Client wants to use cheaper material than insurance is paying for


#1

Quick question. We began a full restoration for a home. Flood damage, roof damage. Everything went well with the roof but the client wants to use cheaper flooring material so he could save money from what the insurance paid and use it to upgrade other parts of his house. What happens there? Do I have him sign a waiver saying he’s the one choosing to use cheaper materials? I don’t want him to turn around in a year and try suing me saying I used cheap materials.

Thanks in advance.


#2

I am no expert so “take this with a grain of salt,” but I would advise the client that it is best to use the insurance approved funds for the proper areas. Otherwise you would have to adjust your final invoice submitted to release the depreciation. Otherwise you are telling the insurance company you performed a service for one price and actually charging the customer another. Technically insurance fraud.

This might set him straight and avoid the situation entirely. If not I would have a customer sign something releasing you from any liability regarding the entire project.


#3

Technically, the insurance company owes the insured for what is currently there. I have seen this come up on roofing claim where the client wanted to downgrade their shingle and use the money elsewhere. Talk to the adjuster assigned the claim - most of them will say the above and what the homeowner does with the extra is their business.


#4

I would assume you have a scope of work and your contract lists the materials chosen by the Homeowner. If they make the choice and sign off on them in the documents mentioned, no way they can come back and sue you. It’s not up to you to hold their feet to the fire. They choose, you quote, you build, you invoice, you collect. Simple as that.