My insurance is covering structural damage to a portion of my house. There is also additional work I would like to do at the same time. If I'm able to get the damage repaired for less than the insurance company estimate, is there a legitimate way to apply the extra money to the additional work? I could do some of the work myself, hire non-union contractors, or ex. patch plaster rather than replace it. (Assume the end result will be the same quality). Some of the work I would like to add would make the insurance work easier (ex if it's $10k to replace damaged part, but $15k to replace it and something else), how does that get calculated? Alternately, how would it work if I decided to rebuild something of the same or higher finished value, rather than repair, but with less expensive finishes? I'm familiar with change orders etc. Are these tracked as line items or the total amount?

About The Expert

Amy Bach

Amy Bach has been a professional advocate for insurance policyholders since 1984 and an attorney since 1989. She co-founded United Policyholders in 1991 and serves as the organization's Executive Director and primary spokesperson; shaping and overseeing the Roadmap to Recovery™, Roadmap to Preparedness, and Advocacy and Action programs. She is a nationally recognized expert on insurance claim and legal matters; frequently interviewed in print and broadcast media, and the author of numerous publications including "The Disaster Recovery Handbook", "WISE UP: The Savvy Consumer's Guide to Buying Insurance" and consumer tips and guides in the UP Claim Help Library.  Recognized by Money Magazine as a Money Hero, Bach is in her eighth consecutive term as an official consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and is a member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance.