The Restoration Contractor / Insurance Agent / Adjuster Relationship, Part 2
Last week, we talked a little bit about the different roles of insurance agents, insurance adjusters, and restoration contractors (feel free to check it out here in case you missed it). To briefly summarize, an insurance agent writes policies to protect property owners in the case of a disaster, and the insurance adjuster surveys damages to make sure that the insurance company pays no more and no less than what the policy allows. Restoration contractors—companies like us—give the insurance adjuster honest estimates and do the actual repair work. But one thing that we touched on but didn’t have a chance to cover in depth was how the insurance agent interacts with the restoration contractor through the referral process. In this Part 2, we’ll talk more about the restoration contractor / insurance agent / adjuster relationship and cover the referral process.
Your Choice of Restoration Contractor
It’s important to note before getting into the rest of this article that as the home or property owner, in the event of a disaster of any kind, you get your choice of restoration contractor. That is to say, even if an insurance agent, insurance adjuster, or insurance carrier recommends a specific restoration contractor, you get to make the ultimate choice of who you want working on your home or property. It’s your property, after all. Just be aware that even if an insurance company says that a specific restoration company is a preferred provider, preferred vendor, or is your only choice – the law states that you get to make the decision of company for the restoration of your home, no matter what the insurance company says.
Picking the Right Restoration Contractor
After an insurance agent has written your policy and a disaster has occurred, your insurance agent or insurance company will likely refer you to a restoration contractor. If your home flooded, for example, an insurance agent might refer you to a good water damage cleanup company. Restoration contractors often get a lot of work from referrals like these, so it’s important for them to keep good relationships with insurance agents insurance carriers by making sure we perform quality work.
But what exactly does an insurance agent look for when choosing a restoration contractor? What should restoration contractors do to make sure that they’re getting as many referrals as they can? When an insurance agent recommends us—or another restoration contractor—we think it’s important that you as a property owner understand everything that goes into that referral process. We’re always grateful for referrals, and we want to show you the kinds of things we do to earn them.
One of the first things an insurance agent looks for when considering a restoration contractor is the scope of their work. They want to know whether a restoration contractor has done quality work in every kind of damage restoration, from water damage cleanup to fire damage restoration. If a restoration contractor has proven over and over again that they’re consistently able to handle a number of issues, it shows the insurance agent and insurance company that we’re trustworthy. Insurance companies also want to see restoration contractors working in all kinds of areas—a contractor who has a lot of experience in damage restoration for homes but no experience doing damage restoration for commercial clients isn’t as attractive as a restoration contractor with experience in both fields. Basically, the more a restoration contractor can handle—while at the same time providing quality work—the more likely an insurance agent or insurance company is to refer them.
Availability and Communication
Insurance agents also look for restoration contractors that are dependable and readily available. When disaster strikes, the insurance agent, adjuster, and the restoration contractor all need to move quickly. The insurance agent can’t afford to work with a restoration contractor that waits several days to call back or doesn’t communicate efficiently. Good restoration contractors have field technicians and other staff available at all times, 24/7, because no one can predict when an emergency will occur. Insurance agents can’t afford to tell their policyholders that they need to wait because the restoration contractor they work with hasn’t responded to their calls. It’s one of the reasons that 1-800 Water Damage of Western Colorado is available 24/7—we’re always ready because we know that disasters don’t operate on a nine-to-five work schedule. Insurance agents, and property owners, want restoration contractors to be ready to get there fast, which is also why we offer our 2-hour emergency response.
But availability isn’t the only important thing for insurance agents regarding communication. Restoration contractors also need to communicate effectively. That means providing honest and accurate damage estimates, answering questions from the insurance agent and the policyholder, and addressing concerns in detail. The more specific a restoration contractor is, the better the insurance agent and adjuster can figure out the cost of the damages and how much is covered under any given property policy. Every insurance agent needs open and honest communication with their chosen restoration contractor—if a restoration contractor is unclear or unable to effectively communicate, an insurance agent isn’t likely to refer them. They want to work with a restoration contractor who can represent them and has an excellent track-record of working with clients. If they’re helpful, honest, and always answer questions, a restoration contractor is more likely to be referred by an insurance agent.
Of course, excellent performance is also a huge factor in referrals. Even if a restoration contractor is readily available, a good communicator, and has a lot of experience in many different kinds of damage restoration, an insurance agent isn’t going to refer them if they have shoddy workmanship or don’t get the job done right. At 1-800 Water Damage, we take great pride in the work we perform—whether we’re helping with water damage cleanup or fire damage restoration, our professionally trained employees and years of experience make us the best restoration contractor in the area.
It’s our goal at 1-800 Water Damage to make everything as easy and painless as possible so that you can get back to life-as-normal. Your peace of mind is our number one priority. As always, if you have questions about your insurance or need help understanding the insurance process, we’re happy to talk to you. Feel free to contact us on our website here or give us a call at (970) 712-5298.
We think it’s important that you understand what goes on behind the scenes between restoration contractors, insurance agents, and insurance adjusters so that the process is more accessible for you. The last thing we want is for you to get confused by the difference between insurance adjusters and insurance agents, or for you to not understand why your insurance agent is referring a specific restoration contractor. Hopefully, the complicated damage restoration process is a little less complicated now.