We have an extensive fire on June 21st. My builder submitted his estimate about a month ago, and State Farm got a comparative estimate from another builder they trust. Two months later, they are still reviewing…. Is this a normal timeframe? We are chasing constantly and they say they need more time. But the process is obscure, they would not indicate when it will be done once they provide any guidelines. My house is without a roof, rainy season is getting closer and we could not start the repair project yet. I just want to know if there’s something I can do to push for resolution. Thanks
You are in a common situation where the insured’s builder’s estimate is not in agreement with the insurance company’s preferred contractor. Your builder is putting forth a claim on your behalf based upon his estimate of the damages. Two months delay can be considered a normal time frame if there are significant differences. You have a few options. One, you can accept the insurance company’s estimate and have their preferred contractor perform the work. This option will cause all delays to cease. However, be aware that the preferred contractor may ask the insurance carrier for a change order at a later date to increase the scope of work. Two, you can continue to allow your contractor to put forth his/her position which may cause additional delays, however, if he/she is succesful you will have someone you trust rebuild your house. It would be important to understand the differences between your contractor’s scope and estimate and the insurance company’s preferred contractor. Is there a small difference or is their a large difference? The amount of the difference will help you to understand if you can apply pressure to come to a resolution. With a small difference, you can contact your agent to help you convince ther adjuster to reconcile the differences and move forward. With a large difference you can expect a longer delay period and the insurance carrier will tend to try and defend this position. In this case, you may need to obtain outside assistance from a public adjuster, attorney or be forced to use the appraisal process included as a resolution method in your insurance policy. Contacting your agent would probably be the first step to attempt in trying to facilitate the reconciliation of differences. Have your agent push for a date for the reconciliation to be completed.