Consumer Protection Law

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An installer installed a dishwasher improperly and caused…

An installer installed a...

An installer installed a dishwasher improperly and caused water damage to my floor. His insurance company is only offering the actuall cash value of the floor plus labor to install it rather the full replacement cost of the floor. Is this a proper offer?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? And is a local attorney or other consumer protection advocate helping with this?

I am in California and no one else is involve yet.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

I have filed a claim. An offer has been made to me and I replied that I want replacement cost. The difference is about $1300 on a $9000 claim.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/20/2018
Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 60,947
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
Verified

Hello and welcome. I am working on your answer and will be right back!

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Where insurer wont cover, the installer is liable for the difference. You may make demand, have a lawyer do so, and then sue for damages. The court should encourage settlement or award a money judgment. Have proof of the liability and of damages incurred.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The bot***** *****ne question is should I be paid for the full eplacement costl of the item or the depreciated value at the time of loss?
Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,221
Experience: Helping you with your legal questions.
Verified

Hi there. My name is***** am an attorney. You ask whether the replacement cost is the damage claim you may have. Or if it is the depreciated value of the floor. It does not necessarily work that way. It is not so black and white. Would you like me to explain?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sure explain
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Do I have a case for going after the extra $1300 or do I suck it up and pay up.

Hold, please, developing an answer...

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Let's say you have a couch that was destroyed. The couch is five years old. The damages would not be for a brand new couch. The damages would be for the replacement of the couch as it was. So, it would be to replace the couch. Yet, a floor is a bit different.

If it requires a service, then Insurance companies owe what an experienced and reputable contractor would charge you to do the required work to put your home back to its pre-loss condition.

Insurance companies use guideline pricing to predict how much materials and labor should cost. But an estimate prepared by a qualified local, licensed and bonded contractor who has visited the loss site and reviewed information about the pre-loss structure is generally the most reliable basis for a claim settlement. https://www.uphelp.org/pubs/faqs-about-property-damage-insurance-claims

So, if you had an estimate from a local flooring company that told you that damages are higher than what the insurer is offering (i.e., to replace the floor plus labor) then you could possibly have a claim for the difference in the money.

We can discuss this more if you want to do so.

If you have further questions or you need further assistance, just let me know.

If not, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. Best regards.

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If my above response does not make sense to you, please let me know. I want to make sure you understand what I was saying since it could be a bit confusing.

We can discuss this more if you want to do so.

If you have further questions or you need further assistance, just let me know.

If not, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. Best regards.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I had a local contractor provide an estimate and that differed from the insurance estimate by $170, not a big deal. However insurance depreciated the cost of materials by $1300 or about 30%.. I can see both sides ie I got 15 years of use out of the floor or you ruined my floors that I never wanted to replace. I of course want the money but is it worth pursuing? The total cost is $9000 The difference is $1300.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Your response is clear and I understand the two concepts. The insurer is offering everything else ie labor etc ,properly my only question is if they properly depreciated the cost of materials.

Thanks for the clarification. Did you check with a separate contractor for the flooring to get a material estimate? Insurers' valuation even to bring it back to what it was like, is not always exact and usually too low on the first offer.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I did check on cost of materials elsewhere. Like I said everything was very close Except the insurance company very clearly listed $1300 as depreciation and reduced the offer by that much

Thank you for the additional information. If the costs are basically the same even after the insurer decreased the amount by the depreciation, then it would end up being a weaker case. A judge will look at the bot***** *****ne of your estimate from an an independant source and what the insure is offering. If the insurer is offering less after the depreciation than the indepedent estimate, then there could still be a case.

We can discuss this more if you want to do so.

If you have further questions or you need further assistance, just let me know.

If not, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. Best regards.

Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,221
Experience: Helping you with your legal questions.
Verified
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Damien Bosco
Damien Bosco
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