This is one of the most common questions we receive. It’s important to remember this: You DO NOT have to hire the contractor your insurance company recommends. This is very important to know up front, because the contractor you hire will be the company that:
- Is responsible not just for repairing and restoring your home, but for the health and wellness of you and your family after the project is complete.
- Will be sending various employees and sub-contractors onto your property and into your home. Did each of these people undergo a background check? Are you comfortable with them entering your home?
- Will or will not stand behind their warranty on the work they perform. Do you feel this company is reputable and does work that’s up to your standards? Are you confident that if you find an issue with their workmanship, they’ll come back to fix it?
Things To Consider When Choosing A Restoration Contractor
Typically, any contractor the insurance company recommends is vetted and capable of handling the project to the insurance company’s standards. However, it’s possible that you won’t be comfortable with that company. If you do decide to choose your own restoration contractor, there are some things you should consider:
- Are they a “contractor” or a “restoration contractor”? A restoration contractor specializes in restoring water, fire, and other types of property damage. They typically have the specialized equipment required to do this. They have years of experience working with insurance companies and adjusters and can provide you with the paperwork, information, and answers you’ll want and need throughout the process.
- Are they an experienced and certified company? Restoration companies that are experienced in restoring damaged properties follow tried-and-true processes and protocols to restore your home properly. They’ll be certified, typically by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), and their employees or crew leaders will carry one or more IICRC certifications.
- Are they knowledgeable about your type of loss (water, fire, mold, etc.)? Are they confident and detailed about their plan to restore your home? For example, an experienced water damage restorer will identify the typical humidity and moisture levels in your home and create a “drying plan” for the affected area. They’ll know that over-drying your home can cause just as much damage as leaving too much moisture behind, and will plan accordingly.
What NOT To Do
You don’t want to hire a carpet cleaner to dry your home. You don’t want to hire your “handyman friend” to clean, repair, and rebuild your home after a fire. You want a professional, experienced, and certified restoration contractor to do the job. While your insurance company will typically recommend a fine candidate, it’s ultimately your decision as to which restoration contractor you choose.
One last important note: If you DO choose the contractor your insurance company recommends, it will still be considered YOUR decision.