When an unforeseen event causes property damage to your home, the first thing on your mind is restoring your home to its original condition. Typically, one of the first calls you make is to the insurance company to determine if the property damage is a covered peril and how to begin filing a claim. To initiate this, you’ll speak with an insurance representative, such as a claims adjuster. This person will lead you through the steps necessary to get your claim paid, repair your home, pay a contractor, and return to your usual life.
Regardless of whether the damage was caused by a flood, fire, wind, or something else, you’ll need an insurance home repair contractor to fix the damage and restore your home, so let’s talk about how to choose the proper one.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners with reliable general contractors in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties, we speak to homeowners every day about hiring an insurance home repair contractor to fix their insurance-related home damage – here are some tips to get you started.
How To Find Insurance Home Repair Contractors Near Me?
Regardless of whether you’re selecting a repair contractor from the insurance company’s approved or preferred list, it is of the utmost importance that you hire a qualified, trustworthy professional. If you hire the wrong company, you may have to deal with continual delays, substandard work, or ongoing miscommunications.
The most critical factor in ensuring a successful, stress-free process is hiring an honest, respected insurance home repair contractor. Ensure that you inquire about each contractor’s willingness to undertake a project with an insurance claim…not every contractor is willing to do so.
In all circumstances, the best method to locate reliable insurance contractors is to ask friends, neighbors, and coworkers for suggestions. On social networking platforms, you should ONLY rely on the recommendations of real friends. Others are frequently untrustworthy (they’ll recommend their cousin the contractor, etc.).
If you aren’t able to acquire referrals from friends, etc., you may want to use a firm that performs rigorous insurance repair contractor screening and provides specialized recommendations for home property damage (www.GreatBuildz.com or similar). Please do not randomly select an insurance claim contractor from a junk mail leaflet or a contractor listing website.
Who Are Contractors That Work With Insurance Companies?
General Contractors hold a specific type of licensing from the state contractors license board (CSLB) called a B license. This allows these specialized contractors to work on multiple elements of repairing your home (unlike a plumber who is only qualified to do plumbing). There are over 20,000 licensed general contractors in Los Angeles County. However, not all general contractors choose to work with insurance companies on doing insurance home repairs.
So, you’ll need to find a general contractor who is willing and experienced in doing insurance home repairs and working with you through the insurance claim process. It’s important to remember, your insurance company is NOT responsible for repairing your home or finding you a home repair contractor. They are only responsible for paying your claim (settlement) as per the insurance policy you purchased. Therefore, the selection of an insurance home repair contractor is totally your responsibility. Your insurance company’s only involvement will be to review and approve the contractor’s estimate and make the various payments during the process.
What Is an Insurance Claim Construction Company?
Construction companies or general contractors are generally not experts at insurance claims. Don’t expect the contractor to get involved in discussing or resolving your claim with your insurance company. However, there are some contractors who have experience doing insurance home repair projects, and these are the appropriate contractors for your insurance claim project. You do not want to work with a contractor who has never taken on a project that involves an insurance company; that’s a recipe for a bad construction experience.
Pro-tip: Be extremely cautious and on the lookout for red flags with insurance home repair contractors. If a contractor offers you some “cash” for working together to increase the size of their repair estimate to the insurance company, that could constitute insurance fraud. The bottom line is that you should vet all potential insurance contractors the same as if you were hiring them for your own money. You can check out the ten vetting steps we take here at GreatBuildz before adding a contractor to our network.
Can I Change My Home Repair Contractor If I Don’t Like The Insurance Company’s Preferred Contractor?
When you begin discussing your insurance claim with the adjuster, you will likely be instructed to obtain bids from contractors to repair and restore the damage. The adjuster may provide you with a list of approved or referred contractors in their network, but they also permit you to find and select your own local home repair contractors.
Obtaining an estimate from one or more contractors that work with insurance companies is a smart idea, and you should also always conduct your own research on these firms. Do not rely on the insurance company to determine a contractor’s credibility. Check their reviews online and at the BBB, verify their licensing, obtain a copy of their insurance certificates, and request references.
Additionally, it is generally a good idea to obtain estimates from insurance home repair contractors who are not on the insurance company’s list. Thus, you can really evaluate the options and select the ideal fit for you. Please be aware that you have the final say over which contractor will perform the necessary property damage repairs. You should not necessarily choose the lowest-priced contractor, regardless of whether the insurance company has approved them or not. Even if you’re not paying the costs out of pocket, a subpar contractor can make your life stressful in very many ways.
How Do Insurance Companies Pay Home Repair Contractors?
When speaking with your insurance carrier, be sure to obtain a thorough understanding of their payment procedure. When will payments be made? Will these payments be made contingent upon the contractor’s performance? Will the payments be payable to you or to the contractors directly? You will need to understand their methods in order to convey them to your insurance home repair contractor. In their formal construction agreement with you, your contractor should be informed of when and how they can expect to be paid.
If your insurance company intends to pay your contractor directly, they will likely notify you and need your consent prior to making any payments. Ensure that you thoroughly examine these requests to confirm that the contractor’s progress is appropriate with the payment schedule. It is never a good idea to pay a contractor for more work than he or she has completed; doing so can cause delays since the contractor will not feel compelled to complete the next phase of the project in order to get paid.
What Is The Difference Between a Restoration Contractor And a General Contractor?
In your home emergency, the foremost concern is resolving the most important problem, whether it be smoke, water infiltration, or any other type of damage. You’ll need to employ a restoration pro for this urgent task. This type of expert is trained and skilled in completing the necessary mitigation activities to resolve the issue and prevent further damage. They are typically accessible on short notice and have the required equipment and qualifications necessary to perform ‘hazardous’ tasks such as mold, asbestos, and lead paint removal.
Although your best option is to contact a restoration company to handle the immediate problem, the following stage will be to “rebuild” the damaged sections of your home. Despite the fact that some restoration contractors also offer this service, you’re definitely better off hiring a reputable, licensed general contractor, especially if it’s a large project (over $10,000) involving flooring, cabinetry, framing, etc. General contractors hold a state license (not required for restoration services) and specialize in this sort of construction…and are more likely to complete this work to a better-quality standard.
GreatBuildz is a free service in Southern California that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.
Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your property damage or insurance home repair project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com