Roofing Contractors: Yes, You Must Provide A Price In Your Contract For Insurance Jobs Even If The Insurer Hasn’t Approved The Final Amount Of The Claim
This is a question I often receive from residential roofing contractors with whom I work: Do I have to include a price on my contract when the job is going to be paid by the owner’s insurer? I understand the reason for the question, which is that, on insurance jobs, the final price for the work will often fluctuate from the originally quoted price, which leads to confusion on the owner’s part when it comes time for final payment. In the worst-case scenario, that confusion can cause an owner to wrongfully retain a portion of the insurance proceeds, believing the roofing contractor has been paid in full by the insurer.
While these roofers’ concerns were valid and based on real world experience, Florida law nonetheless requires roofing contractors to provide a price in their contract, when the job is being paid with insurance proceeds. Specifically, Florida Statute § 489.147 states that the roofing contractor must provide the owner with “a good faith estimate” of the itemized cost of services and materials for repair in the written agreement for repairs. However, rather helpfully for the contractor, the statute states that the contractor does not violate the statute just because the final price differs from the original quote as a result of the insurer adjusting the claim. Accordingly, roofing contractors can rest assured that, if the final price for its work increases or decreases from the originally quoted price, they haven’t violated the statute, and that the fact of the price change can’t be used against them in the event of a payment dispute with the homeowner.
Unfortunately, the confusing insurance claim process involved in roofing repairs can lead homeowners to believe that a roofing contractor is wrongfully seeking excess payment when the final amount paid out by the owner’s insurer for the roofing work differs from the price originally quoted by the roofer. However, on projects being paid with insurance proceeds, Florida law requires residential roofing contractors to provide the owner with a good estimate of the price for its work, which is often before the owner’s insurer is involved. But, the contractor can take comfort in the fact that the same law acknowledges that, after the insurer gets involved and adjusts the claim, the final price for the work will often vary from the originally quoted price and thus a change in the price will not constitute a violation of the law.