What is Tortious Interference & How to Deal with it in Colorado

Tortious Interference

“Tortious interference, also known as intentional interference with contractual relations, in the common law of torts, occurs when one person intentionally damages someone else's contractual or business relationships with a third party causing economic harm. As an example, someone could use blackmail to induce a contractor into breaking a contract, or they could obstruct someone's ability to honor a contract with a client by deliberately refusing to deliver necessary goods.” - Wikipedia

In Colorado and around the country, insurance companies are finding themselves subject to tortious interference lawsuits. In the context of homeowners insurance, it refers to the insurance not doing what needs to be done to make you whole - to put you back to where you were before something happened.

To illustrate, imagine you’ve just had a house fire. There’s a lot of damage. Several contractors have come and told you that there’s $200,000 worth of damage, but the insurance claims adjuster offers you $85,000. In this case, the insurance company is intentionally preventing you from being able to hold up your end of a contract to pay someone to fix your home the way it needs to be. 

In Colorado, your contractor can sue your insurance company for tortious interference. Once you’ve signed an agreement with a contractor, like Fire and Hail Restoration, we can take it over. You grant us formal permission to pursue the insurance company on your behalf and we work to get them to pay a reasonable claim.

Why is this Tortious Interference?

The contract between the restoration company and the insured is being breached by the insurance company intentionally underpaying the claim. In this case, the insurance companies in the third party preventing the homeowner and the contractor from being able to complete the contract they signed. 

Does this Work? 

Yes. In fact, contractors across the state have had to do this in order to get homes repaired after fires, hail, tornadoes, snow, and rain damage. The insurance companies are profit-driven; they want to give you as little as possible. 

Why Have the Contractor File Suit?

The short answer is that we’ve done it before. Our attorneys have experience with the insurance companies and their tactics. We’re able to get them to move more quickly. 

Also, whatever you’re recovering from, there was likely a trauma. The last thing you need is to have to fight with the company you’ve been paying to take care of your assets to get them to do what you’ve paid them for. Let Fire and Hail Restoration handle that. 

Does this Add to the Cost?

No. We handle it because then we can get the contract paid and do the work. Unfortunately, hassling with insurance companies is simply part of the job. We know we’re going to have to do it so we make sure that we’re ready for them.

You get an honest estimate of the cost of repairs, spelled out in every detail. So do the insurance companies. They know that we're charging isn't outrageous or over-priced. 

The key to the tortious interference case is that the insurance company must go to court and explain their estimate. Since it’s always based on faulty assumptions or only half the work that needs to get done, they can’t stand in front of a judge and justify the amount they’re claiming they should be paying. 

How Do I Get Started? 

If you’re in the Denver area and you have a repair that you’ve filed a claim for home repairs, give Fire and Hail Restoration a call. 

The insurance company will probably ask you to call a few contractors. They will have a recommendation list, but choose at least one company not on that list. Their loyal contractors will sometimes work with them to reduce costs in the initial offer that you might get stuck with later.

Then, you choose your contractor for the work. If you choose us and the amount the insurance company is willing to pay is significantly different from what you should be getting, we’ll take it from there. 

Don’t just take what they give you. Your best interests are not what they get paid for. They get paid to keep as much money in their shareholders’ pocket as possible. 

At Fire and Hail Restoration, we travel throughout the state of Colorado and help people put their lives back as soon as possible. We’re a family business committed to your family!

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