Contractors play two distinctive roles when it comes to insurance companies. They have policies themselves, but they also rely on insurance companies to pay bills for repairs and approve estimates. For homeowners and business owners, when a contractor has a dispute about a bill, it affects them, too.
The Two Roles of Contractors and Insurance
Contractor Insurance Policy Disputes
Contractors have unique challenges when it comes to disputes with their insurance companies. A contractor often has a much more complicated situation compared to the average insurance dispute because there are often multiple parties involved, and the damages can be very serious—from property damage to personal injuries to fatalities.
The legal issues are very complex, too. In fact, there is a whole well-known treatise that only covers insurance coverage of construction disputes.
Contractor Bills and Estimates to Repair Property Damage
Contractors are also affected by insurance disputes in a different way. They are often retained to provide services to repair damaged property. However, the insurance company may decline to pay for all of their services or not pay them all. Dealing with disputes about how work is done, whether estimates are fair, or the quality of work can be just as frustrating as dealing with their own insurance claim.
Experienced attorneys know how complicated these cases can be, and they treat them like that. The attorneys at VG Law Group faces these issues head-on; they know what to do and how to do it when a contractor seeks out their advice on a dispute.
Contractor Claim Disputes
Contractors get insurance coverage to help them with issues that arise during or after they complete a project. However, there are many, many exceptions to insurance coverage in the average construction policy.
For example, you may not have coverage if you completed the work yourself unless you got an add-on to the policy. The rationale behind this type of exclusion is that there is an expectation that you will do good, quality work that will not harm anyone. However, everyone makes mistakes—and if you got your insurance policy to cover potential errors, you might be shocked to find out that the very thing you want to ensure is actually excluded.
There are also restrictions on whether you will have coverage if you use subcontractors, too. In some policies, you may also need to add another layer of coverage if you use subcontractors.
Even a careful read of your policy could leave you with more questions than answers. Getting professional help to address these complicated insurance policies is a good idea.
Hiring a Contractor: Unpaid Repairs and Disputed Estimates
Insurance companies will often work with a specific contractor to provide an estimate before they start work. However, the insurance company will also usually do their own in-house audit of what they think the repair “should” cost. The insurance adjuster will usually base their coverage payouts based on a combination of the actual estimates and the in-house estimates.
The in-house estimates are often very low. In some situations, the insurance company may knowingly write you a check for a few thousand dollars less than what it will cost to pay the contractor. They expect that you will simply make up the difference yourself, even if your coverage should pay for everything.
Insurance companies try to save money however they can, and they are good at it. In some cases, that means that they ignore the real cost of what a repair will be, or they cut corners.
If the insurance company denies your claim, both the contractor and the insured may have some legal options to address the situation.
Get Help from an Experienced Legal Team
Insurance and contractor issues very complicated, very quickly. You need an experienced team to help deal with these claims—don’t hire just any attorney. At VG Law Group, we have the experience you need to help you fight back against denied claims and unpaid repair bills. Call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.