When homeowners suffer damage to their homes because of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or fires, their insurance companies may settle their claims so that their homes can be repaired. A public adjuster can represent the interests of homeowners to make certain that they can recover the maximum amount for their losses. After the public adjuster has negotiated a settlement for the homeowner, it is possible for a homeowner to complete the repairs to the property and to be reimbursed for his or her labor or materials costs once the claim has been settled. For the most part, it may take a while before being able to acquire the settlement amount, making the repairs stalled, but some homeowners choose to repair as soon as possible, having to take money out-of-pocket.
Thankfully, being reimbursed is a great possibility and seems extremely plausible in cases of disasters or other property losses that are insured through the homeowner’s policy. A public adjuster will ensure that their client is not being deceived and is fully reimbursed for any expenses they made outside of the settlement money if the homeowner abide by the contract and did not go against what their insurance company said. Before being fooled into thinking that one cannot be reimbursed, consult with a practiced public adjuster who would be able to use their knowledge to see if the homeowner merits reimbursement.
Reasoning Behind Why a Homeowner Takes it Upon Themselves To Make Repairs
The reduction of costs and quickly repairing a home after suffering damages might be two incentives that lead to a homeowner who is knowledgeable about construction and home repairs to decide to do it by themselves. The claims process varies from company to company, so people should make sure that they know how it works with their own companies. A public adjuster can help homeowners through the claims process so that they can receive their checks.
Once a claim for damage is made to the insurance company, they will send a claims agent to inspect the damage and losses that their policyholder has suffered. The public adjuster may negotiate with the claims agent to secure a reasonable amount for the actual cash value (ACV) of the damaged property. Homeowners who have replacement cost value coverage can use their actual cash values as down payments for the repairs. They can then get estimates from a couple of different contractors in the area to submit to the insurance company. If the company allows homeowners to complete the repairs on their own, the company should reimburse the homeowners for their labor costs at a competitive rate. After the repairs have been completed, the homeowners then send certificates of completion to the insurance companies so that they can receive their reimbursement checks.
Electing to make home repairs by themselves is a decision that each homeowner will decide depending upon each unique case. These are some typical reasons why a homeowner chooses to repair their home on their own and then get reimbursed at a later stage:
- Cheaper repair costs
- Less hassle dealing with oneself than people sent by the insurance companies
- Quicker fixes
- More decision making
Every case is unique, and each property damage claim will require a specific road to take. If a homeowner decides to take matters into their own hands, they should consult with a public adjuster to make sure that everything is done in accordance with the contract and requirements of the claim.
Common Causes Why Home Repairs Are Needed
When a homeowner is faced with having to make repairs to their home or even as bad as completely losing it, they may be confused. They might consider repairing it themselves or having their insurance companies deal with the issue at hand. The repair of a home may be needed for a variety of reasons including:
- Tenant completely destroying property
- Wind damage from a tornado
- Water damage from floods
- Broken windows from flying objects
- Vandalism, and
No matter the reason why, repairs are expensive and may take an extensive amount of time to complete.
Top Reasons Why Homeowners May Decide to Purchase a New Property
There are various reasons why a homeowner may decide to buy another home, either for their primary residence or as a business, and even maybe as a gift. These are some reasons why:
- Move into a nicer house
- Needing a home with more square feet
- Wanting to be closer to their families
- Unsatisfied with the current home they are in
- Being closer to their current jobs
- Total loss of their existing homes as a result of a disaster like a fire
- Wanting to acquire more homes to further their business of renting, and
Whatever the reason may be, purchasing a home is no simple task. A home is linked with property insurance, of which each buyer must be aware of what it entails. An important aspect of repairing or purchasing a new home is learning of all the legal jargon tied to a property insurance contract, of which a skilled public adjuster could decode for their client.
Statistics on Home Improvement
Every year, thousands of homeowners are faced with losses, including but not limited to, theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and even renters who left the property destroyed and dirty. But like every business, homeowners who rent lose and win. These are some statistics on home improvement:
- Between the year 2011 to 2015, an average of $2,760 was spent by homeowners for repairs
- Between the year 2001 to 2015, 340 billion dollars was used for improvement and repairs
- In the past 12 months, more home improvement repairs and home projects have been completed by millennials than any other age group
As noted above, a lot of money is wasted every year in repair homes. The causes as to why a repair must be done vary from every case.
Repairs That Should Never Be Put-Off
There are specific repairs that a home may need that should never be overlooked or left without repairing. If any of these damages are present within a homeowner home, they should immediately consider addressing these issues because the consequences of not taking action can lead to filing a claim for property damage:
- Damp basement; having a basement that is damp can lead to certain issues like mold. Mold can be a great hazard to one’s health.
- Rotting deck; rotting decks can make the structure unsafe which can lead to potential injuries
- Clogged gutters; ensuring that the gutters are not clogged can prevent a number of problems like leaking into the basement
- Wall or ceiling has waterspouts; if a wall or ceiling is showing signs of waterspouts, immediate action must be taken. This indicates that a water pipe is broken somewhere in the house
- Presence of termites; termites are little creators that can do an extensive amount of damage in a very short time period. For this matter, it is vital to address this problem immediately. They can cause the structure to weaken
- Peeling of caulking; caulking is in place to seal off any infiltration that can occur of water. If there are cracks or caulking that has peeled, it is crucial to cover this right away. By not doing so, water can infiltrate and cause mold under the tiles or windows
- Leaky faucet; A faucet that is turned off but continues leaking will not be fixed simply by closing the faucet tighter. In fact, that will only make problems worse and can even create a bigger leak issue
- The toilet is constantly running; Not only does this make a loud noise, but it wastes a lot of water. Making it harder on the homeowner’s pocket
Importance of being honest
People who decide to complete repairs on their homes themselves should be upfront about their intentions with the insurance company’s adjuster. The company may be okay with people completing repairs such as debris removal and cleanup or fixing damaged drywall. However, the companies may be less inclined to allow homeowners to complete extensive or dangerous repair work on their own. Before starting repairs, homeowners should also check their municipal ordinances to see if the work that is needed requires a license. Homeowners can negotiate to take care of the more menial tasks such as painting and trash removal while leaving more dangerous work such as wiring to the professionals.
One important rule that homeowners who intend to complete their own repairs should keep in mind is that they are not allowed to add a profit for what they do. It is fine for them to request reimbursement for their labor and overhead costs, but they cannot add additional amounts on top in order to gain a profit from their work. In other words, homeowners cannot scam the insurance companies that are reimbursing them for their labor. If insurance companies find that the homeowner was compensated for $5,000, but they repaired their home for $3,000, they may be required to pay the $2,000 back to the insurance company.
Some insurance companies will allow homeowners to complete their own repairs after they make a damage claim. Homeowners may opt to do this to save money or when contractors may not be available for extended periods of time. A public adjuster may negotiate with the insurance company to secure reimbursement of the labor and materials costs for the repairs that the homeowners undertake themselves. Being honest in what their intentions are is essential in ensuring that their home repairs go as smooth as possible. If a public adjuster is by their side, they can assure themselves that the public adjuster will adequately negotiate what needs to be done with the insurance company. Don’t wait, speak with a public adjuster who can assist you with your home repairs and improvement today.
Do You Need to Repair Your Home?
Whether a policyholder chooses to repair their home after a major disaster, or other problem, ensuring that the correct steps are taken and that there is no illegal steps committed by the homeowner is crucial. If a homeowner is not honest with their insurances adjuster and decides to fix their homes, they may not be compensated. Insurance companies may allow a homeowner to fix their homes, but most likely just the aesthetic part of it. A home requiring electrical or plumbing repairs may be better suited to be handled by a professional in the field. Knowing what options and rights a homeowner has after suffering property damage is essential to come to learn of. A public adjuster in the State of Florida that is experienced with many property losses cases could address a homeowner’s questions and concerns.