I cashed the insurance check. Can I claim more damages?

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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...

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UPDATED: Jun 10, 2019

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Insurance Question from Vacaville, CA

Asked on 06/10/2019

I cashed the insurance check. Can I claim more damages? I had a leak which caused damage. My insurance co. sent an adjuster who reported to the main office. I received a proposal and after some conversations, was sent a check which I cashed to pay for part of the early repairs. The contractors' bids are much more than the amount the co. sent me. Friends now say even though repairs will cost more than the check, I cashed it and the ins. co. won't pay what the contractor's are bidding. Is that true and if so, what recourse to I have to get more of the repairs covered?

Answer given on June 18, 2019

The cashing of a check for repairs to damage to your home may or may not prevent you from claiming further damage. You say the check was to pay for “part of the early repairs”.  If that is the case, the insurance adjuster and company should be willing to pay addiitional funds for the additional damage that was discovered.

Some insurance checks say “full and final” payment for repairs for a certain claim. If your check said that, it could be a problem. However, you should talk to the adjuster about the additional estimate for the damages and see what they say.  It may be that it was intended as a partial payment to allow you to make immediate repairs to help avoid further damage and the insurance company is aware more payment will be needed to settle the claim.  If you had conversations with the adjuster indicating it was a partial payment, you should not have a problem with getting the additional funds to complete your repairs.

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