Can I keep the money left over from my homeowners claim?

Do I have to give the leftover money from my homeowners claim back to the insurance company? We had a kitchen fire and had to have the whole room gutted and redone. The estimate came in around $37,000 but it ended up only costing about $34,000. I don't want to be dishonest; however, it would be nice to keep the extra cash.

Answer
“As long as the estimates to repair the kitchen where honest estimates, you are free to keep any overages that are leftover!
When a claims adjuster cuts a check for the estimate to get your home repaired, it is an amount based on the replacement cost of the materials and the cost of labor. Both of these things can fluctuate drastically within short periods of time.
It could be that the cost of materials were higher at the time of the estimate. Maybe your contractor was able to get items at a lower price and pass the savings on to you, or it may have taken the workers less time than they thought to complete the job. Having a trustworthy contractor has its benefits and saving money can be one of them.
It is important to check the fine print of your home insurance policy to make sure there isn’t any language that forbids you from keeping the extra funds. This isn’t typical, but some insurance carriers do have this stipulation.
If you are questioning the cost of your insurance policy, it is a great time to re-shop both your home and auto insurance policies. By bundling your auto and home insurance, you can save with a multi-line discount.
Use the free Jerry app to help make this happen! Jerry collects auto and home quotes from over 50 companies and brings the lowest available rates right to your phone.”
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Shannon Martin
Answered on Jul 27, 2021
Shannon is an expert in personal lines liability insurance with 13 + years of insurance industry experience. She also served as a special insurance liaison to AARP members for 6 of those years. She is a graduate of UL Lafayette and currently resides in NY with her family. Shannon is also an amateur juggler, ukulele player, and is a time travel paradox theory enthusiast.
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