Policyholder Question – Can we be reimbursed for doing our own insurance claim repairs?
The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum.
Q. Hurricane Irma caused damage to our home. No area contractors were able to do any interior repairs in a timely fashion. My wife and I have the skill sets to do drywall repairs, tiling, painting etc. Are we entitled to be reimbursed for our personal labor?
A. Yes. In my opinion you should be paid for your labor and materials at a fair and competitive rate. As you know, both labor and material costs have gone up dramatically following both Hurricane Irma and Harvey. Those two monster hurricanes also hit the Caribbean, one of which went up the spine of Florida causing significant damage even after being downgraded to a Cat One storm once it left the Florida Keys. Given the level of geography impacted, I would think your insurance company would be happy to pay you to repair the insured property.
There is a rule that applies to property owners being paid and that is that they cannot profit as a result of their loss. As an example, if a contractor makes the repairs they are entitled to a 10% profit and 10% overhead above their cost for labor and material. So as long as you do not ad profit but a reasonable labor cost you should be good to go. As an aside, I have seen some insurance companies pay an overhead rate even though the policyholder is not a licensed contractor. A rate of 5% for overhead may be negotiated as there may be costs beyond your labor rate. Good luck and thank you for your question.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance related issue caused by Hurricane Irma please call 800-321-4488 or contact a licensed Florida Public Adjuster to submit a question to one of our insurance claim experts.