An Interstate Restoration Company

Understanding the Insurance Claims Process

Wednesday, July 13, 2016Joe Melvin

For most property owners, this may be the first, and hopefully, last time a disaster hits their property. Unless you, the property owner, have filed a claim before and have been through the process of seeing a claim from beginning to end, it can be very complicated. Full service restoration contractors such as Rolyn understand every detailed step involved in navigating a property claim.

What is a deductible?
An insurance deductible is simply the amount of money that the insured is required to pay for in a covered claim. This is the “out of pocket” amount you as a property owner are responsible for before your insurance kicks in. The deductible amount is chosen at the time of purchasing your coverage. Usually, the lower the deductible put forth, the higher the insurance premium.Deductibles can be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of the total home value.

Do I have to use my insurance company's preferred contractor?
No. A property owner 100% controls the decision to who is hired as a remediation contractor. The claim coverage will not be affected by whom you chose as your contractor.

How do I know if I really need to file a claim?
Call your insurance company and put them on notice. This is not a formal filing of your claim. Next, partner with a full-service remediation contractor, such as Rolyn, to help guide you as to whether claim is needed. You should know your deductible before you receive an estimate from the remediation contractor. Both the remediation contractor and the agent will assist you with making an informed decision as to whether filing a property insurance claim is in your best interest, or whether there may be repercussions for filing the claim. Do not wait; call your agent as soon as possible following the loss.

How do I find someone qualified to repair my damages?
Some insurance companies will provide you with a list of qualified contractors, restoration or cleaning services, or auto repair contractors to contact and bid on the repair for your damage. If your insurance company does not provide you with a vendor list, it is up to you to find a company that is qualified in dealing with the parameters of a property insurance claim. In either scenario, you should do your research and check to see if the company is licensed, bonded, and insured. It is also a good idea to ask remediation contractors for testimonials and case studies that are similar to your loss. Checking online reviews on YELP, Google Reviews, BBB, etc is another good way to narrow down your selections.

How long will it take to settle my claim? 
This depends on the complexity of the loss and amount of damage. Also, the length of time to settle a claim differs depending on the insurance company and the extent of the loss. Be sure to remain in contact with your insurance agent to check the status of your claim. Many insurance companies have a system in place, allowing for the capability of the insured to monitor their claim process online.

Will my claim be covered?
Insurance claim coverage varies depending on policy. It is important for you to thoroughly understand about what is covered within your policy, in the event that the insured is filing a claim. Determine if you may need catastrophe coverage; coverage for additional living expenses (in the event you must relocate), flood coverage, liability coverage, personal property coverage, or real property coverage.

What is a public adjuster?
A public adjuster is someone that you pay to help you with your insurance claim. A public adjuster can assist with the claims process, but cannot get you more money than you are entitled to under your insurance policy, and will not be able to get your claim settled any faster.A public loss adjuster will investigate and examine insurance claims, assess the cost and value of your loss, and submit a claim to your insurance company. A public adjuster works for the property owner, however a private adjuster works for the insurance company. Either way, their responsibility is to provide the best solution to the property owners’ loss and negotiate payment for the repair, renovation, and/or restoration of your property.

What is a restoration contractor
Restoration companies help remediate and restore damage that occurs to your property. What you will need is a full-service, expert restoration company who will immediately respond to your emergency situation.These contractors have experience handling fire and water damage cleanup, including hardwood floor water damage, laminate floor water damage, drywall repair water damage, roof water damage, hail/wind damage, mold insurance claims, cleaning, smoke damage, as well as fast-track reconstruction.

What should you expect when you call a restoration contractor?
Immediately, the contractor will come out to mitigate further damage to your home. After the property is safe and secure, the insurance adjuster and estimator (from the remediation company) work together to settle the claim. Once the claim is settled, repair work begins to restore your home to a pre-loss condition. After the work is complete, the property owner is billed by the remediation contractor and the insurance company issues a check for the property owner.

Full-service restoration companies understand the insurance claim procedure can be a complicated one. There is an abundance of detail involved in the process of filing property insurance claims, of which the property owner is often unaware. Therefore, make sure you find a remediation company with expertise in insurance claim renovations.

About the Author

Joe Melvin
Senior Project Manager

In a crisis, you need rapid response from a company with the skills and experience required to handle any type of disaster.

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