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Tips and information on all types of property damage claims.

 

Property Damage Repairs

Rick Tapanes - Friday, March 27, 2015

The American Dream

In every country, city or state you visit, there is always this illusion of “The American Dream” which tends to always begin with owning your own home. Whether it is  a condo, a house or even a mansion, just the thought of seeing your name on that deed is pure satisfaction. In today's market, with the volatile prices, there is really little say as to when you can choose to purchase your own dream home. It is very difficult for an “average Joe” to wake up one day and spontaneously decide “today I'm going to buy a house”. It takes a lot of time and research to find the right house, but lets say you found your dream house, bought the house and have been living there for years. However, through no fault of yours a plumbing leak occurs or your roof leaks and you don’t have the money to fix these things. The only thing on your mind would be, WHAT NOW?

The most important thing you are required to have once a home is purchased is Homeowners Insurance, but with the high cost of Homeowners Insurance you might ask yourself why you should pay an insurance company so much money.when you can make the repairs. If you look at this from the homeowners point of view, this frustration makes sense. However, consider these points….You haven't fully paid for your house, and the bank you obtained your loan from has an interest in the property. It would not be fair if they lend you the money to purchase the home and after a disaster, you leave and they are stuck with the damaged house.

Self Repair vs. Their Repair

How trustworthy is an insurance company truly? One reason why one might  not to fully trust a friend, family or neighbor is greed. My father always said, “ If you give a little power to a person, their true colors will soon be shown”. So lets say you are in your house on a beautiful Saturday morning and you walk outside and are stunned to see that a tree has just landed on your roof! Panic is your first thought, but you hold off on emotions and call your homeowners insurance company. That same week, you have an Insurance Adjuster from the insurance company visit your home and do an inspection. The following week you receive a letter from your insurance company stating, “Dear Insured, we have assessed your damages and we have come to a conclusion. Our company will do repairs to your home to leave you as you were before your loss.” The first thing that comes to mind is joy and happiness, your house that has been damaged will soon be as it was. In an imaginary and magical world I would definitely believe that, but in the real world things are never as they seem. Over the years there have been numerous cases of insurance companies repairing  homes for their clients. However, often the repairs they make do not leave the home in the same condition as it was before the damage.

Where does the trap lay?

Soon after your damages, your insurance company chooses one of their allied contractors to make the repairs. The contractor’s job is to hire his employees (if his company has employees) to fix the damages in your home. Here is the scheme that you did not know. The contractor is supposed to match piece for piece. For example, according to Florida insurance regulations, replaced tiles would have to be an exact match to the existing tiles. Here is another example, lets say your kitchen cabinets were affected by a plumbing leak. After calling in the claim, speaking to the Insurance Adjuster and getting approved for repairs, the insurance company hires their own contractor to fix your damages. You allow the workers inside your home and trust them to do a very good job. Lets say we are in a perfect world and they fix all of your damages in a few hours. You go to your kitchen with the excitement that it will be just as it was before the damages but discover  that the cabinets they installed are a cheap imitation of your previous set with a slightly different color and texture. Now what? A human being’s first instinct when they are faced with an injustice is anger. First thing you do is call your insurance company and try your best to contain the anger raging inside and speak to your insurance adjuster. You explain to them your situation and wait for the response you want to hear, but never do. Instinctively you become full of rage and get into an enormous argument with the insurance adjuster. Secondly, you call the insurance company directly and see if you can speak to someone in management so that they can help you with your problem. After being on the phone for over an hour and you finally get to speak to someone, no action nor resolution has been done or will be done. The normal human reaction to this mess would be outrage and vulnerability. You have just experienced what it feels like to have been cheated by your insurance company. The same company which you have paid so much money to for years, never missed a payment and yet they push you around like a punching bag.  Once you have fully processed the level of disgust you never knew you had, you will never choose an insurance company that does self repairs again.

Moral of the Story

If you’re paying the money, choose your repairs. Fix your home as it was before a disaster hit you. Hire your own contractor to fix your damages and always  make sure that you have the last say. ALWAYS HAVE THE CHOICE TO HIRE YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR TO DO REPAIRS.

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