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How The Fire Damage Insurance Process Works

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Why Choose A Damage Restoration Company?

A damage restoration company is a contractor that specializes in water, mold, fire & smoke damage restoration. This requires specific training, certification and insurance and most are certified by the IICRC.  The IICRC Certified Firm signifies that your damage restoration company has a higher level of technical expertise related to fire and smoke damage restoration. Since your insurance company will not pay twice to have the work done its important to hire a company that specializes in fire and smoke damage repair.

What Is An Xactimate?

Xactimate is the insurance industry software estimating program that insurance companies require damage restoration companies to use to write their fire damage repair estimates. You may hear your “estimate” referred to as the “Xactimate” or “Xactimate File.”

What Does The Fire Damage Restoration Process Look Like?

  1. Fire Board Up and securing of property (if required)
  2. Write Estimate: Access fire damage and thoroughly document with photos, measurements and create a line by line Xactimate estimate.
  3. Provide Xactimate Estimate: This estimate and timeline is provided to the property owner and insurance company in addition to a contract detailing expectations and protections for both the homeowner and damage restoration company.
  4. Content pack out and cleaning
  5. Water extraction and structural drying as required
  6. Demolition and removal of debris
  7. Structural Deep cleaning to remove smoke, soot and odor and sealing with dry ice blasting 
  8. Framing installed as required
  9. New HVAC, Electrical & Plumbing as required
  10. Drywall installation and painting 
  11. Carpeting and flooring installed
  12. Installations of bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets, countertops
  13. Installations of crown molding, ceiling fans and any other finish items
  14. Walk through with property owner 
  15. Occupancy Inspection with township inspector

How Does The Payment Process Work With My Insurance Company?

This is a two part answer:  First we have to revisit the housing crisis of 2007-2010.  During this time some individuals filed large insurance claims but never repaired their property after fire damage or other catastrophic property damage. They then abandoned the property and let their homes go into foreclosure.  This left mortgage companies with very large losses now money must be sent to the mortgage company where they will hold the funds.  These funds will only be released after an inspector verifies that a certain percentage of work is complete. Because of the housing crisis of 2007-2010 they will rarely release 100% of the funds upfront.
Second there is something called Recoverable Depreciation which is defined as a percentage the insurance company holds back and does not release until the job is complete.  This ensures that the repairs are actually completed on the property and helps prevent the insurance fraud issues mentioned above.  The insurance company will either send out an adjuster to inspect the property or request finished photos from your damage restoration company once the work is 100% complete.  
For Example: A $250,000 fire damage repair contract below could be broken down into 3 to 5 payments by your mortgage company.
Three payments:
-Contract signing: 33%  $85,333.33
-Stage Payment: 33%   $85,333.33
-Contract Completion: 33%   85,333.33
Five Payments:
-Contract signing: 20% $50,000
-Stage Payment 20% $50,000
-2nd stage payment: 20% $50,000
-3rd stage payment: 20% $50,000
-Contract completion: 20% $50,000

How does AfterCare Restoration document my fire damage repair for my insurance company?

As a licensed damage restoration company we work on your behalf to provide documentation for your insurance company.  Once they receive documentation they release the funds in stages throughout the repair process.  The recoverable depreciation is only released once the job is 100% complete!
Below is our documentation process at AfterCare:
     1. Xactimate line item estimate provided to you and your  insurance company 
     2. Our project manager will update your Xactimate estimate throughout each stage of the job.
     3. Invoices for each stage payment including photos will be sent to you and your insurance company
     4. Finished photos when the job is 100% complete will be sent to your insurance company
     5. Final inspection  (Occupancy Inspection) from township inspector.  A copy of the approval is then sent to your insurance company.
     6. Certificate Of Satisfaction is signed by the homeowner and submitted to your insurance company.
     7. Once your insurance company receives the finished photos, occupancy inspection and certificate of satisfaction then the recoverable depreciation is released to the homeowner.  This process typically takes 30 to 45 days from the time the occupancy inspection is complete. 

Why choose AfterCare Restoration?

Aftercare Restoration is a local, veteran-owned full service damage restoration company with decades of experience that stands 100% behind our work. We pride ourselves on our six core values and 5 Star Customer Service:
When you hire AfterCare Restoration you are partnering with a company that will treat your home like our own and give you the personalized customer service that you deserve!