This week several contractors who attended our insurance claim workshop told me that insurance companies are continuing to low ball claims. The good news is these contractors have successfully countered the low ball estimates getting the insurance company to pay the fair amount.
One contractor said on a claim for ice dam damage the insurance company offered $7,000.00. Our workshop student reports that the claim is now up to $60,000.00. The first insurance adjuster was not from Massachusetts and has gone back home to some state in the west. With a new adjuster and tools learned in our workshop the contractor itemized all the damages and justified why the insured should receive higher settlement.
Another contractor reported he helped a homeowner who received an initial offer from the insurance company for $14,000 raise the claim to $48,000.00.
Insurance companies are required by law to handle claims in good faith and get back to people in a reasonable amount of time. This is definitely not happening for many homeowners. Many homeowners have not seen estimates from adjusters for more than 6 weeks.
Contractors can be a great help to homeowners who are often times getting the short end of the stick. Remember to tell your homeowner clients to never accept the first offer from the insurance company. It is usually 30 to 50 per cent lower than what they are obligated to pay. Write out your estimate and include everything you must do as a professional contractor and defend your number.
Homeowners are contesting claims and many will not be settled until well into the summer. This will be a great source of work throughout the year. Many homeowners will add additional work to the insurance repairs.
If you need help on how to handle insurance claims for your clients come to our workshop or give a call.