ARIZONA’S PROPERTY RESTORATION AND INSURANCE CLAIM SPECIALISTS
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The experts at National First Response are here to restore your home or business to pristine condition following a disaster and make navigating the insurance process seamless.
After a property disaster, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed with questions. You will want to understand the extent of the damage, if your property is restorable, and if your treasured valuables can be salvaged. Naturally, most people’s first question is if their insurance company will pay for restoration after a disaster.
If you need quick and skillful property restoration services following water, fire, or storm damage, you have come to the right place! At National First Response, you receive more than just our industry-leading restoration expertise. You’ll have a trusted partner in the insurance claims process. We work closely with insurance companies to make the process as effortless and clear as possible for our customers. Our partnership with insurance professionals means that you will get accurate, timely information and have a trusted advocate in National First Response.
How does the insurance claims process work?
Our priority is getting your life back to normal as quickly as possible. From the initial consultation to the final insurance claim, we are with you every step of the way!
Policy types and your declarations page; lists both perils and coverage limits. There are typically two types of insurance policies:
Replacement cost (RCV) coverage pays the cost of replacing your property regardless of depreciation or appreciation. Premiums for this type of coverage are based on replacement cost values, and not based on actual cash value.
Actual cash value (ACV) coverage provides for replacement cost minus depreciation. Extended replacement cost will pay over the coverage limit if the costs for construction have increased. This generally will not exceed 25% of the policy limit.
Replacement cost value means the cost to replace the property on the same premises with other property of comparable material and quality used for the same purpose. This applies unless the limit of insurance or the cost actually spent to repair or replace the damaged property is less. A more complex explanation of actual cash value means the cost to replace with new property like in kind and quality, less depreciation.
A simple explanation of depreciation means in the case of a stolen camera, the insurance company would deduct from its replacement cost an amount for all the wear and tear it endured prior to the time it was stolen. It is a combination of objective criteria used in a formula that takes into account the item category and age of the property to determine the value of replacement in today's marketplace.
A visual observation of the care and maintenance of the property. The only difference between replacement cost and actual cash value is a deduction for depreciation. However, both are based on the cost today to replace the damaged property with new property “like in kind and in quality”.
Generally, covered properties are divided into four separate categories. The definitions of the property and the extent of coverage vary by state, company and product. So it is important for you to understand the definitions of the covered property. The four separate categories for your home, as defined by insurance carriers, are:
Dwelling – The structure of the house is considered a covered property.
Other structures – These are structures that are separate from the house, or connected to the house by a fence, wire or other form of connection, but not otherwise attached to the dwelling, such as a tool shed or detached garage.
Personal property – The contents of your home are your personal property. This includes furniture, appliances and clothing. Not all personal property is covered. Items more appropriately covered under different forms of insurance may have limited or no coverage for loss. These items include, but are not limited to, money, jewelry and firearms.
Loss of use – When a loss occurs due to a covered peril and the dwelling becomes uninhabitable; the cost of additional living expenses is covered. Reimbursement of additional living expenses covers the cost to the insured for maintaining a normal standard of living.
There are various types of coverage. When you obtain an insurance policy, the coverage personal property limit established is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay out in case of loss of property. This amount of coverage will need to fluctuate if homes in your neighborhood are rising; the amount needs to be in step with the actual value of your home.
Contents coverage or content replacement is typically tabulated as a percentage of the value of the home or specifically valued by the policyholder. In case of high-value items, the insurance company may ask to specifically cover these items separate from the other household contents. One last coverage option is to have alternative living arrangements included in a policy. If a fire leaves your home uninhabitable, the policy can help pay for a hotel or other living arrangements.
There is a lot of confusion about coverage under an insurance policy. Property is insured in two main ways, open perils and named perils.
Open perils cover all the causes of loss not specifically excluded in the policy.
Named perils required the actual cause of loss to be listed in the policy for insurance to be provided. The more common named perils include such damage causing events as fire, lightning, explosion, and theft. If you live in an earthquake or flood zone it is typical for a policyholder to purchase special endorsement perils such as: earthquake, flood or hurricane, etc. If your property has a basement and in the basement is a “sump pump”, this requires a special endorsement to ensure coverage.
Be diligent in discussing your perils and geographical area to ensure the right coverage for your property. Insurance carriers generally do not cover property damages caused by flooding by ocean, lake, river, storm or melting snow and others. However if you live in a flood zone you are required by your property lender if your home is financed to in fact carry and maintain flood insurance through the NFIP National Flood Insurance Program administered by FEMA Federal Emergency Management Administration.
Property damage resulting from unforeseen circumstances, no matter how large the loss,answering phone can be devastating. The start of the restoration process begins immediately by first, seeking a safe haven from danger and second, understanding your obligation as the insured to stop further damages. In general, when an insurance claim is filed, a claim number is assigned by the insurance carrier to the policyholder for the purpose of identifying specific information regarding the claim. A claim number does not automatically constitute guaranteed coverage of a loss; so verification of actual policy coverage is extremely important, regardless of whether a claim number has been assigned or not.
The primary objectives at the notice of loss is to:
Gather information and validate that your insurance policy does in fact exist and cover the damages you have experienced.
Dispatch a qualified arrival technician onsite to continue the process of information gathering and help you and the insurance representative in determining the extent of damages, coverage and mitigation actions to be taken.
In the event you require emergency services such as; removing water from your home, covering your roof, or boarding up windows or doors, your arrival technician is onsite to protect your property against further damage.
Generally emergency services are covered under your insurance policy, in the event services are not covered, the project manager will work directly with you on a fixed cost for services using industry standard and approved guidelines found in Xactware. Pricing is not arbitrary or pulled out of a hat, experts work diligently to provide the insurance industry with fair and acceptable pricing guidelines.
If your property has sustained severe damage, making in unlivable, your insurance representative will authorize temporary living or working arrangements for you and your family or employees until your property is restored. Your insurance representative will work with you directly to review covered living or income loss expenses. For other daily expenses, you should keep the receipts for review with your insurance representative for potential coverage. It is recommended that you use one credit card for all related expenses to your damage.
A qualified insurance restoration company representative, typically a project manager,technician at door along with your insurance adjuster will professionally assess the damage and provide a scope of work that is clear and concise and designed to return your property to a pre-loss condition. We coordinate with both you and the insurance representative in establishing a remediation and restoration plan that is mutually beneficial for all participants, most importantly you the customer.
The primary objectives of the scope of work are:
To create an outline of damages that also includes your objectives, and what we are too accomplish; background information about your project; tasks that will help accomplish the objectives; milestones and timelines for the project; roles and responsibilities; project deliverables; data requirements, and estimated costs.
To provide a general description of the project, and discuss the reason why the work is necessary, included are any constraints or issues we foresee happening and how we will deliver the end results of the project.
All damages listed in the scope of work are itemized and priced according to industry standard and approved guidelines found in Xactware. Pricing is not arbitrary or pulled out of a hat, experts work diligently to provide the industry with fair and acceptable pricing guides.
Our industry commitment is to “restore first whenever possible, replace at last resort”.
Restoration of property to pre-loss condition will not begin without your insurance carrier approval or right to proceed.
Once your insurance carrier has all the necessary information, they will work closely withapproved you and the contractor to resolve your claim as quickly as possible. The insurance representative (typically an adjuster), contractor and you will establish a comprehensive and realistic scope of work estimate, expediting the approval process. An approved estimate between you, the insurance carrier and the contractor is critical to a successful start and completion of your claim. Reconstruction will not begin until an agreement has been reached with the Insurance Carrier.
The primary objectives at the insurer approval is to:
Reach agreement on a comprehensive scope of work with insurance representatives, contractor and the policyholder.
“Restore first whenever possible, replace at last resort”.
Depending on the claim type and amount of damage, your insurance carrier generally requires a field inspection by their representative. Once a claim is processed and approved, a payment will be mailed to you typically in 15-30 business days. Generally if the claim amount exceeds $10,000.00 and your property has a mortgage or lien holder, the lien holder will be mailed the payment as a named payee. Each lien holder has various forms and processes necessary to be followed by you the borrower. Contact your lien holder before reconstruction begins for specific instructions. Be sure to include the contractor in the handling required by your lien holder.
If a portion of the claim is assigned a depreciation schedule, the depreciation payment will be mailed only after the repairs are completed or personal property actually replaced, each item is physically verified to be in fact restored or replaced by your insurance representative or contractor. If you choose not to repair or replace a depreciated item, do not expect the depreciated portion of payment. Although you may have paid $5,000.00 for a Sony plasma television last year, if in today’s market the television can be purchased for $500.00, do not expect a payment of five thousand, you are surely to receive five hundred. Be realistic in your expectations. Rest assured, all participants will make the claim process as smooth as possible and help restore your way of life.
Depending upon the degree of damage, demolition of the affected areas is often a complete services necessary part of the remediation process. In most cases, property owners remain in their property or place of business while these processes take place. Some types of damage require extensive demolition when the structural integrity of a property is compromised. A certified professional structural engineer will determine the extent of the repairs. All repairs are completed under the jurisdiction of local building codes when applicable.
The primary objectives of the demolition of damages is:
Limit the disruption of your day to day life. In the event your kitchen is extremely damaged, the contractor does their best to provide you with a temporary sink and the ability to utilize key appliances (e.g., microwave, range, refrigerator). If it’s your bathroom, the contractor does their best to reset your commode each day and provide access to your tub for bathing.
Maintain a clean and safe work environment.
Items such as flooring, cabinetry, appliances, plumbing and light fixtures, just to name abuilding materials few, may need to be restored or replaced due to damage from a property loss. Many times items are no longer manufactured and replacement color, styles and selections do not match the non-damaged items remaining on the property. Restoration techniques are preferred when color, styles and selections become of concern to you the insured. The insurance representative and contractor will work diligently to resolve these concerns on a case by case basis.
The primary objectives at the order replacement materials is to:
Replace damaged materials like in kind and quality.
If an item is not located by the contractor like in kind and quality (approved by you prior to contractor purchase), the contractor will request that you sign a “product selection agreement”. This agreement states that if you the customer select a product and do not like the color or style once the product has been installed, you the insured will be responsible for changes at your expense.
Restoring a property is the opposite of renovation. Instead of updating, we’reinstalling-wood-floor-lg making the property like it was before. Remember that renovating a property means, quite literally, to make new again. Remodeling means to change the character of a property or a portion of a property. The contractor is required to restore, to bring back your property to a former, original, or a like state of existence and soundness. The period of restoration ends at the time when you are able to resume the use of your property as you had used it before.
The primary objectives at the restore your property is to:
Serve you and your needs efficiently and effectively. Simply be available and actively listen to your concerns and take appropriate action.
Demonstrate knowledge of the insurance industry, policies, claim handling, and construction practices.
Sustain an active and engaged understanding of you and your project.
Meet your expectation of delivery and do what is said and promised.
If your intention is to also do some renovating and/or remodeling, you are welcome to do so, but be advised that your insurance carrier will not make payments for these improvements. You are welcome to discuss with your contractor any additional improvements you might want to make on your property, each is handled on a case by case basis by your contractor and is in no way associated to your insurance claim. It is recommended that you and your contractor agree to a concise scope of work and document in a change order agreement.
The separation between good and great companies and people in general is fundamental. It’s a shift in how quality is recognized and then replicated. Although we conduct various quality inspections during the course of each job, our real benefit is in knowing that “quality comes not from just inspection but in fact from continuous improvement of processes“.
The primary objectives at the quality inspection of property is to:
Follow ISO (International Organization for Standards) Standards
Follow ISO 9000 – Quality management. The standards are based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. Using ISO 9001:2015 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many customer benefits.
ISO 26000 – Social responsibility. Recognizes business and organizations do not operate in a vacuum. Their relationship to the society and environment in which they operate is a critical factor in their ability to continue to operate effectively. It is also increasingly being used as a measure of their overall performance. This simply means acting in an ethical and transparent way that contributes to the health and welfare of society. ISO 26000:2010 helps clarify what social responsibility is, helps businesses and organizations translate principles into effective actions and shares best practices relating to social responsibility, globally. It is aimed at all types of organizations regardless of their activity, size or location.
It’s now time to deliver to you a property that has been restored to pre-loss condition. Yourhappy customer participation now is much less complicated. The contractor’s project manager will spend the time necessary to review your restoration project in detail with you onsite. Any discrepancies you might find in products or quality will be documented and corrected within three business days.
The primary objectives at the complete your claim is to:
Meet your expectation of delivery and do what is said and promised.
If corrections are required, the project manager will revisit the site with you to verify work is completed to your satisfaction.
Only after you are satisfied with your restoration, your project manager will ask that you complete the “certificate of substantial completion” and “customer survey”.
Contractor payment for services rendered.
If your original scope of work included a depreciation schedule, the insurance carrier will now issue payment. If you have elected to not replace an item(s) that was assigned a depreciation schedule, a note detailing the item(s) will be made on the “certificate of substantial completion” and you will in fact not receive a depreciation payment for those item(s) not replaced.