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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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We had a grease fire in our kitchen a few weeks ago. we

Customer Question

we had a grease fire in our kitchen a few weeks ago. we filed a claim with our insurance company before we got an estimate with a fire remediation company. the insurance adjuster estimated a total loss of $12k. however, we could not get an estimate from fire remediation companies for less than $17k. do we go back to the insurance company and ask for a readjustment?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Hi, My name is***** am one of the Experts in the Legal Category and would be glad to assist you and the only thing that I ask of you is that yo\u leave a positive rating for my assistance so that JustAnswer will give me creit for my assisting you, Fair enough ? Have you received a check from your insurance company ? If so, have you cashed the check that your insurance company sent you ?​
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the insurance company has supposedly sent their first check. we have not yet received it. btw, can the insurance company withhold the remaining amount of the estimated damages until the repairs have gotten done?
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your reply,1. Do not cash the check when you receive it, put it in a safe place and hold onto it because if the amount is in dispute, as it is in your situation, then if you cash the check, you will be deemed to have accepted the insurance company's estimate as valid..2. Yes, the insurance company can withhold the remaining amount until the repairs are done and, as a matter of fact, insurance companies will, generally, withhold onto the remaining balance until they have someone come out and inspect the repairs that were made. This has been the policy of most insurance companies so that they can be sure that all repairs were done. I would suggest that you get at least 3 estimates for the repairs that have to be done, send them in to the insurance company and tell them that the amount of their check does not come any where near the amount that is needed to repair the damage done to your kitchen. I am going through exactly the same thing. I had a grease fire in my kitchen 10 days ago and the flames rose so high that they completely damaged the microwave that was directly above the stove where the grease fire started. Their adjuster came to look at the damage and when I received the check, I thought it was a joke! I am getting an estimate from several different contractors and sending them to our insurance company, telling them that I do not accept their check, nor will I cash it. And, if they do not issue a check that will cover the repairs, I will have to sue them. I see that you are in Pennsylvania. So am I. The insurance company we are dealing with is Allstate. They have a reputation of "low-balling" their insureds and now I have seen it first-hand. f I have answered your questions completely, please be kind enough to leave a Positive Rating. This will not cost you anything additional and it is the only way that JustAnswer, will know that I have answered your questions and give me credit for assisting you. Thank you for understanding, ANDREA
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
supposing we need that money that was included in the check for some other expenses, can we write on the memo, 'in dispute' or something like that on the check? i mean, it must have occurred in which people waited for insurance checks to come in before getting estimates done and then discovering that they've been lowballed.
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Generally, when an amount is in dispute and the recipient of the check, writes in the "Memo" section of the check (if there is one) that the amount is not accepted by the recipient as settlement of a claim,, he/she is not legally bound to that amount as a "full and final settlement" of the dispute. Although the law is on your side, the insurance companies have a multitude of Attorneys on staff that can tie you up in litigation for an extended period of time and cost you legal fees. If you plan on cashing the check, make that notation on the check and if they question you, then you will be able to show that certain repairs could not wait. For example, if you cannot use your stove at all, then you could argue that you had a choice of (a) Eating in restaurants and charging it to the insurance company, or (b) buying a stove. I would recommend that if you intend to cash the check, write to the insurance company, tell them your predicament and also put that notation on the check, and make a copy of the check for your records. Kindest regards, ANDREA
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
So we write, "not accepted as, or legally bound by, full settlement of claim" in memo line before depositing?

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