Insurance Claim Inspection Services : So you just had a fire, or flood, or another disaster and you have called your insurance company or agent, they referred you to a list of preferred vendors to call, you call one and they show up and say they work directly with your insurance company, so they go to work taken care of the problem, than later the concerns and problems appear.
Your still trying to wrap your head around what happened,they said they would take care of it and work with your insurance company, after all they even referred them to you.
when a contractor knocks on your door and they are a prefer vendor for the insurance company, they may not have your invested in hand, but the insurance companies and thiers.
They offer to clean up and rebuild. They also offer to handle your insurance claim at no extra cost. They will appraise, estimate, file and get paid straight by the insurance company.
You just sit back and enjoy your home being cleaned up and repaired. Sounds like a good deal, but it may be a terrible one in fact.
Sometimes contractors attempt to help victims of disasters by
offering assistance with their insurance claim. If they do so, they may
illegally be engaging in the practice of public adjusting without being
properly licensed by the Department of Financial Services.
What Can We Do To Help:
We offer to inspect the work they are doing, we look for the things that may not being address. We don't inspect building code violations,this is up to your building inspector.
What we do is make sure your home has no hidden damage from water or mold migration.We use Thermal imaging camera to help discover hidden moisture problems and for inspection of energy loss in insulations.
We make sure all protocols are being followed for you have all the moisture removed and the structure has been dried out correctly, that HEPA Air handlers have been used correctly, that confined barriers have been implemented to not spread mold, lead or contaminants throughout the building to insure your safety and health.
Thermal imaging is a method of improving visibility of objects in a dark environment by detecting the objects' infrared radiation and creating an image based on that information. Thermal imaging, near-infrared illumination, low-light imaging and are the three most commonly used night vision technologies. Its not always going to find things we want, but it does have a purpose.
Moisture meters are used to determine the amount of moisture within grain presented, a critical assessment of quality that affects the value and storability of the grain
We also use moisture testing equipment to determine the moisture of the environment and test the structure for hidden moisture. The two that is used is our moisture reader to check surfaces and humidity and the Thermal Image equipment.
From Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services:
Be aware of scams: During disasters, scam artists may try to bilk victims with insurance and repair scams. If you are approached by an individual claiming they can provide you with assistance, you should be cautious.
Scam artists have been known to:
• Charge you a large fee, and then disappear without handling your claim.
• Refer your repair to a dishonest contractor for a kickback, and you may receive shoddy repairs in return. You should verify the licenses of your repair contractors.
• File false and inflated claims against your policy.
• Use their position of trust to access your Social Security number and other personal data for scams involving identity theft.
• Appear on the scene claiming that they can help you qualify for financial relief for a “processing fee.”
• Disguise themselves as safety inspectors or utility repairmen.
Do not be a victim twice! Take the right steps to find a good contractor and assure your claim’s success.
Here’s how: Get Bids from Multiple Contractors Get at least three written bids for all cleanup, repair or restoration work, if possible.
Make sure they include detailed, itemized pricing for all services and materials, and a schedule of work with firm milestone dates.
Get a sample contract ahead of time and familiarize yourself with its terms.
Review it and hire legal counsel if you need to. Hire A Reputable Contractor Your recovery depends on the work performed by the contractor you choose.
Don’t give in to pressure tactics, and do the legwork necessary to assure you select a reputable company.
Don’t hire someone just because their bid is much lower, or they offer you a time limited offer. In fact, you should be circumspect of such tactics. Before you decide on someone, find out who they actually are, from someone other than their sales person. Are they a local business? How long have they been in business? Can you verify their license, if the state requires it ?
Do they have the right insurance and worker comp for their employees?
Will they guarantee the repairs? Check out their website. Search for complaints against the company on Better Business Bureau website and on the web. Ask for referrals and actually call them.
Don’t Start Repairs Until the Insurance Company Approves the Contractor’s Charges After a disaster, the policyholder has the responsibility to mediate further property damage as much as possible. This may mean starting the fire cleanup or water damage remediation right away.
Don’t do this. Before you hire someone for damage remediation, it’s important to understand the implications of signing the work authorization form. It may seem routine and nonconsequential, but it’s not. What this form does, it assigns your insurance benefits to the contractor, and you’re out of the picture. Thus, the contractor has the authority to inflate your claim and to try to get as high of a payment from your insurance company as they can get away with or agree to terms the insurance company want them to agree to, when in fact it’s not what truly should be done.
They will act as public adjuster on your behalf and they very will could be illegal, just not for your benefit, but theirs. In the hands of an unscrupulous contractor, a work authorization form can be, more or less, a license to steal. You may think this is of no relevance to you, as all you’re interested in is having the work done. That’s not the case. In the end, it’s still you who ends up paying for an over inflated claim, as the insurer will likely charge more for your policy to mitigate their loss on your claim.
To keep matters fair for all parties involved, it’s best to have your contractor, your insurance representative, and you public or a (adjuster
representing you!) agree to the scope and price of all emergency services and repairs beforehand.
Why Your Contractor Shouldn’t Handle Your Insurance Claim Your contractor offered to handle your property loss claim on your behalf.
Is it a good idea?? We sincerely think it’s a very bad idea. Contractors are licensed to build, not handle insurance claims. They are not public adjusters. In fact, most states, including the state of Michigan, clearly regulates the activities public adjusters can engage in.
Drawing any benefits from cleanup and repair of damaged property is illegal. At the same
time, contractors do not have the training and experience of adjusters your claim and could easily get it wrong..