How to Protect Yourself with a Contractor after a Disaster
After a disaster that damages your home, many things will be going on in your mind. This can make it hard for you to make informed decisions. However, you can use the expertise of a contractor to help with the situation. A good contractor will help you with the insurance claim and in restoring normalcy in your home.
Here are some of the things to do to ensure your protection with a legitimate and honest contractor after a disaster.
Get the Insurance Company Contractor Provide a Written Estimate
If the insurance company provides a contractor, make sure that they provide a written estimate. An adjuster will assess damage in your property and provide an estimate. This shows how much repair will cost you. Your insurance adjuster knows the coverage you have based on your policy. They will therefore provide proper guidance. There may be a difference in terms of the estimates from your contractor and the insurance company’s contractor. In that case, have the adjuster review your contractor’s estimate to determine if the work shall be approved.
Check References and Licensing of the Contractor
References are some of the first things to consider when hiring a contractor. Check reviews online and ask neighbors and friends whether they know a good contractor. Most importantly, ensure that the contractor you hire is licensed with worker’s compensation and liability insurance. An uninsured contractor exposes you to liability for damage and accident that may occur in your property during repair.
Get Approval from the Insurance Company
Be diligent when it comes to reading papers that your contractor asks you to sign. You need to speak to the insurance adjuster since you can’t approve repairs when filing an insurance claim. You only get paid when repairs are approved by your insurance company. Therefore, get a well-written contract that includes provisions like the guaranteed work and longevity of the guarantee.
Be keen on the costs of debris removal and temporary repairs. Know the cost of temporary repairs suggested by the contractor. Temporary repairs may be covered in total insurance claim settlement. However, you don’t want to pay a large sum for temporary repairs. That’s because the repairs may deplete the total amount required to complete permanent repairs.
Avoid Huge Advance Payments
Don’t pay a contractor before you talk to your insurance company. The contractor will be paid by your insurance company directly or via a check that is payable to the contractor or you. That means you both sign off on. Therefore, don’t pay a contractor out of your pocket unless for temporary repairs. Even then, get receipts that detail the exact job done. What’s more, the work should have been urgent to prevent extensive damage.
Follow these tips to protect yourself with a contractor after a disaster.
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