Is a contractor required to itemize estimates?
Question Details: I have water damage. My insurance company asked me to get an estimate which I did. He detailed everything that needs to be done and the price on the estimate. Now the insurance company wants the price itemized. The contractor said it's impossible to itemize the cost until he opens the walls and the floor. He said that GA does not require the cost to be itemized.
It doesn't matter whether GA requires itemization: if you want the insurer to pay, you have to provide them the documentation, information, etc. they want. They have a right to make sure that the costs are valid and reasonable (i.e. not padded) and the only way to do that is to see it broken down by line. If you don't itemize, they can refuse to pay. If they refuse, you could sue them for "breach of contract" for not paying a claim, but in the lawsuit, they will be legally entitled to get this information anyway and would have a valid defense to paying any unnecessary or inflated costs. You will have to provide this earlier or later if you want them to pay and the refuse to do so without it, so have your contractor itemize the invoice for them.
And here's a observation: contractors do this all the time, and provide built-in margins in the estimate to protect themselves against unexpected surprises (e.g. the estimate can say: "Estimate only: final cost dependent on conditions found once walls and floors opened" or "additional work required by what is discovered during the project will affect the prices"). If your contractor cannot or will not do this, you need to wonder if he is hiding something (i.e. if he is inflating the price) or is not a professional as you hope.