Q: Can an insurance company in PA require a homeowner to get multiple estimates from construction contractors for a repair?
The adjuster is not releasing his estimate until the homeowner comes up with two other estimates. His claims company is also owned by the insurance company. If one of the contractors offers to do the same job at a price lower than the adjusters’, the insurance company requires that the homeowner does the job at that price, regardless of which contractor they use. This seems unfair to the homeowner, to search for others if he only wants one particular contractor to do the job, and unfair to that contractor if he’s got to do the job at a lower price than expected.
A: A Pennsylvania attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for three weeks. As a general matter, the bidding practices you describe are not that uncommon in the industry, where multiple bids are used to establish the range of costs for repairs or other projects. Larger carriers could be more accommodating and lenient, considering factors other than only the rock-bottom bid, such as quality, warranties, reputation, and where reasonable within budget constraints, the policyholder's preferences. Good luck
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