Never been through an insurance claim? What should you expect and what is the process?

What to Expect:

  1. You will have multiple questions and worries. If you have a question, ASK. We do this on a daily basis and we want you to have a firm understanding of the process and project.
  2. You will have a direct line to a DCS estimator and project manager.
  3. We work for you, the property owner. We advocate on the owner’s behalf on all claims.
  4. Ethical estimating and project management. We follow the guidelines set forth by your policy and the local building codes.
  5. Execute the project quickly as process without sacrificing safe and quality workmanship.
  6. Your schedule will be communicated in writing weekly.
  7. You will be allowed to make changes to your layout and materials.
  8. All claims are unique and require different processes to complete a project. Patience is required.
  9. We will stand behind you and our work every step of the way.

You have just gone through a peril that has damaged your property. What is the process for utilizing your insurance, what are your financial obligations and your responsibilities?

The Inspection, Insurance Claim and Installation Process

  1. After we have inspected your property, we will go over the details of our findings with you and explain the steps involved in repairing the damage.
  2. At this point you will sign a “Work Authorization” agreement provided by your DCS representative. This agreement allows us to work on your behalf, with your carrier, to reach an agreed scope of repairs and the price to perform the repairs safely and in the like, kind and quality of the existing construction.
  3. If you have not already done so, you will file a claim by calling your agent or the carrier’s claims office. The claims office number is typically found online. Your agent should be notified so they can help answer any questions on policy language and coverage.
  4. You will answer a few questions pertaining to the extent of the damage. You may not know all the answers and that is OK. You can tell them a DCS representative inspected the property and can explain the extent of the damage.
  5. You will receive a claim number. It is very important to keep this handy as it is your identifying number specific to your claim.
  6. An adjuster will make contact with you to set up a date and time to inspect the damage. IMPORTANT to notify your DCS representative of the appointment details including the claim number.
  7. We will meet your adjuster on-site to inspect all the damage to your property including all materials, structural issues and ancillary damage.
  8. After the inspection is complete, the adjuster will provide you with a scope of repairs and the funds allowed to perform the repairs. You will provide this information to your DCS representative. We may or may not agree with the adjuster’s scope. We, as your advocate, will provide the carrier with our version of the scope of work. Once we come to an agreement, the repair process can begin.
  9. Once the estimate has been agreed upon, the carrier will provide a worksheet that details the repairs to be completed and the pricing associated with each step. They will also allow for material sales tax and contractor overhead and profit.
  10. Each item in the scope or estimate will be depreciated in value based on the material and its age. This is known as the Actual Cash Value or ACV. This is the initial amount you will receive, less your deductible, from the carrier when you receive the scope of work/worksheet from the carrier.
  11. Your check may be written to you and your home lender. You will need to provide the check and estimate to the lender for their endorsement. In some cases, the lender will retain the funds.
  12. DCS will provide you with a contract that includes the details of the carrier’s estimate. This will be our agreement to perform the repairs. Please note, it is your responsibility to hire a contractor to perform the repairs, not the carrier.
  13. It is important to know that your carrier does not require you to attain multiple bids to find the lowest price. It is the contractor’s responsibility to come to an agreed scope and price with the carrier.
  14. DCS will go over the details of the estimate with you and will present a schedule and perform the work as specified by the estimate, local building codes and manufacturer’s specifications.

What is your Financial Obligation?

  1. YOU ARE ONLY FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR DEDUCTIBLE. There are no hidden fees or charges. This is why Steps 6-8 are important.
  2. Once materials are delivered and work begins, DCS will invoice you for the deductible and up to one-third of the project estimate. This amount is due upon receipt of the invoice.
  3. Depending on the complexity, length and duration of the project, progress payments may be required. These funds will come directly from your insurance proceeds.
  4. When the project is near completion, DCS will send a final invoice to the carrier for the work that has been completed plus any supplemental items that may have been revealed after the initial estimate was written. No money is owed by you at this time.
  5. The carrier will send a check for supplemental charges and any depreciation funds withheld from the first or ACV payment. (Note item 10) This check may or may not include your mortgage company and/or Dixon Contracting Services on the check. If so, you need to have all parties endorse the check.
  6. Once you have received the last check from the carrier and all parties have endorsed the check, you will be invoiced from DCS for the completed work. Payment is due upon receipt.
  7. When the invoice is paid in full, you will be provided information detailing the material and labor warranties

What are your Responsibilities?

  1. Contact the carrier to make the initial claim.
  2. Provide DCS with all insurance documents related to the claim.
  3. Make sure all parties listed on the check(s) have endorsed the check(s) properly.
  4. Select materials and finishes required for the repairs.
  5. Communicate with your DCS representative on project procedures.
  6. Remove personal items from the work areas.
  7. Keep all pets, children and others away from the work area until the project is complete.
  8. Communicate constantly with your DCS representative.