UNDERSTANDING YOUR OPTIONS
As a consumer, it is important to know your rights when it comes to fire damage, water damage, or even mold removal Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo and surrounding areas. Colorado law provides for consumer choice in selecting a restoration contractor. COCAT is insurance approved and works closely with all insurance companies throughout the claims process to ensure full and fair recovery for covered losses. Our services include:
- 24/7 Emergency Response
- Complete emergency board-up services
- Reconstruction and construction service
- Smoke odor neutralization
- Smoke damage cleanup
- Soot removal
- Content storage and restoration
- In-house mold and asbestos abatement
Since 1996, Colorado residents and property owners have trusted the professionals at COCAT with fire damage, water damage, asbestos abatement, and mold removal Colorado Springs, Denver, Pueblo and surrounding areas. Our team will assist you with your insurance claim and walk you through the process. Our Project Job Coordinators are available to answer any questions you may have regarding your insurance. Below are some general questions regarding a loss.
In addition to notifying your insurance carrier, most policies require that you take reasonable action to protect your property from further damage. If you fail to do so, your insurance may not cover any additional loss caused by your failure to provide such protection.
After a covered loss you are entitled to be paid a fair cost of restoring your home to its per-damage condition, minus your deductable. However, you should not expect to be paid for the repairs of unrelated problems such as deterioration and pre-existing damage. Coverage for upgrade of code deficiencies is policy specific.
Your insurance policy does not state that you must retain a restoration company that is referred or approved by the insurance company. You are entitled to employ the service of a reputable, fully licensed and insured repair company. If you do not employ such a firm, you may be responsible for the consequences and liability for injury, damage, or other actions. This is true whether or not your insurance company recommends the firm.
You are not required to accept the lowest bidder. Repair rates should correspond to prevailing standards in your area for work or professional quality and you any not are forced to use the “cheapest” or “lowest priced” bid. You are entitled to employ a firm with sufficient experience and stability in the community to stand behind its work and warranty.
Only the owner of the property can authorize a company to perform work on that property. The repair contract is between the owner and the contractor. You insurance does not have the right to directly contract for your repairs or insist that you employ a particular supplier or firm.
You insurance policy should pay for materials and workmanship that are equal to the kind and quality of your existing ones. After repairs, the property should suffer no loss in value as a result of the damage. However, the insurance company is not obligated to improve your existing installation.
Under current law you may have to disclose any damage to future buyers, making it essential that all evidence of damage be completely eliminated. Damages that has been covered up may be discovered later and raise serious problems for the prior owner.
You are entitled to receive a detailed listing of the repairs, as well as the quantities and type of materials to be used before work begins. The specifications should be part of your contract. Don’t accept thumbnail or “repair as necessary” specifications. The possibility of hidden damages or additional charges should be fully described at the onset.
States have different licensing requirements for home repairs. There are also local regulations and home improvement laws to be considered. Federal regulations also may apply to home repairs; such are rescission notices and special requirements for asbestos, lead and blood-born pathogens. You are entitled to reject any contractor not in compliance with all federal, state and local requirements for residential construction. Ask an industry-qualified restoration contractor for this important information.
First, ask for references to three jobs the contractor is currently working on or has recently completed. Call them. Second, check with your local Better Business Bureau for any unresolved complaints. Third, ask the contractor for credentials and association memberships that indicate professional training and status in insurance repair and restoration, since this differs from ordinary home improvement or maintenance work. And finally, ask the restoration company about any relationship with the insurance company that may impede their ability to provide and independent evaluation of your damages.
If disagreement arises between you and the insurance company over the amount of the loss, you are entitled to request arbitration (“appraisal”) as described in your policy. The standard homeowners’ policy spells out the procedures for appraisal without resorting to a lawsuit. The insurance company may also request appraisal, which can be invoked at any time prior to a settlement, even if you have already received advance payment.
You are entitled to receive payment from the insurance company within the time specified by the policy and your state insurance regulations. Usually this is 30 to 60 days after submittal of the signed proof of loss. However, the policy also has a time requirement for the policy holder. Check your policy or ask you adjuster or agent about them so that you will know what to expect. Only you (the policy holder), can insist that your insurance company comply with its obligations under the policy. As professional Restoration contactors, we recommend that you do so out of our strong conviction that good workmanship and ethical business practices benefit the insured industry just as much as they benefit the public at large.
(NOTE: The frequently asked questions are provided by restoration professionals for educational purposes only, and have no objective other than to inform claimants of some policy provisions that relate to their insurance damages repairs. This information is not intended to and should be not being considered as providing legal advice.)