There are MANY contractors out there who can do reconstruction / restoration work on your home, and MANY body shops than can fix your vehicle’s damage, so how should you choose? Here are a few key points to consider.
First, you do not have to get 3 bids or estimates for repair.
One is fine if you feel that you have found someone you want to do business with. The comfortable feeling is more important than anything else. Go with your gut. The insurance company will pay whomever you choose as long as they are a legitimate operation in the field of service that is needed to fix the situation. If it takes 3 estimates to find that comfort factor, then get 3 estimates.
Second, don’t pay any attention to the price they quote.
When a quote for repairs on a car is given, it is given only with the information available to the body shop at that time. Once the car is further disassembled and ALL of the damage is visible, the quote will change almost every time. Price doesn’t actually matter to you at all. The adjuster is the one responsible for the accuracy of the estimate and responsible for double checking that the repair process is paying for what it should and not paying for what it should not. Basically, the repair will cost what the repair will cost no matter where the work is done.
Third, make sure the contractor you hire to work on your home is insured.
This is true even if there is no claim that is being handled. If you have a roofer work on your home just because it needs to be done, make sure to get a “certificate of insurance” showing which company is providing the insurance, effective dates of the policy, and limits of insurance. You can also ask to be listed as “additional insured” on the policy. Most companies of repute will have the ability to do this for you already built into their insurance program. It’s a good idea and something that I recommend doing. Workers Compensation insurance should be listed on the certificate of insurance in addition to General Liability at a minimum.
Fourth, make sure the company you hire has a local presence and is easily found online or in a phone book.
Reviews are great and somewhat telling about the experience you can expect in dealing with them. I wouldn’t make the decision on reviews alone, but certainly consider them. A fly by night company that blows in and out of town with the wind is a company you should AVOID at all costs for the obvious reasons. You will only know what type of company you are looking at if you do a little homework. Another great resource is asking a friend or family member if they have anyone they would recommend. A referral is the best way to get hooked up with a contractor that has already worked for someone you know and trust and, therefore, less of a gamble than someone out of the yellow pages.
Lastly, if a company approaches you telling you that you have damage that needs to be claimed, that is likely a fly by night (storm chaser) that you should avoid completely.
If you have a concern, contact me and we can talk about it. I’m happy to stop out, take a look around and go over the details to see what the best course of action should be. I am here to help, and there is a lot to work with in a claim situation. By all means, feel free to use me as resource.