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Brecksville woman issues warning after a battle between her repair contractor and insurance company

Posted at 9:38 AM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 09:38:15-04

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — Christine Budd of Brecksville learned an important lesson when it comes to home repair insurance claims.

Bud left in the middle of a battle between her repair contractor and her insurance company, as to the worth of the repairs done to her two story condo, leaving her with $1,750 in out-of-pocket uncovered repairs.

Budd said she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, sending her Honda into the side of her garage.

Budd said she called Farmers Insurance to file a damage claim, and her agent suggested a contractor for repairs.

She paid the contractor $2,500 up-front for the job, but when her insurance adjuster showed up to evaluate the work, the insurance company would only pay her $750.

Budd said she was stunned by the the huge disparity between the contractor and the insurance companies evaluation of the worth of the repair work.

"With my insurance company, I didn't expect the reaction that I got, they said it was it was between me and the contractor," Budd said.

"Then I asked the contractor to come down on the price, but he said he would get $2,100, and I would get refunded what was remaining, which is $400."

"Is that fair? No."

Cleveland Better Business Bureau President Sue McConnell said homeowners should not money up front until their insurance adjuster assesses what will be covered.

Consumers should also take at least three estimates on major home repair jobs.

"You do need to wait for the adjuster to come, because you need find out how much they're going to approve for the repairs, what's covered, and what's not covered," McConnell said.

"We often recommend you pay a third, and then another third part way through completion, and then when it's completed and everything is finished, you pay-off the balance."

News 5 contacted the contractor and Farmers Insurance.

We won't name the contractor, he's now agreed to give Budd a much bigger refund.

Farmers insurance stood by its evaluation of the work completed at Budd's home, and issued the following statement:

"After review of the claim we confirmed that we have paid all benefits due to our customer under her policy."

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