Fire, water and wind are the major forces that result in residential insurance restoration work. In that sense, the sale is already made for you—homeowners who have suffered a misfortune need your service. However, if you are a company specializing in insurance restoration, your task is to convince homeowners that choosing a specialist such as yourself, instead of an unqualified competitor, is in their best interest. Following are some of the points we stress to persuade homeowners to use our company for their insurance restoration needs. If you are a contractor pursuing a similar clientele, these points can help you as they have helped us.
We tell potential clients the benefits of having an insurance restoration company restore your their homes to pre-incident conditions are numerous. We say to them:
“From the value of your inspection to the relationship with your insurance company, the insurance restoration company’s skill and procedures are at work in your best interest. Insurance restoration contractors are honest, hardworking and are not in the business of looking for a fast buck. Repair fraud or shady practices are not worth the quick profit for insurance contractors. Contractors that specialize in insurance restoration find their rewards in the jobs themselves. They tend to work the same area for extended periods, thus establishing their company and quality of work. This in turn creates future business for their company in their surrounding communities. Most insurance restoration companies have a proven system for assisting homeowners and using top proven construction methods.”
Further, we advise potential clients that knowing when to file a claim is very important. An unnecessary claim will hit the homeowner with excessive out-of-pocket expenses that could have been avoided by calling an insurance restoration expert in the beginning. Homeowners sometimes fail to file claims because they are unable to identify the signs of damages. These damages over time will cause deterioration to their home and result in future problems. This is where the insurance restoration expert steps in The firm often will conduct a complimentary, no commitment inspection of the home, categorize the damages and advise the homeowner whether to file a claim.To enhance homeowners’ comfort level, we also explain how the claims procedure works and note that a retail contractor may provide an estimate which could far exceed an adjuster’s estimate. By contrast, an insurance restoration expert meets with an adjuster to review the damages and assist with estimating the total cost. This process ensures all of the issues with the home are addressed and if any additional damages are identified during restoration the insurance restoration specialist and adjuster already have an established working relationship.Experience and local knowledge are other aspects of our service we stress to potential clients. For example, another advantage to using an insurance restoration expert is he or she is well versed with your local building codes. Sometimes an adjuster could omit the cost of the building-code upgrades that must be made to ensure a residence meets code requirements. The insurance restoration expert will advise the adjuster of the necessary codes thus ensuring the homeowner is reimbursed for the costs.Estimates are crucial in restoration work, and potential clients need to understand their importance. We tell would-be clients the estimate is the exact cost it will take to repair the residence. Often, an insurance adjuster will request a copy of an estimate from the contractor. In some instances, this contractor will provide only a bottom dollar figure for the repairs without detailed information. An insurance restoration expert should provide a line-item estimate, which details each step in the restoration process and provides the precise cost for these steps. This additional information is appreciated by the adjuster and assists them in completing their claim process. It can often help to expedite a homeowner’s claim so the restoration process can begin without delay.
Finally, we stress to potential clients that we are well established and have been in business for a number of years. We have knowledgeable and dedicated personnel to focus on assisting a homeowner through each step of the restoration process and have established ourselves as a preferred service provider for a number of the larger insurance companies. Residential insurance restoration can be an enjoyable experience if the proper components are utilized.
Jeff Salmons is co-founder and president of House Works LLC, Madison, Miss., and Bob Dodson is co-founder and vice president of House Works.