Can I use another contractor other than the one who wrote the first estimate for hurricane damage?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2020

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Found a better price during the few months it took my ins co to send checks. The money is coming from my insurance company.

My insurance asked me to get 1 professional bid for hurricane repairs since I felt they initially underpaid. I had Home Depot give me seperate estimates for roof, windows and doors. Months later and after a visit from their 2nd adjuster, the ins co sent an increased payment. During this time I have shopped the estimate and found less expensive estimates with professionals I am comfortable with. Can I use who I choose? The Insurance pay summary references home depot next to roof amount, window amount and fence amount.”

Asked April 3, 2018

1 Answer

It sounds like you and your insurer had a disagreement in regards to how much money they should pay out on your homeowner's insurance coverage claim after a hurricane damaged your home. For this reason alone, you should contact your insurer to find out the answer to your question. Your policy might outline specific terms that state that you must use the contractor you agreed to use the last time you contacted your insurer, which in this case is Home Depot. On the other hand, you might be able to use the money however you choose as long as you make good on your promise to restore your home.

If a check is involved that names Home Depot on it, an insurance company in Florida might be willing to re-cut a check for a lower amount to a different contractor if you find a cheaper one who still provides high quality service, but your unique situation might set off red flags with your insurer because you've switched contractors once already. That said, if you were named as the sole recipient of the money as a cash out, you again might be able to use it in any way you see fit. Only your insurance company can tell you what terms you agreed to when you set up your specific policy.

Keep in mind that you might face problems down the line if you decide to not go with Home Depot or fail to contact your insurer to let them know that you've decided to use a different contractor. For example, if the new contractor provides substandard services and later the new roof fails or another hurricane damages it, your insurer might refuse your next claim because you failed to follow some agreed upon terms outlined in your homeowner's insurance policy. Another example: If you have a mortgage, the financial institution that provided you with it might require that you stick with Home Depot since that is the company that you and/or your insurer told them would provide the work. If you fail to use Home Depot and an inspection reveals substandard results, your mortgage company might require that you have the work redone at your own expense.

Answered April 5, 2018 by fl_pc

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