Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Insurance Question from Saint Paris, OH

Asked on 05/23/2012

Does fire restoration work have to be exactly as detailed in the estimate provided by the contractor to receive full settlement from the insurance co? My insurance company agreed to a settlement following a fire at my home based on a quote provided by a contractor. When the contractor did the repairs I asked him to make a few changes, such as putting carpet down where there used to be laminate flooring. The estimate from the contractor originally listed around $1400 to replace the laminate but now the insurance company says the laminate wasn't repaired so they aren't going to pay the $1400 even though I had carpet installed instead? Also, I want to move the pellet stove that was the source of the original fire but they won't allow that.

Answer given on May 26, 2012

If you have a homeowner loss and the insurance company and contractor agree to a price, uaually the insurance company will allow you to change the scope of the work, but they won’t pay for the difference.If your changes increased the cost, they should be willing to pay the agreed upon amount and then you would owe the contractor for the increased cost. Also, the insurance company would not pay to move the stove if that resulted in an additional cost.You should discuss the changes with the adjuster and explain that you are paying for any increased costs incurred for the changes, and that the agreed upon amount from the original bid was based on how the home was before the loss. The adjuster may be thinking that the contractor built in the additional cost for the changes in the original bid. Have the contractor talk to the adjuster to explain how the estimate was originally prepared. It may all just be a misunderstanding.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: These answers are for general information purposes only and are provided by the person answering and FreeAdvice.com AS IS. It has not necessarily been reviewed by the management staff of FreeAdvice.com nor is it binding any insurance agent, broker, or other insurance professional or any attorney or insurance company. Insurance laws, regulations and practices vary from state to state and insurance policies and practices differ from company to company, by type of policy, by state and locality and by type of insurance. Tiny variations in the facts, policy language or a detail not set forth in a question often can change the outcome or a professional's conclusion. Although FreeAdvice.com has confirmed that the answer(s) was/were provided for the account of an experienced insurance professional, that professional may not be licensed in the state referred to in the question, and may not be experienced or up to date in the subject area. Unlike the answers provided here, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you consult a licensed insurance professional in your area or retain a licensed attorney listed on AttorneyPages.com to represent you.