The Restoration Contractor / Insurance Agent / Adjuster Relationship, Part 1
At 1-800 Water Damage of Western Colorado, we always want to make sure that everything is easy for you. Part of that is explaining complicated processes so that you feel confident you’re making the right decision after an unexpected disaster occurs. Sometimes, people get nervous about hiring a water damage cleanup company because they’re not sure how exactly to handle things, and we want to help make that often-complex process easier for you. That’s why we wanted to make this brief post explaining the restoration contractor / insurance agent / adjuster relationship. This article will be Part 1 of a 2-Part series, so check back to read the rest of the information we have for you! We want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision so that you can keep your peace of mind. In this article, we’ll mostly be focusing on each party’s role in the restoration process.
Insurance Agents vs. Insurance Adjusters
As a homeowner, you likely already have an insurance policy to protect you against potential disaster. Many homeowners purchase policies for flood insurance, for example, if they live in an area prone to flooding. This step of the process – buying insurance or writing up a new policy for your home – includes you as the homeowner and your insurance agent. Insurance agents help you make sure your home is covered in the case of an emergency. If a flood occurs, for example, they can recommend a water damage cleanup company (more on that later) to come out and restore your property. They should also make sure that your policy adequately reflects where you live: if you live on a flood plain, you probably want to make sure your home is covered for flood damage. The insurance agent’s main job is to make sure you’re covered before a disaster ever occurs.
That’s one of the main ways insurance agents differ from insurance adjusters, despite their similar titles. It’s easy to get them mixed up, so we want to help make sure the difference is clear. While an insurance agent’s main job is to write up an insurance policy to cover potential damages, an insurance adjuster’s job is to come in after a disaster to settle a homeowner’s claims. Though you’d probably never see your insurance agent at your home, insurance adjuster often show up to the disaster site to survey damage, estimate costs, and act as an advocate of both the insurance company, and ideally you, as the property owner. Often, they’re also there to help make sure the restoration contractor does their job properly. Adjusters, using their insurance companies funds, compensate you for personal items damaged by the disaster.
Essentially, an insurance agent writes up a policy and an insurance adjuster makes sure that the policy is applied correctly. An adjuster’s goal is to pay no more and no less than what the insurance policy allows.
Restoration Contractors and Recap
The job of a restoration contractor—like us—is to work with the insurance adjuster to make sure your home is restored to its pre-disaster state. We do the heavy lifting; we provide soft and hard contents cleaning, clean up fire and smoke damage, and perform water damage repair. On top of that, we try our best to make the insurance adjuster’s job as easy as possible by providing accurate damage estimates, being honest, and providing all necessary information in an easy-to-access way. The more accurate we are, the better the insurance adjuster can make use of your insurance policy, the faster repair gets approval from your insurance carrier, and the faster we can finish restoration. Both restoration contractors and insurance adjusters are post-disaster services that help you utilize your insurance policy and restore your home.
To recap: an insurance agent writes out the insurance policy best suited for your home and where you live. After a disaster occurs, your insurance agent or insurance carrier refers you to a restoration contractor. The restoration contractor then comes out to the site of the disaster with your insurance adjuster to assess damages, and help figure out what’s covered by your policy. It’s a complicated process, but it’s designed to make sure that you can get back to life-as-normal as soon as possible after a disaster, and that your policy is being applied correctly. If you’re still confused, we’re always happy to answer your questions.
Referrals and Part 2
One of the ways that restoration contractors interact directly with insurance agents is through referrals. Oftentimes when you make an insurance claim, your insurance agent will recommend a good restoration contractor. This means that it’s important for restoration contractors to work well with insurance adjusters and do the best job that they possibly can. Referrals from insurance agents are important for restoration contractors, and we’re always thankful for them. We want to make sure that we’re the company recommended by your insurance agent when things go wrong – that’s one of the reasons we work so hard to keep up our good reputation. If we’re doing a good job, we get referred more often, and getting referred more often means helping more people in need. Referrals are an important process that we’ll cover further in Part 2 of this blog series.
In our next post we’ll be talking a little more about the referral system and the interactions between restoration contractors, insurance agents, and insurance adjusters. Part 2 will detail what an insurance agent looks for in a restoration contractor before referring them to a homeowner, so keep an eye out! We think that it’s good information to have, especially in a process that can be so confusing from the outside looking in. If you have any more questions about how we work with insurance agents or if you want to know more about the policies we often work with, feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to take your call. Our goal is to make sure that you have good, accurate information so that you can make the right decision. Going through a disaster is never an easy process; but we hope that we can make it a little easier.