Settlement advice.

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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: Oct 23, 2011

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Insurance Question from Nutrioso, AZ

Asked on 10/23/2011

Settlement advice. We had a flood caused by a faulty washing machine. The adjuster has been here & evaluated the extent of the damage. A restoration company has begun the process of tearing up hardwood flooring & partial walls. To my knowledge the adjuster & the restoration company now have to agree on a replacement sum. Question: can we ask for a settlement figure & a subsequent cheque & undertake doing the repairs ourselves?

Answer given on October 24, 2011

The restoration company has probably supplied the adjuster with an estimate to repair the damamge.  Adjusters also have a estimation software tool that insurance companies use in order to gage what a repair of any size would cost. You stated they have already started the work.  If that is the case, then you would have to cut them off from doing the repairs and pay them to that point.  The “settlement” figure of the check will be based on the actually replacement cost estimate to do the repairs.  If you would like to get several estimates you can.  Then the insurance company will probably pay you based on the lowest or based on their cost estimation tool if it is in line with the estimates.  Yes, you can take the check that they issue and choose another contractor or do the work yourself. If you have a mortgage on your home, the mortgage will be included on the check and they will require proof that repairs are completed.  They will hold a portion of the check until they see that repairs are done. If you are mortgage free, you will not have to worry about this.       

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