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Insurance Vendor Program Q&A

Insurance Vendor Program Q&A 

Q: Why does my Insurance Carrier insist that I use their Contractor/Vendor?

A: Some insurance companies have a preferred vendor programs. These programs are based on the same principle as health insurance companies “HMO” programs. They rely on prearranged contracts with their preferred contractors; this system is designed to save the insurance company money. One drawback is when the vendor/contractor establishes the insurance company as it’s customer, and you become only another job!

Q:Are Vendor programs  a bad choice?

A: There are some conflicts of interest within every system; each situation really depends on their vendor contractor. Will their contractor give a real independent assessment of the needed repairs? Will their contractor cut corners in order to fit into their programs pricing guidelines? Ideally, you’ll want to find a contractor that will work for you and recognizes you as their customer. Having a qualified, independent contractor can be critical for quality repairs and arriving at a fair settlement.

Q: Are you saying that using my insurance company’s vendor program is a bad idea?

A: Not necessarily. If your insurance company’s vendor is experienced, performs a quality service, responds to your needs in a timely manner, and determines the proper scope of damage without interference, then it can be a good thing. The problem is, in the real world it usually doesn’t work that way. Vendor programs were designed to save the insurance company’s money, not provide quality workmanship or superior customer service … and they usually work as designed!

Q: Why do they use companies that are less than reliable?

A: Most vendors programs are made up of nationally franchised restoration companies. The quality and experience will vary widely in the restoration franchising business. Some franchisees ownership will go through as little as a two week training  course and then are turned loose to run their business.

Q: My adjuster says that your company charges too much for your service, are you more expensive than their vendor?

A: That’s hard to say for sure, but I can tell you that we use the same software “xactimate” & pricing that most insurance companies & restoration companies use nationally. Some insurance companies may use their own pricing.  If their pricing is lower, it would be outside the normal industry pricing. Which is clear red flag for concerns!

Q: My insurance company says I need to get other estimates. Is this true?

A: Many times the impression is given that multiple estimates are required. You are not required to get other estimates, nor are you required to accept the “low bid” for the work being performed. If you feel pressured to finding lower estimates, that may tell you that your insurance company is more concerned with saving theirmoney than they are of properly restoring your property. I would contact your agent for advice and help.

Q: I don’t feel the Insurance Company’s desk adjuster or phone representative understands my loss. What should I do?

A: Damage assessments really shouldn’t be performed over the phone, and certainly not considered for a final settlement!  If you are uncomfortable working with a “phone” adjuster, ask them to send out an “Field Adjuster”, to actually, inspect the damages in-person. Many times, desk adjusters have a lack of training & often have more training  in administrative support. This is another way insurance companies control cost. Surprisingly, many desk adjusters have never actually seen water or fire damage in person. Yet, they are assigned to adjust something to which they have limited knowledge and experience in.

Q: What role could my insurance agent play when helping me with a problem?

A: Your agent should be very helpful with any and all problems you have with your company. He/she should be more than just a check collector; they should be willing to earn your business and intervene when necessary.                                       

In my 10 years of experience, as a claims adjuster & now on the disaster contractor side.   I feel “most” insurance companies, agents, and adjusters want you to be satisfied when you file a claim. They will do what they can, within the limits of your policy. They realize that you’ve paid for that right, and you are entitled to use your policy funds to fully restore your property to pre-loss contentions . However, there is a growing trend of insurance professionals that are misguided and are driven to save money; even if that means that you have to settle for less! They don’t focus on you or your claim needs; they are focused on saving money throughout the process. No one will value your time or property, like you or “your hired” contractor.

If you experience any of these situations:

  1. If you feel forced or intimidated in to using their vendor.
  2. If you feel like they have the lack of knowledge to services your home due to do size, neighborhood or value of your home.
  3. If their vendor’s assessment of damage and repair is not accurate or complete.
  4. If you feel their vendor is cutting corners to keep the costs down.
  5.  If the vendor can not explain the scope of work or general knowledge of what to expect.

I would always recommend you to try reaching out to your agent directly should you be unsatisfied with the handing of your claim.  If you still feel that like your concerns are not being addressed I suggest that you contact The California Department of Insurance at (Consumer Complaint Center), for relief. When you file a claim with your insurance company, you have to be your own advocate throughout the process. Or hire a knowledgeable restoration company like Patriot Restoration, that can offer claims support.

Patriot Restoration has a diverse team of professional with over 15 years experience in insurance claims & all aspects of restoration.  Our company is independent owned and operated. We will work with you as our customer, and with your insurance company to restore your property to pre-loss condition.Our goal is to provide you an accurate assessment of your damage, and a realistic estimate of the repairs needed to restore your property to pre-loss condition. We will do everything possible, to handle your loss efficiently and effectively.  

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951-840-0450 or 951-977-9000

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