Contractor damaged my counter tops, her insurance company is only covering ACV, how do I get the rest paid for?
3 attorney answers
Whether the insurance company is right or wrong legally (I believe wrong; were you to win the lawsuit you would recover funds to make you whole), your last question hits the nail on the head. They are squeezing the settlement out of you, knowing that it likely isn't worth $500 to you to put time into litigating against them on the nature of the damage. You can't justify paying an attorney of $500, and the time lost in a dispute has a lot of value.
That said, I would fight back. Tell them that they are wrong on how damages are calculated. Tell them that you will not settle for anything less than the amount it costs to actually replace the counters. Indicate that if they do not settle, you are going to proceed to sue the contractor. Further indicate that as part of that lawsuit, you are going to give the contractor all the ammunition he needs to be able to go after the insurance company for failure to negotiate in good faith. The insurance company is going to spend a heck of a lot more that $500 defending any lawsuit, even in small claims court.
Barring that, I would also recommend that you get the contractor into the discussion. Tell him that his insurance company isn't covering the whole replacement, and that you aren't going to settle for less than the full replacement cost. Indicate that you will take the insurance money provided that he personally pays the $500 difference. Either that, or he needs to personally get on the phone with the insurance company and push them to pay the full amount.
Don't let them push you around. That insurance adjuster knows how to squeeze money out of the settlement. Push back. If the contractor is not going to step in and pay the additional amount, the threat of some bad reviews online can go a long way to make someone move.
You are entitled to be put back in the position you were in before it happened, if you can prove your case. You can file a lawsuit in small claims court. You may have some costs involved, and the result may not be what you think it should be. But it might be worth a try. It is really a business decision based upon the facts of your case and your tolerance for dealing with the hassle of fighting them. Some would just eat it but others would fight it.
This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal problems and solutions depend on their unique facts. Due to the complexity and ever-changing nature of the law and to the limitations of this forum, this information may not be complete or adequate for your specific situation. Laws and regulations often differ from one jurisdiction to another. Mark E. Barbour practices in the State of Ohio.