REPAIR AND RESTORATION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: What Happens If I Discover Additional Damage After I Have Settled My Claim?
A: It is not uncommon for additional damages to surface months after the disaster. This occurs especially in situations where the claim is being handled by an untrained party. Hidden problems or undiscovered damage is a fact of life in the industry. What first looked like cosmetic damage can often disguise underlying problems that literally don’t surface for months. These can amount to large numbers especially where structural damaged is concerned. The result is, what appeared to be a fair settlement from your insurance company is now woefully insufficient to restore the property. Fortunately there is help.
Generally we can demand that the first file be reopened. However, as always, the burden of proof is with the policy holder to show the damage was a result of the loss. This is a typical case where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is best to have a trained estimator review the damage, preferably one who has experience with your specific type of loss. Harris Claims Services has experts of all types. From property damage experts– water, hail, hurricane, etc. to interruptions–in–business experts, we have the staff to handle any type of claim.
Q: What Happens If The Town Or City I Live In Requires Me To Upgrade My Property?
A: Code upgrades are a fact of life, especially in the Chicagoland area. Some policies allow for the code upgrades to be aid for by the insurance company. As always the burden of proof is on the insured (property owner) to prove the requirement of such and the cost. Harris Claims Services reviews all policies to determine if such is covered as a general part of the policy or an endorsement to the policy. By doing such we have saved owners hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
Q: How Am I Charged If I Allow Harris Claims Services To Repair The Property In Phase Two?
A: When HARRIS CLAIMS SERVICES is hired to repair the property we are paid the insurance building settlement with no out of pocket expenses to the home owner. The adjustment fee for adjusting the building claim is waived. In other words once we are hired by the owner to do the repairs we do such in exchange for the settlement agreed to between you the insured and the insurance company and of course there is no fee for doing the adjusting of the building claim.
Q: How Soon Will Repairs Begin?
A: Upon a verbal settlement from the insurance company and upon your approval, we begin the repairs. We do not wait for the insurance company adjuster to issue the check and forward it to the mortgage company. In other words we start right away so you will be back in your home as soon as possible.
Q: How Are The Payments Issued For The Repairs?
A: In most circumstances we are paid in thirds. One week after the job is started we receive the first payment. Upon the completion of the drywall we receive the second payment. After completion of the repairs and inspection by your mortgage company we are paid the final third.
Q: Why Does The Building Settlement Check Have The Mortgage Company On It And Why Do They Hold The Money?
A: If there is a mortgage on the property, by law the insurance company is required to name your mortgage company as a payee on the building settlement check only. They are not named on other settlement claim checks such as personal property and additional living expenses. The reason they are named is that they want to confirm that you are going to repair the property and restore the collateral that guarantees your loan from them to you.
Q: What Guarantees Do I Have That You Will Do A Good Job?
A: We have the backing of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and the clients we have served in the past. We guarantee that the work will be done according to standard fire and flood repair practices, that such will be done in a timely manner and that your property upon completion will be free from the smell of smoke or mold. Further, while repairs are on going, inspections to the property will be made by your mortgage company and local government.
Q: Who Handles All The Permits And Paperwork With The Local Municipalities And Their Inspectors?
A: We prepare all the paperwork from the very beginning to the very end of the project. This includes all documents such as tax and demos, permits, drawings, work orders and plans. We schedule all appointments with the inspectors from the mortgage company and the local Government. Of course the property owner is always welcome but usually it is not necessary for him or her to be present.
Q: Who Chooses The Materials Such As Carpet, Bathroom & Kitchen Fixtures, Paint, Etc.?
A: Illinois property owners choose these items. We understand that this is your property and that everyone’s taste is different. We want your property to reflect your taste not ours. Insurance policies allow for replacement with like kind and quality and that is what is used. No inferior products are ever used.
Q: What Happens If The Job Takes Too Long?
A: When moving forward with the repair project it is discussed and negotiated with the insurance company as to how long the job will take. If there is a delay because of out of stock items, the insurance company pays to extend the time period. Harris Claims Services provides an “on time” guarantee. This means that if we fail to complete the job in a reasonable amount of time, we cover the expense.
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