I’m having problems with my home owners insurance company

I did not feel that the damage that was done to my house
was properly assessed. The insurance company got tired of
my questions. The manager, and probably their law team on
speaker phone and I had a phone meeting. He had said that
the fairest solution he could come up with was to hire an
envelope company. At that time I should have whomever I
wanted there to walk and that I could ask him whatever
questions that I wanted. He had said that whatever this
company GOES, and then he is done with me. I said ok, not
knowing what to say. I thought he was trying to work with
me but now I am not so sure. When my contractor was on
the roof with that company, he tried to ask him a question
about the scope of damage. That company said that they
were not there to assess the scope of loss. Then what
where they there for. I thought we were meeting to address
all damages. How can I agree on a fair dollar amount if not
all materials, labor, accessories, nails, ect. Are accounted
for. I did not feel comfortable actually hiring a contractor with
a dollar amount that I could work with.

Asked on May 19, 2016 under Insurance Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An insurance policy is a contract: the insurer has to pay under the terms of the policy, which generally means they have to pay for the full extent or cost of covered losses, less any deductible. If you feel they are short-changing you by not paying the full cost of the loss or damage, you could sue them for breach of contract, to recover the difference between what they should have paid and what they did pay. However, to make your case, you'd have to hire your own engineer or inspector to inspect the damage and provide an estimate (and also to testify in court, if it's not settled ahead of time and goes to trial). Since you'd generally have to foot that cost yourself, unless you are being underpaid by a great deal, it is probably not economically worth suing.

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