Be Aware of Restoration Companies
Restoration companies can be a crucial part of an insurance claim. These companies and contractors could be needed for emergency services like water mitigation and boarding up the property to keep it secure. They can also be utilized for contents pack out, contents cleaning, debris removal, and other miscellaneous items. Policy holders have the option to hire these contractors for the subsequential repairs as well.
Did you know that you have the right to hire a contractor of your choice and you don’t have to hire the insurance company’s preferred vendor? This helps put you in control of where your insurance money is being paid.
Here are a few ways restoration companies and contractors can make a surplus of money off your claim.
- Not providing their own estimate.
- Writing a contract for insurance proceeds.
- Not being flexible with their clients needs and wants.
- Charging double the industry standard on emergency services.
- Considering the insurance company their actual client
First and foremost, most people desire to know the cost of something be before paying for it. We have experienced many claims through the years where contractors begin work before letting homeowners and business owners how much the job will cost. Scary! Additionally, we have seen contractors rely exclusively on the insurance company’s estimate and sometimes those estimates are not in line with the damages and proper repairs needed.
This is troublesome because contracts with these types of contractors may be written for insurance proceeds. This means you as the policy holder will pay the contractor all of the structure payments regardless of the work they do or do not actually complete. They also might not be willing to work outside of the insurance company’s estimate which limits you, the insured, from choosing how your home is repaired.
As the policy holder, you can choose what you want done to your home. What this means is if you want to take the opportunity to make some changes to your home while there is already work being done in that area, you can. Just know that the insurance company only owes for what existed before the loss occurred. You also need to make sure your contractor is willing to do change orders. For example, instead of replacing the free-standing range you can opt for a cook top and built in oven if that’s something you’ve been wanting. The contractor should swap those items in a change order so you can see the price difference, if any.
Emergency services can be challenging in getting an estimate before the work begins because these services are typically needed rather quickly. Unfortunately, we have seen claims were contractors take advantage of the fact that their services are needed immediately and upcharge. Be cautious of who you hire for your emergency services because your insurance company may not agree with the excessive amount and you could be stuck with paying out of pocket.
Tags: insurance claim, restoration, mitigation, contract