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Homeowner blasts Right to Repair policy for insurance companies

Homeowner blasts Right to Repair policy for insurance companies

A Pensacola man's home damaged by February's tornado remains unrepaired. He tells Channel 3's Jackalyn Kovac his insurance policy is preventing him from getting it fixed.

"It is almost seven months later, I'm still waiting on getting the house repaired, because the insurance company is saying I must use their personnel to repair," Ken Adams said.

The practice is called the right to repair, or managed repair program. Adam's insurance, Tower Hill Insurance, told Jackalyn the policy has been in place for decades.

The company said they have an agreement with another company that offers a network of licensed and insured contractors to help with the repair process.

According to insurers it saves policyholders money and gives them longer warranties on the work.

Adam's attorney, Jill Henniger-Bowman disagrees, and told Channel 3 News it costs homeowners more.

"Because the insurance company is trying to keep what they're paying the contractor down, they'll come in with substandard product, they won't make the repairs in the correct way," Henniger Bownman said. "We've had several instances when we've had to come in after the repairs were made and go back and sue the insurance company to pay to have a contractor come and fix it; because its done wrong."

Normally, a homeowner would call the insurance company, make a claim then have an adjuster come up with an estimate. The insurance company would then cut a check, minus the deductible, to the homeowner who then pays a contractor of their choosing to do the work.

Adams received several different estimates from the adjuster his insurance company hired. After not being satisfied with the first two, Adams hired his own. But the insurance company rejected the estimate and sent out their adjuster a third time. The damage estimates range from $19,000 to $42,000 and Adam's adjuster estimated $65,000. He and his wife just want their home fixed properly by contractors he trusts so they can get on with their lives.

"I'm not satisfied so we have to wait, make the proper adjustments, proper payment, then I'll go along with it and say we're final," Adams said.

There is no state law preventing insurance companies from choosing who can do contracted work.

Tower Hill told Channel 3 News, "Each claim is reviewed individually and the facts and circumstances of each claim will determine whether the option to repair is invoked or not."

The contracted company, DKI, also released the following statement to Channel 3 News:

"We are a proud local company of the service that we provide to our fellow citizens and businesses. We are there at our clients time of need and take pride in what we do. We are partnered with many great charitable organizations and gladly give back to the communities that we live in. We continuously receive outstanding heartfelt emotion filled reviews and letters from our client appreciative for the help we have provided getting their houses and business back together."

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