Experiencing a house fire, water damage, or discovering mold can be stressful. Not knowing what protection your insurance provides may compound that stress and can be costly. While some basics are generally consistent, policies differ by company and coverage purchased. Educating yourself before a loss occurs can make the process easier and can help return things to normal – sooner rather than later.
When initiating an insurance claim, it is important to note that insurance providers use a national estimating program to determine the suggested costs and end-pricing associated with damage, mitigation, construction and the repair claim process. Insurance companies use regional demographic data and median contractor repair and replacement costs to make these pricing determinations. Unique to Teton County, there is no pricing model available for local insurance providers to use. This creates challenges for some local insurance adjusters. Insurance adjusters are directed by company policy to use the closest geographic pricing model available in the state in which loss occurs – which in the case of Teton County Wyoming is Cody, Wyoming.
As those of us that live here know, the cost of owning and maintaining a home and hiring services in Jackson Hole is far higher than in other Wyoming communities – or most other places for that matter! Our desirability of place, remote location, limited experienced workforce, and high cost of housing combine to create significantly higher costs for construction services, labor and materials. The team at Blue Sky has worked with many insurance providers over the years. Some adjusters are aware of this unique discrepancy and take steps to account for the cost differences. However, there is no way to predict who the adjuster will be. And, at times it can be a difficult process to receive the true required value for covering the costs of restoring your property back to like-kind and quality. Blue Sky recommends that you be prepared to discuss this important topic with your assigned adjuster. Clear, timely communication with your contractor and adjuster can help the process go smoothly from the outset.
Blue Sky Services & Restoration is the professional team to begin your restoration and recovery. Our team understands the unique nature of insurance claims in our mountain region and has the ability to support you throughout the process.
- As an owner of a home or business, thorough research of insurance coverage is very important.
- Flooding (rising ground water) is excluded by most home owner policies.
- Additional coverage for flooding may be available through some carriers.
- Water damage and flooding are separate losses. Water damage is generally covered – flooding is not.
- Mold may be excluded or “capped” by some homeowner policies.
- Some companies include coverage for mold mitigation.
- Sewage backups are either excluded or “capped” by some homeowner policies.
- “Capped” means your coverage is limited to a specific dollar amount.
- All homeowner policies carry a deductible.
- Purchasing a policy with a higher deductible lowers your premium, and it is wise to consider a deductible that will not be a strain on your finances if you need to make a claim.
- Your policy should be reviewed every year.
- Past claims history for your property may impact the cost of coverage.
- If you rent, you should still have renter’s insurance to protect your belongings or to cover structural damage caused by your property.
- The insurance company cannot legally tell you which contractor or restoration professional to use.
- The use of local, reputable service providers is often your best option for quality results.
- The discovery of rot or rust may affect your coverage of water damage; it is important to have a professional evaluation if pre-existing conditions are present to help determine this.
- The source (i.e. plumbing/ roof/ etc.) of your damage may or may not be covered by your insurance.
- Catastrophes (tornado, hurricane, wind) are generally covered by a standard policy.
- Earthquakes are typically not offered in a homeowner’s policy. It requires a separate policy.
- Neglect is not covered by insurance.
- Upgrades required due to local building code are not always covered and may cost thousands out of pocket if code coverage is not included in your policy.
- When a loss occurs, the number one mistake is not calling a restoration professional (like Blue Sky) soon enough. Damage can spread quickly and cost may increase substantially the longer you wait.