|Building Insurance Claims - who repairs your property?|
When you make a claim against your home insurance policy, a question that many people don’t even consider is “who will be doing the work to repair my property?”
Traditionally, when making a claim, the home-owner has been asked to supply quotations (sometimes as many as four) to the insurance company. Usually this meant a trip to directories such as Yellow Pages, followed by the inconvenience of waiting for the chosen trades-people to turn up and then the wait (and often repeated chasing up) before the quotes arrived. While the majority of trades-people will do a good job, it is a well known fact their reputation for punctuality and administrative skills are not that great.
Partly to counter this, over the last decade a significant number of claims management companies have emerged.
Their offering is to manage the entire process for the customer, from negotiating with the insurers through to appointing the trades-people to undertake the re-instatement.
Often invoicing the insurance company directly, the vast majority of these organisations have operated as franchised businesses, claiming that this approach provides higher levels of customer service.
While this is very often the case, there is often a suspicion that the value of the claims may be inflated to pay for the “free” claims management service, and this industry has certainly not been warmly welcomed by the insurers.
Over recent years, there has been an ever increasing tenancy for the insurance companies to send Loss Adjusters (or their own staff) to inspect the cause of even the smallest claim. As a follow-up, they will then appoint contractors from the insurance companies approved network to carry out the re-instatement work.
This means that the insurance company is dictating exactly how your home is returned to its pre-loss condition, often using labour from outside your area and through companies making very little money from your job. This is as a result of the re-instatement process being passed down a long chain of companies, from the national contractor through regional operations down to the local firm who will actually carry out the work. On top of this, the people actually working on your home may be sub-contractors, right at the bottom of the “food chain.” This often results in unsatisfactory and poor quality workmanship.
What many people fail to realise is that, even if the insurance company or their representative is seeking to appoint the contractor, the decision as to who carries out your work is yours (the policy-holder). The only stipulation that may be made is that, if you appoint the contractor, the cost must not be greater than that assessed by the insurer’s representative.
So, if you have your preferred contractors, perhaps people you have used before or people that have been highly recommended, do not hesitate to insist on using their services to repair your property.
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