QLD Poor Work and Conduct of Builder - Recourse?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Dadgoose, 9 June 2018.

  1. Dadgoose

    Dadgoose Member

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    We have an insurance claim requiring complete rebuild of our bathroom and some minor works to plaster in other rooms (water leak).

    We are dealing with our insurer, their repair company and the repair companys choice of building contractor. Our issue lies with the building contractor and some very poor work and even worse communication bordering on abuse towards us.

    We have received the completion certificate and are compiling a long list of very clear workmanship issues and oversights however I have no confidence this builder can complete the work properly.

    I have formally complained to the insurer who has been very understanding regarding the builders conduct however I intend on requesting another builder to be sent out to rectify and I intend to refuse access for the original builder.

    Could I assume I am able to make such a request?
     
  2. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Insurers find the cheapest builders that they can to do the work, and the builder accepts the low pay because they want to keep the recurring work with that insurer.

    But the builders are never overly happy about it to say the least! So that is why the builder does a half assed job and is rude to you.... it all comes back to the old saying "pay peanuts, get monkeys" and the insurer knows it but just giving you lip service.
     
  3. Zerojay

    Zerojay Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with Clancy's broad brush criticism of insurance companies and their builders. That is not to say bad situations do not occur, and sometimes the reaction from the insurance company is poor. But in my experience the insurer will generally try to work with you and the builder to resolve. My understanding is that the insurance company and builder will have an ongoing contract that sets out all the details of their agreement including a process to be followed in case of a complaint about poor workmanship.

    So the builder knows that if the complaint is proven he will not be fully paid if another builder has to come in and rectify. Or the builder will not pay the subbie if he has to call on another subbie to rectify. The insurer may appoint an assessor to meet the owner and builder on site to view the areas of complaint and work towards a fair outcome..

    It is usual for the builder/subbie to be first given the opportunity to rectify their own mistakes at their cost. If there are other factors such as proven abuse, the insurer will have the right to call in a second builder and deduct the second builder's cost from payment to the first builder.

    This is not a complaint that an insurer should give lip service to because if it escalates to the ombudsman they will cop it for sure.

    I do not give legal advice, just an opinion based on over 20 years experience working for an insurance company.
     
  4. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    Its not a 'broad brush' criticism, it is a criticism based on the OP's details about the attitude of the builder and the most likely reason the builder will have that attitude.
     
  5. Zerojay

    Zerojay Well-Known Member

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    Clancy, I apologize for my misunderstanding of your comment.
    I will consider the alternative, as stated, that your criticism is based on the attitude of the builder and the most likely reason why the builder would have that attitude.
    The facts reported are that the insurance company appointed a repair company and that company then engaged a sub-contractor to carry out some or all of the repair work. Therefore the "builder" who botched the job and had a bad attitude is the sub-contractor, not the repair company.
    When contacted, the insurance company was "very understanding".
    The assertion that the sub-contractor's poor workmanship and attitude were most likely caused by the repair company being upset with the lower than normal pay rate (due to the volume of work received) has no merit. There is no link between the sub-contractor's performance and the pure assumption that the repair company must have a beef with the insurer. Of course the sub-contractor is paid by the repair company (at a price agreed between the two), and not by the insurance company.
    So the insurer cannot be accused of insincerity with its response when they have no knowledge of a cause that does not exist.
     
  6. Clancy

    Clancy Well-Known Member

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    The OP has not used the specific term 'sub-contractor' anywhere in their post, but it does make me wonder exactly what the 'repair company' is? My best guess is that it is the repair department of the insurer, but i could be wrong? and that would make your point correct.
     
  7. DMLegal

    DMLegal Well-Known Member

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    I worked for an insurer in Home Claims for many years. You can ask for an internal assessor, that is an assessor from the insurer and not an assessor from the builder, attend and they will give an unbiased opinion on the workmanship. Depending on their report you can either elect to use another of their builders or your own builder, although the quote will need to be approved. The usual approach is that a repairer is given an opportunity to rectify any defects however if there is a 'long list' of defects I would outright refuse to allow the builder to return. I would recommend you obtain your own report on the defects, as opposed to a list compiled by you, the insurer will usually reimburse you for this too (providing it is reasonable).
     
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