HVAC Company avoiding myself and the insurance company

13 Replies

Hello BP members,

I recently had an HVAC technician come out and service my 8 yr old HVAC.

I am going through a claims process with my insurance company to see if they can cover for me.

It has been difficult to have the HVAC company and the technician to comply so they can get paid.

My insurance agent guy just needs to ask couple of questions.

It's been about 2~3 weeks since the service was done but they still have yet to reach out to my insurance agent who's clamining he's been calling the HVAC compnay and the HVAC company is telling me that they have left numerous voice mail to the agent.

Now the HVAC company is annoyed saying they're super busy and they aren't going to deal with this anymore and my agent is telling me he needs to know that info in order to work on the claim...

For a young investor myself, the bill is pretty expensive and I would really like for my insurance to cover me for it.

What should I do?

If the contractor wants to get paid soon, he should make time.

Kidding aside, you can you find out what questions the adjuster has, and get the info yourself from the contractor? Or schedule a conference call with both parties so you can bang it all out at once?

Or you can pay him, and continue your claim to get reimbursed. In all fairness to the contractor, he did the work and is entitled to be paid, regardless of whether you have insurance coverage for the damage.

What happened to cause the claim? Why would insurance cover HVAC repair?

@Michael Pepe I 100% agree that the contractor should get paid and I will even if the insurance doesn't cover it. The company has a 30 day period for payments and I'm just at about 20 days in now. 

I've been trying to get both parties on the phone but it's hard to reach both of them. When I call the agent, he doesn't answer right away and I only have 1 hour time window from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM to get a hold of the contractor. These are the hours that were given to me because he's super busy throughout the day. 

It's just been a pain in the butt trying to be the middle man of all this.

The contractor said he would text me today regarding the info that I need to provide to the insurance agent but he hasn't. At least not yet and its already 6 PM.

The cover I'm asking from the insurance company is the Fair Rental Value. I had to reimburse the tenant because they sent an email citing the law saying the heat was unbearable and claimed it was inhabitable.

@Johnathon Hendon I'm not sure why insurance would cover an HVAC service. In my experience, we're talking about $150 - $300, if I'm correct with that guess, you really should have that covered with reserves and should have been budgeting for capex. I'm also assuming this is an investment property when I say that because of "For a young investor myself". I don't mean to be negative here, but these things happen with real estate and is the reason we budget for things going wrong.

It's hard enough to get insurance to reimburse for replacing HVAC when it's been ruined by lightening, let alone paying up front directly to a HVAC company for servicing, I guess unless something happened that would cause you to need servicing and is also something that insurance covers.

your best bet here may be to find out what questions insurance has and ask yourself. You may also need to just pay and hope for reimbursement. Good luck!!

@Grant Rothenburger  

My thing is if I see something that can be covered by the Insurance company, whether it's $100 or $2000, I would rather have them pay for it than pay it out of my pocket. Afterall, that is why we pay every month so we can be protected..

I asked a question to the agent if I would be  covered in this scenario and had he said no, I would have paid the bill myself and that would be it.. 

I will pay the contractor for the job. I've been pretty busy closing and renovating the other properties that I'm working on but I agree that he needs to get paid haha..

I just wanted to see the legal aspect of contractors denying to talk to Agents for whatever reason.. I mean we're trying to get him paid after all but he seems to not care as much as me and the agent do. I wanted to use a heavier tone with him tomorrow if need be to get him to communicate with us so we can get things rollin.

The bill was $2,000 for the servicing of HVAC btw.

Thank you for the reply sir.

Speaking as a contractor ,    Pay him .  Its not his problem to deal with your insurance company . His time is money , are you going to reimburse him for his administration time dealing with this ?   

@Matthew Paul

As I stated above.. the company itself gives the clients 30 day window to pay them with 0 penality.. It's been about 20 days so far and I plan on heading into the office tomorrow and get to the bottom of it and also write them a check for the service. I'm not wasting nobodies time or giving anyone a hard time. I'm simply trying to see if we can get my insurance to write them the check instead myself within the HVAC companies guidelines of 30 day pay window.

@Johnathon Hendon I must have misunderstood. When you said service the HVAC I was thinking of them coming out and basically checking everything and cleaning a few things up (what they do when home inspectors insist that HVAC units be serviced before purchasing). For $2k we're talking about some actual work being done. I understand better now. I thought you were having trouble with a couple hundred, not a couple thousand.

From an Insurance Agent's standpoint, the AC work will not be covered unless you pay for an endorsement such as equipment breakdown (similar to a home warranty).

The claim to reimburse the tenants for their time spent in a hotel may or may not be payable based on your insurance policy.  The reason for tenant displacement has to have been caused by a covered peril, not just lack of maintenance from wear and tear.  

FYI, when making a claim on insurance, always try to determine if it's worth the payout.  Filing too many claims will make your premium go up, meaning you're basically giving that money back to the insurance company.  It even counts against you if the claim is denied and you don't receive any money.  

My advice is to use an Independent Agent in your area.  Since we don't work directly for any carriers, you can call your agent first and ask if filing a claim is the right option for each scenario.  This will help keep your insurance costs down.

Everything that @Jared Newsom said! 

And yes, though they've given you a time frame, pay that contractor. If their first experience with you is a hassle, you may give them a distaste for doing work for you in the future... Assuming you were pleased with their service and would want to re-hire them of course... 

I Agree with @Matthew Paul

You hired the contractor pay them. You and the insurance agent need to work it out. It is no different than the following scenario.

You rent out an apartment to tenant A.

Tenant A says "You know I can get organization A to pay for my rent". "Sooooooo I need you to call them and then fill out their forms and then I want you to setup calls at good times of day, and they may not answer, but I want you to keep calling until they do and then I want you to get together some records for them and I want you to fax a copy to one of their people and they don;t use email so I need you to go to a notary and fill out a form you can get from a small shop 45 minutes away and then make a copy out of geniune Elks blood and paper made from the skin of the an elusive Yackani fish".... You want to get paid right?

As the landlord, you just want to get your money according to the contract you both agreed to. They agreed to fix the AC, you agreed to pay them. Their involvement ends there.

Just my 2 cents.

Originally posted by @Johnathon Hendon :

Hello BP members,

I recently had an HVAC technician come out and service my 8 yr old HVAC.

I am going through a claims process with my insurance company to see if they can cover for me.

It has been difficult to have the HVAC company and the technician to comply so they can get paid.

My insurance agent guy just needs to ask couple of questions.

It's been about 2~3 weeks since the service was done but they still have yet to reach out to my insurance agent who's clamining he's been calling the HVAC compnay and the HVAC company is telling me that they have left numerous voice mail to the agent.

Now the HVAC company is annoyed saying they're super busy and they aren't going to deal with this anymore and my agent is telling me he needs to know that info in order to work on the claim...

For a young investor myself, the bill is pretty expensive and I would really like for my insurance to cover me for it.

What should I do?

Johnathan, "service" and upkeep to a property is not covered by a Property or Liability policy. Maybe you have some sort of Home Warranty policy you are filing under?

If you had a fire, water damage, etc., that occurred,  that then resulted in the HVAC system needing repair, then a Property policy could provide coverage.

@Jared Newsom

Thank you for the reply, looking back, I should've just not filed a claim for the reasons you mentioned.. I have paid the contractor in full and the insurance will most likely only cover the diagnostics from the technician.

@Mike Cumbie

Thank you for the reply sir, I agree and see how it could be frustrating for the contractor. I wasn't too sure on how the process worked when you file a claim. Last time I filed one for hail damage, the insurance company paid me right away and I was able to pay the contractor with that money so I thought it had to follow that process. I paid the contractor this morning.

@Jason Bott

I see, thank you for the reply. I was able to get the diagnostics covered by the insurance company but not much more. I paid the contractor in full.