What The Insurance Companies Won’t Tell You Regarding Your Claim: A Look at The Preferred Service Provider

What The Insurance Companies Won’t Tell You Regarding Your Claim: A Look at The Preferred Service Provider

After a home or business fire (and after you’ve filed an insurance claim) comes the work of restoring your property and rebuilding your life. At this point, you’ll begin to look at hiring contractors and providers to rebuild and repair your home or business.

As you may or may not know, your insurance company will provide you with a list of preferred service providers. This is a list of recommended contractors that you (the insured) can choose from, which have been selected by the insurance company. These contractors are in agreement with the insurance company and have agreed to complete the scope of repair work approved by the insurer at a price determined by the insurer. In exchange, the insurance company continues to feed the company’s work. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship where the insurance company achieves its goal of paying less to repair or replace the property, and the contractor achieves its goal of continuous work and income.

Using one of the insurance company’s preferred providers is optional, as you still have the choice to go find your own contractor. There are pros and cons to going either route… let’s explore.

The good thing about working with one of these preferred providers is that these companies have been vetted by the insurance company and the work is guaranteed by the insurance company if for whatever reason it is incomplete or done poorly. Plus, working with one of their providers ensures the work gets done quickly as you take the legwork and research out of finding a company to hire.

In a perfect world, your insurer and the hired contractor are only looking out for your best interest. But remember that the insurance company ultimately has hired these preferred vendors and as such has determined the price (and scope) of the work that can be done (and this can differ from a non-preferred vendor’s estimate). Because of this, many times these contractors are under a lot of pressure to finish the project in a set amount of time and at a set price, which can mean the contractor may have to rush a job or cut corners on materials to be sure to finish the job without losing money on the project.

That’s why it can pay off to look around for other vendors to make sure the repair is done to your standards. Because, when an insurance company hires a contractor instead of the insured, the waters of ‘who works for who’ get a little muddied. Bear in mind that when dealing with a preferred provider, these companies answer to the insurance company, following their repair order, price, and set amount of time to complete the project (not yours). These contracts may not consider personalized factors that could change the scope of work or timeframe. Because of this, it may be beneficial to hire your own contractor that only works for you and only answers your timeline and needs. Simply put—it puts you more in control of your home or business repair work.

Regardless of which vendor you choose, be sure to do a little homework of your own and find a reputable company that is licensed and insured and has examples of past projects for you to see. Reviews, referrals, and past project photos can all help you get a feel for a company’s work and help determine if it’s a company you want to work with.
Rebuilding after a tragedy like this is stressful and can be an overwhelming process.

Do you need help determining the right plan of action? At Michigan Fire Claims, our public adjusters will help you through the entire claim process, by:
• Evaluating the insurance policy and establishing the best strategy for the success of the claim
• Preparing a detailed inventory of the losses and substantiating every aspect of the claim, thus making it hard to be rejected by the insurance company
• Filing the claim with your insurer and working as your advocate at all meetings
• Negotiating with the insurance company throughout the entire process
• Working to get you the best possible settlement for your claim

Michigan Fire Claims, Inc.’s public adjusters, appraisers, and loss consultants are here to help you steer clear of the pitfalls insurance companies are counting on. Contact us today to find out how we can help you during the disaster recovery process.