Navigating Your Property Damage Settlement
The majority of insurance claims filed are by property owners who have never had to file a claim before. Often, these owners do not have experience negotiating a claim with an adjuster. Understanding the claims process is essential to ensuring that you receive the sufficient funds needed to restore your property to its pre-loss condition. Even if you never have to file a claim, it is essential to know what steps to take in the event of a water leak, or destruction from storm, fire, or smoke damage.
Assess the Damage
Determining the severity of the damage is the first initial step to ensure that you do not exceed the deductible on your insurance policy. Insurance costs are continually rising, forcing many property owners to choose higher deductibles to keep premium prices down. The possibility of increasing your premium on your renewal date would depend on your insurance company’s price algorithm.
For example, if you have a $5,000 deductible and a storm has blown a few pieces of siding off of your building. The cost of repairs will be below your deductible, so filing a claim would not be beneficial.
On the other hand, it may be challenging to determine whether the damage exceeds the deductible, and whether you should file a claim or not. That’s where the help of First Response Restoration can benefit you greatly. As a reputable general contractor, we can assist you in deciding to file a claim or not.
File a Claim As Needed
If you decide to file a claim, you should notify your insurance carrier and obtain a claim number. Depending on your carrier, one of the following scenarios is likely to happen next:
⦁ An insurance adjuster will perform an estimate based on the damage and issue you a check based on the estimate. Many adjusters tend to not have a construction background, leading to inaccurate estimates. These repair estimates often confuse property owners due to unrealistic repair times, leaving it up to you to find a contractor on your own.
Choosing a contractor who does not have experience dealing with insurance claims leads to difficulty negotiating with your insurance company on obtaining the correct amount of repair money. We’re proud to say that we have dealt with both major and minor insurance companies and know how to handle claims efficiently. When necessary, our estimates double the settlement amount for you to report to your insurance company to complete your repairs.
⦁ You will be referred to third-party contractors in your insurance company’s network. These contractors will schedule an onsite meeting and come out and write a repair estimate that gets reviewed by the third party. Afterward, the estimate will be submitted to your insurance company for payment.
Contractors who write the estimates have to do the work for the price that they quote and often include warranties. Though this is a great advantage, property owners must remember that they can only use contractors within their network. These third-party administrators charge contractors to do a percentage of work, allowing contractors the freedom to cut corners while still making profits.
Though your insurance company may suggest using a third-party contractor, it is ultimately your decision to choose an in-network contractor or find another elsewhere.
⦁ The insurance company will ask you to get an estimate (or three!) for your repairs. Remember, not all contractors are created equally, so not all estimates are going to be completed the same.
This process allows your insurance company to pay for the lowest estimate given. However, when it is time for the repairs, the given contractor may not be available. Even worse, the contractor finds out after starting a job that it cannot be done for his given price and may leave your job unfinished without enough money to obtain a different contractor to finish the repairs.
We do not only write complete and accurate estimates, but we are more than happy to complete a job at the estimated price that we gave in the first place.
Call First Response Restoration
If you are uncomfortable filing an insurance claim for your property as a result of water, storm, fire, smoke, or another form of damage, contact First Response Restoration for an evaluation. We are a local reputable construction company with years of experience dealing with all types of damage and insurance claims. Contact us today to set up an appointment with us.