Before you decide on whether or not to use your insurance company’s “preferred provider”, I will give you a few things to think about before deciding. As you go through your insurance company’s web site, filing your claim or speaking to them on the phone, you will be asked if the damaging water or sewage has been stopped, and if you need a water restoration contractor. The typical answer to the contractor question is “no”, you will then be told one will be calling to schedule a time to come out and start the drying process. Whoa, wait a second, they have a contractor on speed dial? On some occasions you will be given a list of three or so “preferred providers” to choose from.
The “preferred providers” have a preset costing system in place with your insurance company. The “preferred providers” may not place all the required equipment or bill the full amount of labor needed to do the job. They also have a discount that is given on every job to the insurance company. How is this not a good thing? Because of the discounted labor, some demolition may not be done to keep the cost lower for the provider, or a monitoring visit may be skipped. The equipment that is required per the IICRC S500 may not be used to the fullest. For example, if a room is wet all the way around and the S500 calls for 6 air movers, they may only use 4, and pull the equipment when it may not be fully dry to hit the insurance 3 day dry standard. Please note that there is no 3 dry standard in the IICRC S500.
So what if my insurance company says “I have to use company A” you may ask? That is something the insurance company cannot do, they can only recommend.
Who do you use then? Any contractor that is IICRC certified and experienced in dealing with insurance companies and drying out structure. The insurance company cannot decline or not pay the covered claim, based on who you hired to work in your home. You can also go to the Washington state insurance commissioner’s web site at: http://www.insurance.wa.gov/your-insurance/home-insurance/homeowner/filing-a-claim/hiring-a-contractor/
They have lots of information there on how to file a claim and how the entire process works.
Some of the “preferred providers” may be some of the largest restoration companies in the nation and may very well do a great job. I have also seen some do a bad job as seen in the picture with this article. The dry out was not done correctly, and when the company was leaving the last day, they told the homeowner he had some mold in the crawlspace and should have someone come look at it. Well, the homeowner called us, after mold tests were done, a preliminary cost was agreed on by the insurance company, we started the work. This was started two months ago and the homeowner is just now about to move back in. This dry out should have been completed within a week with no damage to the home, had it been done properly form the start.
In closing, it can be a very stressful time when you have a loss in your home. Take a moment to step back and take a breath, clear your head and remember to call AWR Restoration & Cleaning for all your restoration needs for a safe and healthy home. We work for you, to get the best possible outcome when you need it most.