Express Emergency Services has years of experience in professional repair and restoration services. We specialize in addressing property damage caused by flooding, water, mold and fire. You want to make sure that you choose the right contractor for the job and Express Emergency Services is the right choice.
There are a few steps insurance policyholders can take to choose the right contractor to protect and restore their property after it has been damaged. You can perform a Google search for restoration companies, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, call the insurance agent for guidance, or call the carrier to file a claim and await further instructions.
Upon calling the 800 claims number, the carrier will either instruct the policyholder to contact a restoration company of their choice, or assign a “preferred vendor” or “preferred contractor” to the insured.
The insured doesn’t always ask questions about who is entering their property during the chaos of their emergency. When an insurance carrier assigns a contractor blindly, it can lead to bad claims experiences. Generally, preferred vendors are managed by a third party whose primary objective is to minimize the cost of the claim for the carrier, so the focus is not always on the policyholder. Assigned contractors work for Third Party Administrators (TPAs), and TPAs work for insurance companies. What interests the property owner in this scenario?
A policyholder files a claim with the restoration company, which means that the restoration company works for them, not the insurance company. Third party programs aren’t available to all restoration companies.
Policyholders should do their best to choose the most qualified contractor to restore their property.
Sometimes, when a carrier and TPA assign a preferred contractor, the policyholder decides a few days into the restoration process that he or she wants a different contractor to do the work. In many cases, the second contractor discovers that the property was not sufficiently dried, which means mitigation services must be performed again before repairs can be completed. Consequently, unnecessary funds are paid out on the claim, which may affect the policy’s renewal.
Changing contractors during a claim is frustrating for the property owner, who now has multiple points of contact, numerous strangers on their property, extended disruptions in their life, and a justified mistrust of contractors and their carriers. What is the purpose of these changes? As a result, they feared that if they did not use the assigned contractor, their claim would be denied, or the carrier would refuse to pay for the contractor of their choice and they would be stuck paying the bill.
What most people don’t know is that policyholders have the right to choose their contractor. Let’s talk about HOW to choose a property damage restoration contractor now that you know you CAN choose your own contractor.
- You can ask the agent. Service-oriented insurance agents are available to their clients in an emergency, especially after hours. You might want to ask the agent, “Who would you like to work in your home or office?” Often an agent will offer three names. From there, you need to do some research online.
- The quality of a company’s online presence can be gauged by its online presence. Is the website personable? Does the website set the tone for a good first impression and trust and comfort? Can you determine who owns the firm? Can you see actual photos of company employees and real job sites? Are the work areas in the photos of the jobsite clean or contaminated by dust and debris? The photos indicate the condition of the jobsite. Protect unaffected areas while work is being carried out.
- Find out how the property contents are handled. It is often necessary to protect, move and store your contents (personal property) to avoid contamination. Learn how the company will take care of your belongings. Will they hire another company or are they able to do it themselves?
- The testimonials and reviews indicate the quality of service the company provides. Do they respond to reviews? How do they handle negative reviews? Has the company managed to turn their customers into raving fans?
The tips above are helpful when a claim needs to be filed, but there are things you can do before the claim is filed so that you know who to contact in case of an emergency.
- Identify the companies that serve your market and their impact on your community.
- Get to know your insurance agent. Instead of calling the 800 number for claims, you should know where to find them.
- Know your insurance policy. Property damage emergencies require you to prevent further damage as well.
Water damage is a time-sensitive issue. Usually, mold limits are set for most policies since growth can occur within 48 hours. Timing can make a tremendous difference in the severity of a claim, and knowing how to choose a professional damage restoration expert can make a significant difference in the claim experience. Express Emergency Services guarantees a prompt one-hour response to your initial call seven days a week. Contact us today at 561-286-3768 and we will guide you through the process every step of the way.