Professional contractors seldom damage anyone’s property. However, accidents can happen even when working with a seasoned professional. Because of this, some homeowners ask: “what could I do if a construction company damaged my property?”
In most cases, the contractor will be responsible for any damage their onsite crew may have caused. However, you may also have to deal with their insurance company. To help you out, we will answer questions like “can I file a claim against my contractor’s insurance” and “what to do if a contractor damages your property.”
Always Choose Insured Contractors
Every licensed contractor is required to be insured and bonded. Therefore, it is always best to choose contractors that have liability insurance. When you hire professional services, always ask for their insurance details from the get-go. You’ll need the name of their insurer, contact details, policy number and the amount their policy carries.
Make sure that the liability insurance amount meets the current limits in your area. You can check your local building department to get that information. When your contractor is insured and bonded, you can be sure that the terms stated in your contract will be met. If any issues occur during repairs or maintenance, the insurance company or the surety will cover all your losses.
Who Pays for Property Damage?
So, what to do if a contractor damages your property? Your first step is to contact your contractor and ask how they can remedy the situation. You won’t have to worry about the extra expenses if your contractor is properly insured and bonded. Contractors will fix the issue themselves and then process the claim with their insurance company to cover their losses.
However, there will be times when a contractor will deny any responsibility. There are cases when they can do so, especially when the damage was preexisting or it wasn’t legitimately their fault. In such cases, you need to resolve the issue in a small claims court.
Processing Insurance Claims
You need to understand what to do if a contractor damages your property. In many instances, your contractor will file the claim with their insurer. You need to provide them with essential information such as the value of the furniture and other goods. Take photos of damaged items to help substantiate the insurance claim. Helping your contractor by providing all the necessary documentation helps to speed up the claims process.
However, in cases when the damage is only minor, contractors can just fix the damage for free. If a reputable contractor damages your house, they’ll fix small problems even if you don’t ask them to. In addition, they may be more willing to pay for the damage out of pocket if it’s cheaper than having their premiums go up.
Contractors Damaging Other People’s Property
There are instances where another homeowner’s property gets involved. For instance, a cleaning company damaged your property but also managed to cause harm to another person’s area. Incidents like these can happen in apartments and condominiums where people live next door to each other.
If the cleaning company damaged your property, you have claims on their general liability insurance. However, if their crew damages your neighbor’s property, their team must process it with your friend next door. All you can do to help is to provide the other property owner with the contractor’s insurance details if they haven’t obtained it yet.
Handyman Has No Insurance
When people ask: “what to do if a construction company damages my property,” the usual answer is that it will be covered by the liability insurance they carry. However, sometimes people ask a friend to fix things in the house, hoping it will save them time or money.
The downside to doing that is you can’t rely on insurance to cover any damages, should problems arise. However, when dealing with a professional contractor with no insurance, you can recoup your losses by taking them to court.
Another option is to rely on your homeowners’ insurance, which can cover renovation damages provided that it’s covered under your policy. If a contractor damages your house and they don’t have liability insurance, you may be able to use your homeowners’ insurance instead. In some instances, your own insurance may cover poor workmanship.
Can I file a claim against my contractor’s insurance? You can file the claim yourself, or the contractor can do it for you. However, sometimes it’s easier and much faster if you file a claim on your homeowners’ insurance instead. If your insurer approves your claim, they will usually go through a process called subrogation. They will foot the bill for the repairs and home restoration, but will go after your contractor’s insurance company to recover the losses.
Book Short-Term Rentals During Property Repairs
When the damage caused by a contractor is extensive, you may have to move to temporary housing while repairs are ongoing. It is best to get short-term rental accommodations, so you remain comfortable and go on with your day-to-day routines.
At Atlanta Luxury Rentals, we offer excellent alternatives to typical housing options. We also provide rentals in prime neighborhoods where you can enjoy your stay. Contact us today to find the rental options that meet your needs.
It can be very devastating when a fire breaks out in your home. The biggest relief you can get is that your loved ones are safe after such a tragedy. However, you can be left to deal with fire-damaged roofs, interiors, and soaked furnishings. This situation often prompts homeowners to ask about the average time to rebuild after a fire, in this way they can set their expectations and timelines.
In this guide, we’ll answer that question and others, such as “do I have to use my insurance company’s contractor” and the factors that impact the estimated repair times.
Repair and Restoration Time Frame
Contractors cannot give you a specific estimated time when you ask how long it takes to rebuild your home after a fire. Each situation will be different depending on your home’s condition after fire damage. They must first assess the damage and determine the house’s structural integrity. Only then can contractors provide you with a ballpark estimate of the costs and a projected completion date.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minimal damage after a fire can be repaired in one to two days. If you were fortunate enough to extinguish the fire before it spread to other parts of your home, expect repairs to be easier. However, if the damage is extensive, the average time to rebuild after a fire can take more than seven months.
Rebuilding Your Home After Fire Damage
It will take time for homeowners to recover from a house fire. Several factors will determine how long it will take for you to rebuild your home:
Contacting Your Insurance Provider
The first step to rebuilding your home after a fire is to contact your insurer. This step will initiate the home insurance restoration process. An insurance representative will work out the claims process with you. They will also discuss bringing in a restoration contractor to estimate the damage and cost of repair.
Some homeowners ask, “do I have to use my insurance company’s contractor“? You can hire the contractor referred by your insurer. However, you have the option to find another that suits your needs and budget. The important thing is to work with a trusted restoration company with a proven track record.
After selecting a contractor, a restoration engineer will inspect your home’s structural integrity. Your home will be inspected from the foundation to the attic and upper floors. The engineer and your contractor will determine whether your home can be repaired or if it would be better to rebuild everything from the ground up.
The Severity of the Fire
The severity of the fire can help determine the number of repairs necessary to restore your home. Fires can be classified into three categories:
- Small House Fires: This type of house fire only affects a small part of the home, like the kitchen. Contractors will clean the affected areas to assess the damage. The damage caused by this type of fire can usually be fixed within a few days.
- Medium-Size House Fires: Mid-size house fires often spread from one room to another. The affected areas include the walls, furniture, floors, ceilings, and other home parts. The damage caused by these fires can take weeks to repair.
- Large House Fires: Large house fires often cause extensive damage and can affect your home’s foundation. Contractors must deal with fire, water, smoke and soot damage. This type of damage can extend the average time to rebuild after a fire from several weeks to months.
The next step in the home insurance restoration process will require the contractor to give you a cost estimate and a target completion date. This information will also be forwarded to your insurance company for billing purposes. It is best to review your insurance coverage with your agent to find out if you have sufficient funds to cover for the repairs.
Securing the Property and Structural Repairs
If your home can still be repaired after fire damage, your contractor will secure your property to prevent further damage. Their onsite crew will secure the entryways and board up any broken windows. Structural repairs will be performed first, including repairs to the foundation, interior framework, floor joists and trusses. Expect structural repairs to last at least a week, depending on the extent of the damage.
Electrical and Fire-Specific Damage
A licensed electrician will inspect and repair your home’s electrical system. For example, homes may need new wiring, outlets, breaker boxes and other electrical fixtures after a house fire. In addition, your contractor will deal with other fire-specific damage during renovation, including contaminated air ducts, smoke stains, mold growth and soot residues.
Insurance Claims and Your Budget
As the crew cleans up one room at a time, document everything from the start. You can also take photographs of the damage. The cost to rebuild a home can become pretty expensive, and your records, documentation and the contractor’s estimates can help justify your insurance claims.
Depending on your insurance coverage, you may have to pay for a part of the cost of rebuilding your home. Work with your insurance agent to process the costs as soon as possible. The sooner you complete this process, the faster the funds can be released so your contractor can get the work done on your home.
Book Short Term Rentals During Home Repairs
Rebuilding your home after a house fire can take time, depending on the severity of the damage. In addition, the loss of your home and other property can be a very stressful and frustrating time for you and your loved ones. Therefore, it would be best to find lodging housing that offers the comforts of home to give everyone time to recover from such a tragedy.
Booking short-term rentals can help your family stay comfortable during this tough time. At Atlanta Luxury Rentals, we offer excellent housing options where you can relax and get things in order while your home is being repaired. In addition, we can provide you with temporary housing options in select neighborhoods. Contact us today to find the rental options that meet your needs.
As a property owner, seeing severe damage being inflicted to your home or business is stressful and tolling. Regardless of whether it was an accident, or a result of a natural disaster, it can be heartbreaking to find that you’re left displaced until repairs are completed. At this point, your next step should be to file a property damage claim, so the payments on property repairs aren’t all out-of-pocket. However, you may have to deal with a property damage claims adjuster before you can earn compensation.
But what is a property damage claim, and what does the process entail? And for that matter, what is a property damage claims adjuster? Below, we answer all of these questions and more.
What is a Property Damage Claim?
Although your insured property may have been damaged by a recent fire, a falling tree, or a recent accident, there is some form of compensation you can look forward to when you file a property damage claim. “What is a property claim?” you may ask.
A property damage claim, or a property claim, is a formal request for compensation that you file if valuable property, one covered by an insurance policy, has been damaged. Here, the term ‘damage’ encompasses plenty of things, from a broken window to a flooded basement. It can also cover somewhat intentional acts such as acts of vandalism such as graffiti. Regardless of the scale and extent of the damage, you are still entitled to some form of compensation when these actions result in some damage to your property.
What is a Property Damage Claims Adjuster?
Now that we’ve answered the first question, “what is a property claim?” Let’s move on to the following question: “What is a property damage claims adjuster?”.
A property claims adjuster represents the insurance company and is sent over once a claim is submitted to verify each claim. During the investigation process, they perform several tasks, including inspecting the extent of the damage to the property, reviewing police reports (if any), speaking to witnesses to verify claims, and talking to property owners to discuss the specifics of a claim.
Types of Property Damage Claims
There are four types of property damage claims that you can file and receive compensation for, which include:
- Residential Property Damage Claims. Claims on damage to residential property are one of the most common types of claims being filed at insurance companies. In the event of a natural disaster such as a fire, or a tree falling on your home due to strong winds, then most insurance companies should cover this immediately. However, when the damage occurs as a result of someone’s negligent actions, then you may need to head to court to seek compensation from the other party.
- Commercial Property Damage Claims. Damage to commercial property is typically included in most business insurance policies. These can include damage to the actual property, general liability, and loss of income due to business interruption. In most cases, however, the goal of each insurance company is to pay as little of it as possible, making commercial property claims more tedious to deal with.
- Motor Vehicle Damage Claims. When you get involved in an accident while on the road, the responsible party should be obligated to compensate you for the cost of repairs or pay you the current market value of your vehicle. Otherwise, your auto insurance should cover the damage.
- Personal Property Damage Claims. Aside from damage to real property and your car, you can also seek damage claims for damage to personal property. These can include personal items like electronics, jewelry, furniture, and decorative items, among other things.
What Does House Insurance Cover?
We’ve talked about the claims process. But what does house insurance cover, exactly? Well, most home insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage when it comes to damage to your property, regardless of the source of the damage, as long as it’s not intentional. These can include a variety of reasons, as mentioned above.
Liability coverage also covers different aspects of your home, such as your bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. This cover can also extend to your possessions such as your furniture, clothing, and even your home heating and cooling system. Outdoor possessions such as your fireplace, swing set, garden, fences, or lawn are also covered in your house insurance policy.
In most cases, most home insurance policies also cover swimming pools and other recreational equipment. However, you may need additional liability coverage for such items, so it’s best to check your policy to know what is covered and what is not.
It is also important to note that if you have been displaced due to the damage to your home, you can seek reimbursement for expenses incurred while renting a living space while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Most home insurance policies cover living expenses during home repairs, so it is important to check your policy details to know how much coverage you can expect.
Find a Luxury Dwelling While You Wait
Being displaced by significant damage to your property can be incredibly difficult and stressful for you and your family. Having to deal with repairs to your home and an arduous property damage claim process can further add to your stress.
One way to relieve the stress during the waiting period is to find a luxury rental space so you and your family can rest comfortably during this challenging time. Atlanta Luxury Rentals offers comfortable rental spaces for you to have a space that you can call home while you wait for the claims process to push through and the repairs on your home to complete.
When you are confronted with a disaster that has caused considerable damage to your property, it understandably feels overwhelming. At that point in time, you just want to get your life back on track and have things get back to normal, so your first instinct is to begin the repair process immediately.
But if your house is insured, you may want to hold off on all repairs if you haven’t begun the property damage insurance claims process. Filing a claim is crucial to see to it that you don’t have to cover all the expenses of having your home repaired or rebuilt.
In this blog, we will discuss what happens when you make a home insurance claim and what you can expect during property and casualty insurance claims processing. Here’s everything you need to know about the property damage insurance claims process.
How Does a Homeowners Insurance Claim Work?
You might be wondering: “how does a homeowners insurance claim work?” Property and casualty insurance claims processing entails a few steps that you have to follow, beginning with filing a claim before you can start claiming compensation for damage to your home. The form of payment and the extent of coverage you receive will differ according to your policy. Depending on your policy, you may be entitled to:
- The actual value of the damaged property minus the cost of depreciation.
- The total cost for the replacement of damaged property without subtracting depreciation.
- The guaranteed replacement of the damaged property, regardless of current value.
Before filing a claim, check whether your homeowner’s insurance covers the type of damage dealt to your property. In most cases, a basic homeowner’s policy won’t cover natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, or other “acts of God.” These events will require special riders or a separate policy for coverage.
After verifying the amount of coverage you’re getting, you can then begin the claims process by reporting the damage to your insurance company. Next, you should take pictures of the damage while exercising caution not to touch anything for documentation. These pictures will be required later on.
What Happens When You Make a Home Insurance Claim?
Filing a home insurance claim is the first step that you take to begin the process of getting your life back to normal. So, now that you’ve filed the necessary paperwork, what next?
After the insurance company is notified about a claim, they will send an insurance claims adjuster to inspect the damage on your property. If you’ve seen reports online about an “insurance company taking pictures of my house,” then it is highly likely that it was an insurance claims adjuster taking the pictures.
While looking at the damage, they will also be taking pictures. But aside from their own photos, they will also ask you for photo or video evidence of the damage, mainly for comparison. Once the claim is verified, they will then determine the amount that the insurance company will cover.
Again, depending on your policy, the adjuster may issue a check for the full replacement or settlement or an advance on the amount you need. Separate checks will be issued for each type of loss: one for your damage to the home itself, one for personal property, and a separate check for flooding or earthquake damage should you have a rider or separate policy in place.
In some cases, the compensation check may be issued to your lender if your home is mortgaged. When that happens, contact your lender immediately to know how repairs will be handled. Payment can also be made directly to your contractor. They will provide you with a form you can sign for all repairs they’ve made, which will then be sent to your insurance company.
What to Do During Property and Casualty Insurance Claims Processing
Report the damage to your homeowner’s insurance company immediately.
As mentioned previously, your first step should be to contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage to your property. It is a standard clause in any insurance policy contract, resulting in a denial of your claim if you fail to do so within the stated time limit.
Once you’ve notified the insurance company of your claim, the claim processing will begin. During this process, the insurance company will require a few documents as well as documented proof of your claim before they can issue compensation.
Aside from your name and address, they will also ask for your policy number, the type of claim, and a description of the damage to your home and personal property, so be sure to have this information on hand.
Secure your property and the surrounding area.
Securing your home and preventing additional damage and injury is also a standard in most insurance policies to prevent the insurance company from issuing further compensation. That is why it is vital to set up mitigating measures to prevent additional damage post-disaster. However, before you do, make sure to document all the damage on your property for evidence.
After securing the needed evidence, perform emergency measures such as placing a tarp over your roof or boarding up holes to prevent more water from entering. You may also need to set up a perimeter around your property to prevent people other than emergency personnel from entering.
Consider seeking professional help for the claims process.
It is a common mistake among policyholders to assume that insurance adjusters only want what’s best for you. On the contrary, insurance adjusters will only look out for the insurance company’s best interests, and they will most likely try to persuade you to take less money. For this reason, it may be necessary and within your legal right to hire outside professionals like a public adjuster to help with the claims process. With industry knowledge and extensive experience, they can help make the intricate process of insurance claims more seamless.
Look for a rentable living space during the waiting period.
If your insurance adjuster considers the damage on your property to be substantial and determines it to be unlivable, then you will need to look for a living space that you can call home while repairs are underway. Consider luxury rental spaces for a more comfortable waiting period. Your insurance company will cover all living expenses, so it won’t be an additional expense for you during this challenging time. Take a look at the rental spaces available by visiting this link.