to put her in a hotel during the repairs (estimated at 10 days or less). I keep asking if there is compensation for this. The insurance company says "yes" on the phone, but so far, I cannot get a reply in writing.
    There is a coverage on your homeowners policy called Additional Living Expenses. Here's what it says:

    Additional Living Expense
    If a loss covered under Section I makes
    that part of the "residence premises" where
    you reside not fit to live in, we cover
    any necessary increase in living expenses
    incurred by you so that your household can
    maintain its normal standard of living.
    I don't see any coverage there for 10 days in a hotel for your mother just for Covid19 precautions.

    After posting this I saw PG1067's post and I agree with the last paragraph.

    Describe the damaged areas of the home.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Thank you all. Sorry, I should have been more specific about my mom: The living room and hall area will be off limits during the work and mom would have to go through the living room to get from her bedroom (where she is most of the time) to the kitchen and back. There is no other way. That, and she certainly cannot watch TV in the living room during this time. I just can't see her being mentally comfortable with all the commotion and strangers in the house either. The Covid-19 issue was a secondary thought, but I should mention that every contractor that comes here is very cognizant of the virus situation and an elderly person lives in the house who is clearly susceptible.

    The quotes are around the $20K mark plus or minus $1.5K. The entire living room has to be emptied of furniture, stored, etc., then the plaster and some lath (yup a lath and plaster house) has to be pulled down then redone. New insulation blown in. Repaint. So on and so forth. Messy job to clean up. Put everything back. Disposal. FYI, not easy finding an L&P craftsman these days. The adjuster didn't know much about L&P. I had to explain.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post
    Thank you all. Sorry, I should have been more specific about my mom: The living room and hall area will be off limits during the work and mom would have to go through the living room to get from her bedroom (where she is most of the time) to the kitchen and back. There is no other way. That, and she certainly cannot watch TV in the living room during this time. I just can't see her being mentally comfortable with all the commotion and strangers in the house either. The Covid-19 issue was a secondary thought, but I should mention that every contractor that comes here is very cognizant of the virus situation and an elderly person lives in the house who is clearly susceptible.
    I would say that's a pretty good argument that the residence is not fit to live in. It would not be reasonable to expect any person to be confined to or prevented from getting into his/her bedroom .

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Quote Quoting LowTide
    View Post
    Thank you all. Sorry, I should have been more specific about my mom: The living room and hall area will be off limits during the work and mom would have to go through the living room to get from her bedroom (where she is most of the time) to the kitchen and back. There is no other way. That, and she certainly cannot watch TV in the living room during this time. I just can't see her being mentally comfortable with all the commotion and strangers in the house either. The Covid-19 issue was a secondary thought, but I should mention that every contractor that comes here is very cognizant of the virus situation and an elderly person lives in the house who is clearly susceptible.
    I don't know if insurance companies are liberalizing the coverage due to Covid19. It would be up to each company to decide. I might have made the accommodation but that wouldn't butter any parsnips with your insurance company.

    How are you going to navigate the kitchen and living room to get to your bedroom or the rest of the house?

    And would you put your mom in a hotel for 10 days even if you weren't covered by the insurance?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Am I Obligated to Get Quotes from My Insurance Co's "Preferred Contractors"

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    How are you going to navigate the kitchen and living room to get to your bedroom or the rest of the house?
    The other bedroom on the main floor is my business office. There is one small bedroom on the ground floor but it requires going up and down a steep stairway and that won't work for someone almost 100 yo. I do not live at the house in question ... I own another house with my wife and kids. There are no extra bedrooms anywhere.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    And would you put your mom in a hotel for 10 days even if you weren't covered by the insurance?
    Absolutely I would, but I have learned that the insurance company will take care of living expenses.

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