There are two choices to be made when the time comes to hire a property restorer. You can choose one from your insurer’s list that may or may not live up to the standards of quality you require. Then there is the local, independent company that puts you in the driver’s seat when it comes to expectations. We’re here to tell you why you should always choose the independent option.
We should probably get something out of the way from the jump. No matter what your insurer tells you, you will always have the right to choose whichever restoration company you want for the job. You are under no obligation to go with the choice that your insurance company makes. This is important to know.
Why You Want Your Restoration Company Working For You
Typically, an independent restoration company will work directly with your insurer or adjuster to ensure you get the quality you deserve. By choosing an independent restorer, you are guaranteed that the company is entering into a contract with you directly and that your insurance company will have very little oversight.
An insurer provided restoration company can be on what is called a Vendor Program. Those insurers on the Vendor Program must meet minimum criteria in order to participate. This sounds like a great thing, and to an extent, it is. It tells you that the restoration company you’re using meets a certain standard that has been OK’d by your insurance company.
However, this also makes it so the contractual obligation is also to your insurance company as well as you. This means that your restorer is met with a need to satisfy the requirements given by the insurance company. This usually leaves the lap the insurer with some control over the project.
The disadvantage of going this route is that there is no oversight of the work product except as it relates to the scope of services. Problems with quality will be left entirely up to you.
Third Party Administrators
The function of a TPA is to relieve the insurer of some of the prequalification activities while providing a measure of oversight. This means that there is a “silent” third party involved in the restoration process.
It is up to the third-party administrator to lower the insurance company’s per claim costs while providing a good quality service. This ensures a quality and cost control provided by the administrator.
Personal Contract Independent Firms
These types of restorers enter into a contract directly with you and avoid the Vendor Programs. They will generally also need to meet a much higher criterion than those who are accepted into a Vendor Program. This type of independent firm is instead a part of the Cleaning and Restoration Association.
The CRA ensures that the restorer has gone through a more extensive prequalification process than an insurance company’s criterion. An independent firm upholds the agreed upon policy for dispute resolution and follows a code of ethics.
A third party does not monitor quality control which means it will be up to you to address quality issues.
Building Long-Term Retention and Trust
A thorough and satisfactory job for the insured at a reasonable price makes all parties happy. The ability to build long-term relationships with insurance companies and adjusters as well as gaining the trust of the insured is the end goal for an independent restoration company. The more trust in the company, the more business the company receives.
An independent restorer will want to develop a relationship with you beyond a preferred vendors list. This is to provide comfort in the knowledge that the company works for you. By developing a long-term relationship with a restoration company that you can trust, you are ensuring quality work again and again while also helping promote the business.
Just remember that it is ultimately you that has the contractual relationship with the restorer. You hold the satisfaction and quality of the finished project in your hands. Hiring an independent restoration company simply ensures that those goals are reached.