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Undiscussed additional costs

We had an agreement (written & verbal) with an insurance adjuster (heimeish) regarding payment on a claim submitted. After settlement was reached with insurance company & we received payment on our claim the adjuster suddenly changed the terms (verbally). When I explained that we already had an agreement on his payment he continued to say that above that agreement there are other fee factors that he takes into account (NONE of which he mentioned initially when signing agreement).

I would like to know what our obligation is? The original agreement or his new demands (which is almost double the original amount)?

Answer

In general, once a fee has been agreed upon in advance. neither party may change the terms of the agreement after the service has been provided.

Nonetheless, there will be circumstances in which there are acceptable additional charges which every client is expected to know about, or additional fees for additional work that was provided that was not discussed earlier because it was not known that such additional work would be necessary. In these cases the contractor is entitled to ask for extra wages.

For a conclusive ruling in your case, you must approach a Dayan together with the contractor, so that he can hear both parties and rule accordingly.

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2 Comments

  1. Shkoyich for your immediate response…. My understanding of your response is: You mentioned that there is a possibility for an additional fee that was not previously discussed ONLY IF IT WAS NOT KNOWN that additional work must be performed…In other words IF THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL WORK done OTHER THAN the general way a claim is submitted then I AM “NOT” required to pay any more than was originally discuseed??? I would appreciate your clarification

    1. The intention was that if more work became necessary that was unpredictable at the beginning, the employee is usually permitted to request further payment. But if he is merely adding on charges for work that was specifically discussed and requested in advance, Beis Din will usually dismiss such a claim.

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