If you have to work with an insurance company to make repairs to your home after a storm, fire, or other tragedy, you might hear the term “restoration contractor” thrown around a bit. And you might be wondering, “What on Earth is a restoration contractor?”
Most of us know what a general contractor does. This is someone we typically hire when we want to remodel our properties or make upgrades that we will pay for out of pocket. This person or company is primarily responsible for project management; they make sure all the subcontractors for individual trades do their jobs well and on budget.
A restoration contractor can be equally responsible for these duties, but they also possess a better understanding of how the insurance claim and adjustment process works.
Because of this, a good restoration contractor should be able to:
- Accurately assess the damage to your home due to fire, wind, hail, water, etc.
- Provide a scope of work that, at the very least, restores your property to its original condition with like kind and quality materials
- Helping you to navigate the insurance landscape, submitting a detailed and comprehensive scope of work.
- Estimate a scope of work with accurate pricing for any upgrades you might want that your insurance claim won’t cover
Your insurance company might provide you with a list of preferred vendors to choose from when it comes time to hire your contractor. It is probably not always in your best interest to choose someone from their list though as they are invested more in your insurance company’s best interests than in yours. At the very least, you might want to get bids from a couple of different contractors for comparison’s sake and for an outside point of view.
As the policyholder, you will ultimately be the one responsible for choosing the team that completes your repairs. Below are Classic Construction & Restoration’s top tips for helping you make sure you choose a quality restoration contractor.
- Get a written agreement of the professional’s work warranty/guarantee including insurance coverage verification before beginning any repairs.
- Always verify credentials. Conduct background checks, call references, contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and take all necessary steps to vet any service providers before beginning any work to the property. This should be done even if the service provider is on the insurance company’s “preferred” list.
- Contractors are not licensed or certified to adjust claims. This is called the Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting and can affect policyholders negatively in an already chaotic time. Public adjusters are the only professionals specifically licensed to adjust, negotiate, and settle property claims for the insured.
- Any upgrades suggested by the contractor need to be approved by the insurance company before work can begin. If the work is out of scope or goes beyond repairing the property to its original condition, then you as the insured will be responsible to pay the difference.
Contact Classic Construction & Restoration, Inc today for a free estimate or to learn more about how we work with your insurance company to quickly and correctly repair your property.