Avoiding Insurance Claim Pitfalls
When your home or commercial premises has experienced water, fire or impact damage make sure you avoid the following pitfalls:
1. NEVER accept a cash settlement offer from a Loss Adjuster!
Sherratt Builders has seen a rise in situations where insurance Loss Adjusters make on-the-spot cash settlement offers based on their assessment of the damage.
Our advice to you is DO NOT ACCEPT IT. This is often a tactic to reduce the cost to the true value of the reinstatement costs to the insurance company and you may be left with only a fraction of the cost of putting the damage right and the cash settlement is often in full and final settlement. This is why at Sherratt Builders we always insistent on being present when the Loss Adjuster visits, so we can look after your interests to make sure that you are not short-changed and that your claim is dealt with properly and fairly.
If you have recently been offered a cash settlement, and are worried that the amount is not sufficient, or perhaps you’ve been told by another builder that the work will cost a lot more than the cash offer, please give us a call, as we can survey the damage and use our panel of Loss Assessors to argue your case with the insurer and re-negotiate your claim for you.
2. DON’T allow the Insurer to cut corners!
A Loss Adjuster recently told one of our clients that when replacing their water-damaged kitchen that they would not remove and replace the base units, only replacement door fronts would be covered, despite the fact that the base units were water damaged (in order to cut costs). We argued the case on behalf of our client, and eventually got the insurance company to agree to having the base units replaced and the walls and ceiling re-decorated. The client was happy with the result as their home was correctly reinstated to its pre loss condition.
3. DON’T be bullied into using the Insurer’s Approved Contractor
When we submit our quotation to insurers, we regularly get the response “but we can do it for half that amount”. Whenever we hear this, we challenge them and ask them to provide documentary evidence to support this, which they are almost always unable or unwilling to do. Loss Adjusters will however, attempt to pass your claim onto one of their own “approved” contractors, and ask you (the policyholder) to appoint them. We recommend that you do not sign any documentation to this effect, as by doing so you are accepting the standard and quality of work that will be provided at extremely low rates, and the likelihood of corners being cut is extremely high. Many insurers will forget to advise you that, it is YOUR CHOICE to appoint whichever contractor you choose, and you are NOT obliged to use their own recommended or “approved builders”.
If your Insurer is telling you that you must use one of their approved suppliers and you feel uncomfortable about this, please give Sherratt Builders a call, and we will be happy to meet with you and advise you on your rights. Our primary concern is to take the stress out of the situation for you – the property owner – and to return your home or business premises back to its pre loss condition as quickly as possible, with minimal stress!