Why Work with an Independent Contractor
Why Work with an Independent Contractor
When property owners file an insurance claim for the first time, they may not realize there is an important decision to make regarding who will perform the work on their property. Will the homeowner choose to work with a local independent contractor (IC) or with the insurance company's preferred service provider (PSP)? Although it seems like a harmless question, the answer will affect the scope of work, quality of workmanship, and customer care in bringing the property back to its pre-loss condition.
In most states, building owners have the right to choose their own contractors. This means even if a job is a covered insurance claim, then the building owners are not required to hire a PSP and are freely able to choose any IC. If an insurance company recommends using a PSP, we suggest checking the PSP’s online reviews. Many PSPs have poor reviews, if any at all, because they are typically large, nationwide corporations who are obligated to work for the insurance company and not the building owner. Typically, a local IC will have many positive reviews because these contractors work for the customer, care about their local reputation, and care about the quality of work.
Most property owners do not know that for a company to become a PSP they are required to agree to follow strict guidelines about the work that can be performed. These strict guidelines are to save the insurance company as much money as possible at the building owner's expense. The PSP is then obligated to perform the work by the cheapest means possible often causing the PSP to want to cut corners and perform below standard work to preserve their slim profit margin. The most common example of this is in drying out a building properly. Most PSPs are only allowed to charge for drying a building for 3 days, without considering the different drying times of different building materials. There are some building materials that can dry in 3 days; however, many common building materials can take up to 10 days to dry depending on the levels of saturation. The PSP will often remove their drying equipment at the 3-day mark leaving the building still wet which can cause secondary damages such as mold. At Dry Kings, we often get called in by building owners concerned with the quality of work performed by a PSP and we find the work has not been completed properly and to industry standard.
Another common example is the use of HEPA air filtration devices. A PSP is typically not allowed to use HEPA air filtration devices in a building. Performing restoration work without running HEPA air filtration devices is potentially dangerous as the work and dryings fans will disturb particles such as dust and animal hair and harmful airborne particles such as mold, asbestos, lead and silica. Dry Kings will never perform any work without running HEPA air filtration and even if not approved, we will still run these machines for our customers for free. We do this not only for our customers’ health and safety but also to ensure our employees work in a safe environment.
Most local ICs will still work with the insurance company, but the big difference is they work for you. A reputable, local restoration company will be your best help and advocate in making sure that your building is restored not only to pre-loss condition but to industry standard. Dry Kings Restoration has been a licensed and bonded independent contractor for over a decade. We have performed many insurance jobs where we were able to not only fully satisfy our customers but also close claims with adjusters quickly. Many insurance agents and adjusters refer Dry Kings over their PSPs to their best clients because they know we will provide top quality work and customer care. At Dry Kings, we use the latest technology to provide extensive documentation and frequent updates on the mitigation process to ensure your adjuster is kept in the loop. We use Xactimate, an estimating software, to create our estimate/invoice, and is the same software insurance companies use. Our certified technicians provide 5-star quality, safe and effective water, fire and smoke/odor remediation services to our customers throughout the Bay Area.
If a PSP has worked on your building and you are concerned if the work was done right, give us a call! Our technicians are honest, trustworthy and will let you know if the work was performed to industry standards. We thank you for supporting a local, family-owned business!