Advice: After disaster strikes!
First of all please know our hearts are hurting for our neighbors here in BCS. Also know we are praying for all of the families with damaged homes in this crazy weather we have been having. We have been out trying to help however we can. It has been crazy but also inspiring to see neighborhood and community coming together in such a way.
After being out in the Wheeler Ridge area today and speaking with a few folks I realized that some of you may not know the best way to proceed with your insurance and contractors to get your life back together. I’ve come up with a few of things that may be helpful to you. Hope it helps point you in the right direction and keeps you from possibly making some costly mistakes. Please know I am only speaking from experience as a contractor, I am by no means an expert in the field of insurance.
First off don’t finalize anything with your insurance company right away. It has been my experience with customers that have settled their insurance claims right away that they rarely get what is needed to complete the work. This could be for many reasons either the adjuster didn’t see all that needed to be repaired. Sometimes especially in times like this they are as overwhelmed as you are trying to take care of everyone that needs help. There have been storms all over Texas they will be stretched thin.
Most of you have already called your insurance company that’s great. When you talk to them again make sure to request a copy of your insurance policy, and document everything when you communicate with them. Also document damage to your home and belongings take lots of pictures I mean everything even toilet paper, all the little things add up. When the adjuster gets there make sure to ask a lot of questions and document everything he or she says, if your contractor has been there make sure and mention any things discussed with them as well.
Get 3 qualified estimates for repairs if you can before the adjusters come. DEFINITELY GET ESTIMATES BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING FINALIZING THE CLAIM. We saw plenty of contractors running around trying to help however they could, me being one of them. You don’t have to hire them or pay anything for an estimate. If they don’t do free estimates then go on to the next one. A public adjuster is also a great way to go if you have extensive damage and especially if you feel your insurance company is trying to rush through the process. I know in times like this it seems like it’s great to get a check right away and get started on fixing your property but the opposite is true. Get the estimates first and make sure the insurance companies are giving you the right amount to do the repairs or rebuild.
I am not trying to be hard on insurance companies here I just want to make sure you know if you have the right tools in place you will have the ability to negotiate better with them. You don’t have to just take what they will give you. You can always negotiate. If you get all this put together and you realize there is a huge difference between what the insurance company will give you and what your estimates are for, definitely hire a public adjuster this is what they do.