Most homeowners have never dealt with insurance. It’s hard. It can be difficult to get home insurance. Most homeowners don’t know what to look for and how the insurance industry works. This is an easy guide to help you get started.
1. How to file the initial claim. Call your adjuster after the storm has passed and ask them to come inspect your house. Keep in mind that the information provided by your adjuster is only a guideline for you claim. The journey ahead is long.
2. What insurance adjusters look at, and what you should be looking for. There are certain things that insurance adjusters consider when calculating the value of insurance policies. These prices are often grossly under-adjusted for storm surges and don’t cover all the work. Most of the damage to your home will not be visible, let’s face it. Your policy does not cover only exterior visible damage. These guys shouldn’t bully you!
3. How to choose a contractor. Your insurance policy gives you the right to choose your contractor. It is not a good idea to play the three-bid game. This is a bad idea. You take the lowest qualified contractor and underbid the rest. Remember that your insurance company will only pay you for the price. It is better to choose a contractor that you feel comfortable with and who does the job well. You will bear the majority of the cost if your contractor has never had insurance experience. You want a contractor who will back his warranty and has the experience to assist you. This is where you and your contractor will be working together.
4. Which is the best option? General contractors may be the best option if you have the time and the ability to manage the insurance company and sub-contractors while still working full time. You may have a margin of profit if you do your job well. When the homeowner is the G.C., it can be difficult to get the current rate for jobs. The 1st mortgage is usually held by banks so they can hold the money for longer. In some cases, they may not allow you to do the work. I recommend that you find a competent, experienced contractor who specializes in this area. If you don’t do the job right, it will cost you money.
5. How to deal with the mortgage company. We have seen mortgage companies hold money that was not released by insurance companies during Hurricane Ike. It is unclear if this is due to their financial difficulties or not. You must make your voice heard. To fix your house, make sure you keep calling the bank and requesting their release of money owed. This could drag on for years if you don’t.
6. It’s not easy to do it all. The best way to avoid all the hassle is to hire a general contractor. This can prove difficult if you have mold or water. I recommend that you ALWAYS have someone out to inspect your home, particularly if it was affected by flooding or leaks. Let’s face the facts, insurance premiums are paid for a reason. To be protected. Your home insurance won’t pay out if you file a claim, unlike car insurance. They are there to protect you and family. Storms that occur late in the season, like Hurricane Ike had a long winter of cold to prevent mold growth. The mold will spread like wildfire when it gets humid. Call an expert, regardless of whether you accept a check from your insurance company.