Policy holders question new trend in insurance, managed repair

Homeowners have little say in choosing contractor
Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-01 19:00:33-04

Force and speed turned the car into a bomb when it crashed into the Weaver family's New Port Richey home.

Harold Weaver Sr. filed a claim with Florida Peninsula and discovered they must choose a contractor from the insurer's preferred contractor list.

Florida Peninsula bills it as a way to take time and hassle out of dealing with contractors. The company says the system also eliminates contractor fraud.

But behind the scenes the company calls the concept a big money saver.

At a 2014 insurance conference Florida Peninsula said managed repair gives them more control over the expense saving almost a million dollars on less than 1100 claims.

The Weaver's public adjuster Dan Lauria says Florida Peninsula's contractor saved the company tens of thousands by short cutting repairs on the Weaver home.

The Weavers hired their own engineer to draw up plans for repair. They call for a much greater scope of work than the plan submitted by Florida Peninsula's engineer.

We asked independent, licensed contractor John Marzulli to inspect both sets of plans as well as the home.

Marzulli says the walls that were crushed and moved should have been rebuilt not just repaired as called for by the insurance company’s engineer. And Marzulli with Emerald Contractors pointed out the contractor failed to secure a portion of the roof to the house with truss straps which helps to hold the roof in place in the event of severe weather.

Florida Peninsula would not go on camera but did defend their contractor's work via email.

“Once again, the fact is that somebody from the building department reviewed FPI’s report, detailed plans and drawings from a licensed Florida independent engineer and issued permits and inspected and approved the completed work several times...FPI stands by its adjustment of the claim and the work performed.”

Florida Peninsula is not alone, People's Trust also uses managed repair programs.

You need to read your policy to find out what your rights are in the event you make a claim.

Meanwhile the Weaver's are suing Florida Peninsula for breach of contract.