Check written to homeowner?

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I put in a claim after having my water heater go bad. I had (my boss) who is a licence plumber come and do the proper repairs and we also had to do a controlled burn off due to the fact that the tank had oil inside( obviously it runs on oil not electric). We notified the fire dept. That were doing the burn off. I taped off all the nooks and crannys to limit the smoke damage. It worked very well until the fire dept. Showed up hours later and wanted to check on the burner. They had me remove the tape and then they wanted to start up the burner to make sure that it was safe. Did that it seemed fine at the time, however after they left I checked on it and the entire room was filled with smoke and the pressure relief valve had practically broke off cause they turned up the temp to high to get the burner to fire and never turned it back down so now on top of the smoke I had water shooting all over the place. I intially put the claim in cause i had to replace the burner and pay for the plumbers time and was told that they dont cover that but they would cover the clean up so I called and had one of their own approved adjusters come and go over the damage which came to just over $3,000 . All state is claiming that they won’t issue me the check personally to do the repairs myself. They claim that they have to issue it to the clean up service directly. I don’t have a mortgage on the house so basically my long winded question is. Do I have the right to have the check written to me to do the repairs myself or is all state telling me the truth cause even their adjuster said that I have the right to do the repairs ,myself at my convenience”

Asked August 9, 2016

1 Answer

There are a couple of possible reasons why you are getting two different answers about how the claim can be settled. First, check to make sure that Allstate does not have a mortgage listed on your policy. Sometimes banks and mortgage companies are left on policies long after the property is paid off because the insurer was never notified.

If Allstate still has a mortgage company listed on your policy, this could be why someone told you that it would not be possible to issue the claim payment to you directly. Alternatively, it is possible that the person who told you the check would need to be made out to the restoration company does not realize you do not have a mortgage and they are operating under the assumption that your home is not paid off. If that were the case, it would be necessary to make the payment directly to the restoration company so that all parties involved are covered.

However, if your policy already shows that you do not have a mortgage and Allstate is still claiming that they can only issue payment to the restoration company, it may be because of the type of damage. Insurance companies will occasionally make claim checks out to homeowners to make minor repairs, but for extensive damage they may require proof that the restoration is done by a licensed contractor. In your case, the smoke damage may be the thing that is preventing Allstate from giving you the money to do the work yourself.

The only way to know what your options are is to talk to your claim manager. If necessary, let him or her know that your adjuster initially said it would be okay to make the repairs yourself. See if it is possible to have the adjuster speak to the claim manager on your behalf.

Be aware, if you are successful in getting Allstate to issue the claim check to you directly, it is important that you follow through and make the repairs. Most insurance companies will reject claims for the same type of loss if there is any evidence that repairs were never made after the first claim-- even if the losses happen several months or years apart. So if your new water heater encounters problems down the road, your claim could be rejected if you don't make the necessary repairs now.

Answered August 11, 2016 by AllstatePals

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