Do I Have To Use A Contractor That An Insurance Company Referred To Me?

If you were to have a “Water Loss” or a “Fire” at your house, one of the first things that a property owner is probably going to ask, is “Who is going to do the repairs to my home?”. If you have ever had any work done at your property, for any kind of repairs, remodeling etc., you already know how difficult it can be to find the right person, or company to handle a project. Now you are facing the repair of you property.  You did not prepare for the broken pipe or water heater, or kitchen fire, but now you have to deal with the aftermath of this event.   The last project you had done, you had thought about for months before the job began.  Now, you want to start the repairs as soon as possible.
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Perhaps you will need emergency services, and then substantial repairs, that might require a variety of tradespeople to coordinate in order to handle a complete project. You thought that your insurance company would help you out, but they sent an emergency crew to your home to dry it out, and you may not have been impressed with their performance.  What should you do about handling all of the repairs.

Your  insurance company said that they would send a company to handle the repairs, but you are skeptical that the company that they send is going to favor the insurance company over you. Insurance company is controlling that contractor, and you want a company that is going to do the best job with the repairs, and not necessarily dance to the tune of your insurance carrier.

Your logic is correct with regards to the relationship between contractors and insurance companies. It is absolutely true that many insurance carriers are tightening the reins on the contractors that they might refer to you. They have eliminated certain items that cannot be billed, and cut out much of the extras that a contractor must provide, and needs to get paid for, in order to stay in business. The relationship between insurance carriers and contractors has become more strained than ever, and the property owner might be the one that is caught in the squeeze.

Some insurance companies, for example, will not pay for painting your walls with two coats of paint. They tell the contractor that one coat that is sufficient for the job, but how does that sit with the property owner that believes that one coat does not provide a proper paint job? Perhaps the insurance carrier will not allow for painting of door jambs and doors if only the baseboards are damaged.  Would that be acceptable to you, the property owner?

Drywall replacement might require replacement if it has been wet for more than three days, but perhaps your adjuster does not want to include this work in his scope of work to be done. The contractor that was sent by your insurance company is going to do the work that the insurance has agreed to pay for, and you feel that you should be getting more work done. Who is looking out for you?

Since you are the property owner, you can hire the company that you want to make the necessary repairs.  This rule applies most of the times, except in the unusual situation where an insurance company reserves the “right to repair”.  Hopefully you did not purchase a homeowner’s policy from one of those companies, as our experience has demonstrated that those same companies are the ones that do their best to deny a claim, should you have one.

Generally speaking, you can hire whomever you want to make the required repairs to your property.  My suggestion is that you hire a reputable Restoration Contractor, that specializes in water, mold, or fire damage restoration.  They should be able to walk you through the process, as they are familiar with this niche of the construction industry. A Restoration Company, as opposed to a typical General Contractor should have the experience to move your claim along, get agreements with the assigned adjuster with the work that needs to be done.  A company that is not “attached” to your insurance carrier, might well be your best bet.  You are the customer, and you must be made whole,  provided you have purchased a proper policy.  In the vast majority of the situations, you have the ultimate say in who repairs your property.

My best advice, is to hire a good, reputable company.  Check their licensing and local reputation. Don’t think that a franchise of a national company is necessarily going to provide better service than a local contractor.  In the same line of thinking as I have mentioned earlier, hire a company that is going to have your interests most aligned with yours.

Posted in Fire Damage, Mold Removal, Water Damage, Wind Damage
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