Insurance Claim Tips for Contractors
1) Use an itemized estimate or supplement. Insurance companies are required to clearly document what they are paying for. Providing the insurance company with an itemized estimate or supplement will speed up the approval process. Be sure to list out the tasks that are being completed along with the prices for each task. Many software solutions exist to help you with creating an estimate although they may be costly. Services such as Estimate Fox can assist with writing your estimate using local rates and in a format the insurance companies can easily accept.
2) Submit documentation for code upgrades. Insurance companies generally pay for damages to existing items that are on the home. However, if there are code upgrades, providing the insurance company with a copy of the building code or instructions will speed up the approval. Many insurance companies use adjusters that handle wide areas of the country and are likely not familiar with each locality’s building code. Also, code related upgrades are a separate coverage on most homeowner policies so separating out these charges can expedite the payment approval.
3) Avoid contacting the adjuster on Mondays. Mondays are generally the busiest and most stressful days for adjusters as claims are submitted over the weekend and their workload is substantially increased. As a result, adjusters will generally have less time to focus on your call and work on what you are calling about on the phone call. You will likely have much better luck calling on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays as those are generally the least busiest days of the week.
4) Always get preapproval for additional work. Many times supplements will get approved with no issue as long as the additional items clearly need to be performed. There are instances where all or part of the claim may not be covered such as sump pump, water backup into the home from sewers, or mold losses. Also, the insurance company may determine there is a separate cause of damage for the additional work or may want to reinspect before approving the estimate. In any of these cases, having a preapproval can prevent costly issues for you and will undoubtedly result in a happier homeowner.
5) Get help when you need it. There will undoubtedly be claims where you and the insurance company do not see eye to eye. Using a service like Estimate Fox can make the estimating and insurance communications easier for you. For insurance coverage disputes, it may be beneficial to speak with an insurance attorney.