UNDERSTANDING THE INSURANCE CLAIM PROCESS

We Schedule & Manage EMERGENCY RESTORATION SERVICES For Free

We Will Work With Your Insurance Company

Our Contractors Are Insurance Company Approved Vendors

HIRE THE BEST RESTORATION CONTRACTORS

Jenee' Child

CEO & Founder

Do You Feel Overwhelmed?

You Have The Help You Need

 

“When unexpected damage occurs, most people don’t know who to call or what to do first. Unfortunately, this is the time they are most vulnerable, do not make informed decisions and are most at risk for being taken advantage of by contractors.

While working as an Insurance Claims Adjuster for 30-years, I saw too many people become victims of contractor scams. I decided to put together a Network of trusted and reputable contractors that I’ve worked with for years so that homeowners have the help they need when they have emergency damage and have a resource for hiring contractors they can trust. Given my background in insurance, you have the added benefit of knowing that your designated customer service professional understands the insurance claims process and that they will also make sure that proper procedures are followed.

SOS will call, schedule and manage any needed contractor services for you. Many of the contractors in our Network, which we have already verified and vetted, are insurance company approved vendors and are on numerous insurance companies’ approved vendor lists. I hope you’ll take advantage of our free service!

I invite you to read our “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) below and the section entitled “Do I File An Insurance Claim” which provides answers to most insurance claim-related questions. I’ve also written other related blog articles you may find helpful:

  • Become more informed so you are not taken advantage of
  • Review our tips that can help prevent damage in your home
  • Let us guide you so that you are not a victim of a contractor scam

I hope that you’ll trust SOS Solutions and rely on our experienced professionals for help when you or someone you know has emergency damage and needs to hire reputable contractors they can trust.”

All About 

Our Services

You Benefit From

Our Free Services:

  • We schedule any Emergency Services you need
  • We assist you in scheduling contractors to restore your home
  • We obtain contractor repair estimates for you
  • We ensure that proper procedures are followed
  • We’ll work with any insurance company
  • We manage all other needed contractors’ services for you
  • We help expedite the overall job repair time frame

You Benefit From

Our Free Services:

  • We schedule any Emergency Services you need
  • We assist you in scheduling contractors to restore your home
  • We obtain contractor repair estimates for you
  • We ensure that proper procedures are followed
  • We’ll work with any insurance company
  • We manage all other needed contractors’ services for you
  • We help expedite the overall job repair time frame

Water Damage Restoration & Mold Removal Services

 

  • Plumbing Leak Detections
  • Plumbing Repairs & Pumbing Re-Routes
  • Water Damage Restoration Services
  • Contents Pack-Out & Storage
  • Asbestos & Lead Testing
  • Asbestos & Lead Removal
  • Initial Mold Testing and Mold Clearance Testing
  • Mold Cleaning and Mold Removal Services
  • Reconstruction & Repairs

Fire Damage Restoration Services

 

  • Board-Up Windows & Doors
  • Short & Long-Term Relocation Services
  • Set-Up Temporary Fencing
  • Emergency Cleaning of Soot
  • Contents Pack-Out & Storage
  • Cleaning of Personal Items
  • Dry-Cleaning of Clothing
  • Dry-Clean Upholstery & Window Coverings
  • Asbestos & Lead Testing
  • Asbestos & Lead Removal
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Smoke Deodorization
  • Reconstruction & Repairs
  • Architectural Plans & Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently

Asked 

Questions

Who Should I Call First After I Notice I Have Damage?

Insurance Policies require that you take care of your damage in a timely manner. SOS can schedule these services to be done for you so that there is no delay in addressing your damages:

  • Plumbing Leak Detections
  • Plumbing Repairs
  • Water Restoration & Dry-Down Services
  • Board-up of windows and doors
  • Place a tarp over your roof if you have a leak or damage
  • Relocation Services for Short & Long-Term Stay until repairs are completed
  • Obtain estimates for mold, asbestos and lead removal; contents cleaning, pack-out & storage; for water and fire restoration services; smoke deodorization and home repairs
Why Are Public Adjusters Contacting Me After I Call 911?

Public Adjusters listen in on the 911 scanner radio and may contact you or come to your home immediately after you report water damage or a fire when you call 911.

Here’s what you need to know about Public Adjusters and what Public Adjusters do:

  • They DO NOT work for your insurance company. They will work for you, for a sizable fee, to handle your insurance claim settlement for you. Most insurance companies will assign their in-house adjuster to assist you at no cost to you.
  • They charge a percentage of your insurance claim settlement for their services (up to 40%)
  • They were not sent by your insurance company
  • Do not give them the name of your insurance company, your policy number or a copy of your policy
  • They may promise or say things to you that are not true to get you to sign their contract
  • You can ask them to leave your property or call the police to remove them
  • They may offer you a large amount of cash to sign their contract
  • They may offer to put you up in a hotel at no charge for your entire household
  • They may offer to report your claim to your insurance for you and will wait 3-days to do so
  • Once you sign their contract, it is legally binding after 72-hours or 3-days and likely cannot be revoked or cancelled
  • You can cancel their services within 3-days or 72-hours of signing their contract – Do so in writing via email, fax or certified mail
  • They may recommend a contractor to repair your home that may not be reputable or trustworthy

DO I FILE AN INSURANCE CLAIM?

If you have had damage to your home, here are some questions regarding what may or may not be covered under your policy, the insurance claims process and what you can expect if you file an insurance claim:

What Types Of Damage Does My Homeowner Insurance Policy Cover?

Your Policy must be in effect on the date that the damage happened and you must do your best to minimize your damages for coverage to apply. We highly recommend you review your insurance policy contract before filing a claim.

Here are some general examples of “causes of loss” that may or may not be covered by your Homeowner Insurance Policy:

  • Repair of water damage caused by a sewage back-up from a tub or toilet and leaks from plumbing lines, a toilet or appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, air conditioning unit, water heater, etc.), or a roof leak that are sudden and accidental and have not leaked for more than a few days may be covered. Repair or replacement of the cause of the leak may not be covered.
  • Your insurance may cover the cost to open the wall, floor or ceiling in order to have the leak repaired as well as the cost to replace the materials that were removed.
  • Your insurance is not likely to cover water damage from water that enters your home through exterior walls or doorways or water damage that is the result of damage over a long period of time. If you see evidence of rot or rust, this is a good indication of a long-term problem.
  • Your insurance may cover wind damage to your roof if it causes your roofing materials to shift or come off. Interior water damage resulting from wind damage to your roof may be covered, however, some insurance policies require a hole or opening in the roof before they will afford coverage. Coverage may not be provided to repair or replace roofs due to age, wear and tear or that have long-term damage.
  • The collision of a vehicle that causes damage to your home or property, whether driven by you or others, will likely be covered.
  • Damage that results from a fire (electrical, smoking, burning candles, electronics, mechanical failure) that was not intentionally set by you or a member of your household will likely be covered. Fires that start because of the actions of an animal or wildlife may not be covered.
  • Wind damage may not be covered to replace your trees, plants or shrubs unless they fall onto another structure on your property like a fence, gazebo, garage, etc. Your policy may, however, provide coverage to remove the fallen tree from the structure and there may be a limit for what they will pay to remove the debris from this property.
How To Understand Your Insurance Coverages

Here are the types of things that fall under different Coverages under your Homeowners Insurance Policy:

  • Anything attached to the ceiling, walls or floor of your home are considered part of the building or the home’s structure and are considered part of the “Dwelling”
  • Items not attached to the house such as fences, pools, pool decks, awnings, gazebos, detached garages or guest houses are considered “Appurtenant Structures” or “Other Structures” and are usually insured up to 10% of the “Dwelling” policy limit
  • Items that you can take with you if you were to move that are not bolted down or attached to the home’s structure are considered “Personal Property” such as clothing, furniture, electronics, bedding, kitchenware, knick-knacks, jewelry, art, firearms, etc.
  • You may submit a request for relocation services, market or fair rental value of your home or to reimburse you for any increase you incur in your water or electricity bill or for meals as a result of your loss under “Loss of Use” Coverage.
What Other Things Will My Insurance Policy Cover?

Your Homeowner Insurance Policy has “Loss of Use” Coverage that may extend coverage to you for the following:

  • If you do not have full use of your kitchen to use your sink, stove or refrigerator, you may be entitled to receive reimbursement for any increase you incur above the cost of your normal meal expenses
  • If you cannot live in your home because of its condition as a result of your loss or during the time in which repairs are being made, you may be entitled to hotel stay or to be relocated to a comparable sized furnished home during this time period.
  • If you have animals or pets and need to kennel them because of the condition of your home or because of equipment running on-site or repairs being made, you may be entitled to reimbursement for this expense.
  • If the temporary location where you’ve been staying is farther away from your work or school, you may be entitled to reimbursement for mileage for the increase you incur in driving farther to school or work or to pick up your kids from school.
  • Unfortunately, this coverage is not designed to reimburse you for your time in meeting with contractors or your insurance adjuster or in communicating with your insurance company to resolve your claim.
  • Your policy may provide coverage for the increase you incur in your electricity or water bill as a result of your loss or equipment that is placed inside the home during the restoration process.
  • Your policy may provide reimbursement for any increase you incur in your normal meal expenses if you do not have use of your kitchen or for laundering your personal items if your washing machine is inaccessible or no longer hooked up as a result of your loss.
Understanding The Insurance Payment Process

Each claim you file is subject to a “Deductible”. The deductible is the amount that is your responsibility to pay. This amount will be deducted from any payment issued to you from your insurance company.

If your Insurance Policy has “Replacement Cost Coverage”, you are entitled to receive full replacement to restore your home. Review your Insurance Policy to confirm if you have this same coverage for “Other Structures” or “Personal Property”.

Here is what you can expect and how to receive your full insurance settlement::

  • Your initial payment for your home’s repairs will be based on “actual cash value” where depreciation on the cost of the materials is withheld and not paid up front
  • Once repairs are completed or your personal items have been replaced, you are entitled to submit a claim for the depreciation previously withheld, which is also called “recoverable depreciation”
  • To make a claim for release of “recoverable depreciation”, submit your original purchase receipts for the items you have replaced or a “Notice of Completion” form from your contractor stating that all repairs have been completed and were done to your satisfaction to your insurance carrier
What Is Depreciation and Why Was It Withheld?

Whether your Insurance Policy has “Replacement Cost Coverage” or not, you will likely first receive a partial settlement check rather than full payment based on the replacement cost value of your claim for repairs or to replace any total loss items.

Usually, “Depreciation” is first deducted from the “Replacement Cost Value” (RCV) of your insurance claim which represents the “Actual Cash Value” (ACV) of your loss.

Depreciation is the life expectancy of the materials needed to complete repairs with consideration given to the average expected lifespan for each. This also applies to “total loss” items that are to be replaced with a comparable item, something similar or of like, kind and quality.

Here are costs that should not be deducted or withheld from the insurance claim settlement check you receive for your home repairs:

  • Depreciation on labor
  • Depreciation on the cost of materials for framing, insulation, drywall, plaster or stucco
  • Overhead and Profit Charges. Usually, 10% for Overhead and 10% for Profit or a total of 20% is added to the total repair cost if more than 3-trades (ie. electrical, pluming, drywall, paint, flooring, framing, roofing, etc.) are needed to complete the work
  • Sales Tax
Why Is My Mortgage Company Listed On My Insurance Check?

Any check you receive to repair the structure of your home will likely be subject to having your mortgage company listed as a Payee on your insurance settlement check.

Your Mortgage Company should not be listed on any other checks that are not specifically related to the cost of repairing your home (ie. Personal Property; increase in meal expenses, water or electricity bills or for hotel or temporary housing costs.)

Your Insurance Policy requires your insurance company to include the name of your current mortgage company on your insurance settlement check because they have an interest in your property  and its value, given that they carry a loan. This gives them the right to be involved to make sure that you complete all of the needed repairs.

Here’s are steps you can take if your mortgagee is named as a Payee on your insurance settlement check:

  • Call your mortgage company or lender to let them know you’ve filed a claim with your insurance company for damages
  • Ask them if there is a local branch you can go to in order to have them sign off on the check so you can deposit it into your personal account and can then pay your contractor to get started on repairs
  • Your lender may require you to sign the check before you mail it to them. If this is the case, they will then set up an Escrow Account in order to monitor the repairs.
  • If an Escrow Account is set-up, your lender will require you to provide them copies of all estimates for needed repairs
  • Your lender will issue partial payments to you or your contractor as work is completed after they set up an Escrow Account
  • Once repairs are completed, your lender may send out an Inspector to confirm all repairs are completed
  • Your lender should release to you any additional money owed once they have confirmed all repairs are completed

Free Help Is Available Now

Free Help Is

Available Now

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Hire only licensed, bonded and insured contractors.

Go to the California State Contractors License Board website.

BE INFORMED….BEFORE YOU HIRE

Call SOS Now!

1-888-589-1868

Call SOS Now!

1-888-589-1868

Get Help Now
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