Property Damage Claims Repair and Rebuilding
When a loss occurs:
- Health and safety are first
- Secure the property
- Take pictures
- Do not begin repairs until the insurance company approves
- Do not throw anything away
- Do not assume you have to work with the insurance company’s vendors
We begin the process by meeting with you to receive your valuable input, assess your needs, to determine what steps to take. If you contact us immediately, we help you describe the nature of your loss to your insurance company on the phone when reporting the incident. When your carrier assigns a claim number, we’ll use it throughout the mitigation and rebuilding) process.
Restoration-Pro manages all aspects of the insurance repair and rebuilding process. We deal with the complexity of in-house estimation, mitigation, rebuilding, insurance company estimates, and mortgage inspections after a loss occurs.
As an experienced fully insured and licensed State of Alabama Contractor, we have strong relationships with a network of skilled trade contractors, suppliers, equipment vendors, and certified education and training resources.
When a loss occurs, and you contact Restoration-Pro, we will provide necessary services or determine if you need additional pre-construction emergency service dealing with drying and removal of wet materials, boarding up and roof tarping. This process is known as pre-construction mitigation. Once this process is complete, we are ready to begin the rebuilding work.
Before starting your restoration project, you will sign a repair agreement. This contract allows us to proceed with your work. Normally a homeowner is only financially responsible for the policy deductible. We communicate with your insurance company and request approval to submit additional or concealed work related to the loss as a supplement for payment approval. You are ultimately financially responsible for the work and services we perform based upon your insurance coverage. If you request work outside of the insurance repairs listed on the adjustor’s estimate, you are responsible for the total dollar amount.
The insurance repair and restoration processes are different than regular contracting. It may be confusing when determining the types of damages and services covered under an Owner’s policy.
In most instances, if we speak directly with you and your insurance company at the time of the loss, the insurance company agrees for Restoration-Pro to immediately protect your property from additional damages and mitigate losses. In this case, most insurance companies are agreeable for Restoration-Pro to prepare a written estimate for the rebuilding that will be reviewed by an adjuster for approval. We write insurance estimates using Xactimate software, which is the same software utilized by most insurance companies.
Other times your insurance company will send a field adjuster to represent their interest when assessing the damage to your property. We meet with you and your adjuster on the initial contact, which is important. We are experienced at assessing damages and explaining our findings to the insurance adjuster and assisting with your claim. We believe your insurance company should make sure all items related to your loss are included. Making sure your claim is covered and the amount paid is fair, is one of our strengths. From the beginning, we make sure the work that needs to be covered, is included.
Change Orders and Upgrades
During the process of restoration, you may decide to have additional work performed outside of the covered repair. This work may include upgrading cabinets or appliances, adding or removing a wall or doorway, or replacing carpet with hardwood. In these examples, a Change Order is prepared with the details and associated cost. The additional work requires a deposit.
Pre-loss or Pre-existing Conditions
While restoring your home, we may encounter existing or hidden damage. In some instances, these items may be replaced or repaired as part of the designated repairs of the property loss. If this occurs, we receive prior approval from your adjuster and prepare an insurance supplement and submit the estimate with dimensions, description of the loss, and photography to your insurance company. Sometimes in other situations, additional work may be required at your expense. A Change Order prepared will include the details of work and deposit required. Occasionally there may be needed upgrades to make the structure comply with current building codes enforced by building inspection. Some Owner policies include code upgrades. If your coverage does not provide for upgrades, you may be responsible for the associated costs.
We describe the deductible as the amount of the property owner’s responsibility subtracted from the payout on the insurance claim by the insurance company. The deductible is to be paid to the contractor by the insured.
We describe the depreciation as the difference between the total insurance estimate and the amount withheld by the insurance company and paid at completion When an insurance company pays a claim, it is paid as Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost Value (RCV). The differences between the two are its current-day value (ACV) before damage and the actual cost to repair or replace an item back to its original condition (RCV). Depreciation measures the difference between the two payments. On a Replacement Cost Policy, the depreciation is recoverable and paid out by the insurance company when the work is substantially completed. With an Actual Cash Value policy, the amount of use or age that has been provided is deducted from the replacement cost and the homeowner may be required to pay Restoration-Pro the difference between ACV and RCV if the insured does not have RCV coverage. In some instances, the insurance company releases the depreciation when the insured and contractor have a signed contract prior to commencement.
Our Insurance Coverage
Restoration-Pro is insured with general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. A copy of the insurance documents will be provided on request.
The field adjuster creates the estimate using their pricing structure and software. Our process involves reviewing the insurance estimate for any possible items missing from the adjustor’s estimate. Therefore, the structure of your estimate and deductible is created by the adjuster. In some instances, the insurance company or adjuster will instruct the homeowner to engage its’ contractor to prepare the estimate. In this situation, Restoration-Pro will provide the estimate for your insurance company for approval.