Four Questions to Ask Your Insurance Restoration Contractor
Make sure your North Louisiana insurance restoration contractor is qualified to repair your home or business
If you’ve suffered storm damage or been through a major flood, chances are you’ve seen what we call the “contractor mushroom gardens” pop up on busy street corners. It seems that high winds and rain are the perfect formula for dozens of “new businesses” to spring up–like fairy circles of mushrooms after a Spring rain.
Too often, however, these “contractors” are anything but. In fact, after almost any major weather event, the news is littered with stories about bad actors taking advantage of storm-ravaged residents and businesses. That’s why Riddle Builders has put together this handy list of five questions every property owner should ask before they choose an insurance restoration contractor.
1.) What is your contractor’s state license number?
The licensing requirements for becoming a general contractor in the State of Louisiana are stout. General contractors must pass extensive tests on virtually every aspect of construction, from foundation to shingles. Each licensed contractor has a state license number, which they are required to provide to clients. With this number, you can look up the contractor’s license and verify they are current on their requirements. Ask to see your contractor’s state license. If they can’t produce it, they’re not the contractor for you.
2.) What kind of insurance does your contractor carry?
Insurance is a vital part of life for individuals and businesses, and it’s doubly important when dealing with something as vital as demolition and construction. State law requires contractors to carry liability insurance policies as well as workers’ compensation insurance. Be sure to verify your contractor’s policies, because if they aren’t insured for liability or workers’ injuries, you could find yourself on the hook for any losses suffered on your property. Worse still, most homeowners’ policies specifically exclude workers’ compensation claims or construction liabilities. If your contractor won’t share their insurance information, or if the information they share doesn’t check out, run away.
3.) Does your contractor have references?
Good businesses have good reputations. When a customer appreciates a job well done, they’ll typically be excited to crow about it to anyone who will listen. Recommendations from previous clients are a must in finding a good contractor, because recommendations are how you can establish their reputation as well as the quality of the work they do. Check online to see what customers have said about them. Also, look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s site to see how they rank and what the BBB has to say about how they resolve disputes, should disputes arise. Finally, simply ask the contractor for references. If they hem and haw about it, chances are they don’t have any, and that makes it questionable whether or not you can trust your property to them.
4.) Does your contractor specialize in insurance claims?
Finally, it’s important to determine if your contractor has experience working with insurance companies on major restoration jobs. Building a home, remodeling a home, or adding onto an existing structure is challenging enough. But when working to repair a damaged structure, the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed are uniquely specialized. Just look at the challenges of restoring Notre Dame. While it’s unlikely your home or office is on the scale of a gothic cathedral, that doesn’t make the restoration process any less complex. If your contractor specializes in insurance restoration, then they’ll be able to work with your insurance company to ensure maximum coverage and, more importantly, to restore your home completely, without the risks of delay, cost overruns, or unforeseen challenges that can come when your contractor is inexperienced with restoring insured losses.
Riddle Builders can help
Riddle Builders has 20 years’ experience in the insurance restoration industry. Let us help you get back to life and work following your insured loss. We’ll work with your insurance company, just as we have for hundreds of satisfied clients. To get started, reach out today.