Who Pays When a Contractor Damages My Home
Hiring a contractor to perform work on a home is something that countless people do each year. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to finish your basement, remodel your kitchen, or install the luxury bathroom you’ve been dreaming of. Whatever it is, when you hire a contractor for work on your home, you have high expectations; the last thing that you anticipate is for the contractor to cause damage to any part of your property.
If damages to your home do result, you may be wondering who’s responsible for paying for them: your homeowners’ insurance policy or the contractor’s insurance?
Which Insurance Company Pays for Damages to My Home?
Which insurance company will pay for damages to your home often depends on your homeowners’ insurance policy, the type of damage, and the manner in which damage was caused. For example, damages from a true accident (like a fire) caused by a contractor may be covered, whereas poor craftsmanship may not be.
Your homeowners’ insurance company may pay for damages in the following situations:
- Accident coverage. Accident coverage is part of most homeowners’ insurance policies, and it usually kicks in when a contractor damages a home. Accident coverage will pay for exactly that – damages caused by accidents. This means fires, water damage, structural damages, etc.
- Property damage. It is important to note that there is a distinction between unsightly or shoddy work and actual damageto property resulting from that work, and that your insurance company will likely only offer coverage for the latter. For example, if a roof is constructed poorly and is beginning to show damage, your homeowners’ insurance company will likely not pay for this damage unless there is resulting damage to the home or structure otherwise. In other words, if there is no damage beyond faulty work, then you probably don’t have a claim for property damage.
- The damages are within your coverage limits. It is very, very important to familiarize yourself with your homeowners’ insurance policy beforehiring a contractor to perform any work on your home. This is because many homeowners’ policies do cover damages during a home remodel, but don’t cover damages that result from an addition or an individual project. You should know your coverage limits and weigh whether or not increasing them before a project would add peace of mind.
When Does the Contractor’s Insurance Pay?
Even if you file a claim with your homeowners’ insurance company and the company agrees to pay for damages resulting from a contractor’s mistake, it is likely that your insurance company will attempt to collect repayment from the contractor’s insurance.
If your homeowners’ insurance company denies your claim, you may be able to recoup damage from the contractor’s liability insurance. Contractor liability insurance is designed to pay for accidents, damages, and injuries resulting from a contractor’s errors. In some cases, contractors even carry faulty workmanship coverage, which would allow you to recover damages for negligent work, even when other damages aren’t present.
Why You Should Work with an Experienced Attorney
While you surely deserve to be compensated for damages in your home, the truth is that insurance companies are often hesitant to pay claimants anything, and often offer far less than they deserve, if not outright deny claims. When there are two insurance companies involved (your homeowners’ insurance policy and the contractor’s insurance) the process of recovering damages may be delayed, as these two companies may engage in a back-and-forth about who owes what.
When you work with an attorney who is experienced in insurance law and contractor and homeowners’ insurance claims, you improve your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Your attorney will not only know which company to file a claim against for damages, but how much your claim is worth, what your options are if available insurance is limited, and how to negotiate for a fair settlement.
Contact the Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans, LLC Today
For a free consultation with an experienced legal professional, contact the Law Offices of Matthew S. Evans, LLC today. Our Maryland attorneys are well-versed in construction defect claims and have more than 20 years of combined legal experience successfully pursuing damages on behalf of our clients. Please visit us today for your initial case review or call us at 410-626-6009.