Natural disasters lead to at least 25 million dollars in losses covered by insurance companies every year. When you add to that figure uninsured damages, losses skyrocket.
If you’ve ever experienced a tornado, flood, wildfires, etc., high damage costs come as no surprise to you. Seeing as how any one of those “happenings” could take out whole houses, expenses associated with repairs can quickly become astronomical.
When you’re faced with property damages as a result of a disaster, do you know which disaster cleanup companies you’ll call to pick up the pieces and aid in repairs? If you don’t, we implore you to figure out who your go-to organization will be so you can act quickly when adversity strikes.
To help you to that end, below, our team discusses the steps you should take to locate proper assistance.
1. Talk to Your Insurance Provider
Disaster cleanup doesn’t come cheap. This is particularly true if as part of your cleanup process, you’re going to need repairs done to portions of your home.
The good news is that if you’re in a disaster-prone area, you’re likely carrying disaster insurance and that insurance should cover the cost of getting your property back into pre-disaster condition. To make sure that you and your insurance provider are on the same page, call them and describe your needs.
They should be able to tell you what’s covered and may also give you recommendations on who you can bring on for help.
2. Ignore Disaster Chasers
When adversity strikes communities, opportunists come flocking in. These opportunists are usually people that go door to door and make low-ball offers to fix things like destroyed roofs, gardens, and so forth.
While some of these opportunists are honest and represent a good deal, many are not. We’ve seen time and again opportunists do handshake deals with homeowners, get a portion of their fee upfront and disappear without doing the work.
Our advice is to avoid disaster chasers and to instead, relegate your business to groups that have roots in communities like this team at https://www.ctr-nw.com/ or another go-to that’s established in your area.
3. Check Out Online Reviews
A great place to start when it comes to assessing disaster cleanup companies in your vicinity is to check out online review boards. Our favorite review board is Google reviews, but others like Angie’s List can also provide great information.
Check to see which cleanup companies in your vicinity have 4-star reviews averages or better and are sporting 10 or more reviews. Each of the organizations that meet those qualifications is more than worth putting on your short-list of options.
4. Schedule Consults
With a list of potential businesses in place, your next step down through the process of finding a disaster partner should be to place phone calls and get consults done. A consult typically consists of a relief specialist coming down to your property, looking over your damage, and giving you a quote on what they’d charge to get your job done.
Consults can be free but in some cases, will incur a charge that will be deducted from your final bill should you choose to do business with the company. Keep that in mind as cost would naturally limit the number of consults you’ll want to arrange.
5. Always Ask About Licensure and Insurance
Disaster cleanup and repair companies are almost certainly required to be licensed to operate in your community. You’ll find that while most disaster chasers are not licensed, companies with roots in your town will be.
Ask to make sure though as you won’t want to do business with a group that has not been pre-vetted by your city/county.
Business insurance is another thing that needs to be confirmed by you before hiring a professional. If you have a cleanup pro work on your property that is not insured, they’ll likely have no way to pay for additional damages they may accidentally cause to your home in the course of their work.
6. Pay Attention to Timelines
How imminent do you need disaster relief? For some, waiting is a possibility because what they need to be repaired doesn’t directly affect their ability to live comfortably (a damaged garage for example).
For others, their disaster damage is so severe that they can’t even live in their homes until fixes are made.
Understand your urgency and ensure that the company you’re working with has the bandwidth to meet your needs. Many companies, particularly after a widespread disaster, have very full calendars that may create significant slowdowns.
7. Ask About Insurance Before Singing On
Many unsuspecting homeowners bring on disaster assistance groups who claim to work with insurance companies. When it comes time to pay though, homeowners are shocked when their disaster company says that they don’t work with their particular insurance and that they’ll need to pay out of pocket.
To avoid that possibility, be very explicit with your disaster assistance prospects when it comes to the issuance you use and your expectations that they get paid by them. If your disaster company approves that arrangement, double-check with your insurance to make sure that they work with the organization you’re hiring.
Only when everyone signs off should you proceed confidently.
Which Disaster Cleanup Companies Will You Talk to When in Need?
Knowing which disaster cleanup companies or company you’ll call when you’re in trouble is a powerful thing. It allows you to spend less time researching when you’re in a pinch and more time getting the wheels turning on your relief effort.
Our team wishes you the best of luck in avoiding disasters and dealing with them if they do come up. We also welcome you to check out additional content on disaster cleanup services in our blog if you’d like more guidance.
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