In the days following a house fire, there are a lot of different people who show up. It can be confusing to know what these people are there for and what they can offer you. When selecting one of these vendors it is important to check references and reviews as well as verify proper licensing.

Contact us for a list of local vendors in your area with 5 star ratings

Why you do NOT get multiple estimates
It is common to think that you should obtain three estimates to determine that value of your loss. But this is NOT correct for a house fire. Every estimate that you obtain and submit to your carrier is sanctioned by you the homeowner as being sufficiently complete and priced out correctly.


The carrier is required to provide you with what they believe to be the value of the loss. At that point they will provide you with a check that is considered to be the undisputed amount. Once you obtain your Insurance carriers scope you should contact your contractor to have them perform an analysis of the scope to determine what mistakes the Insurance carrier has made.

Normally the Insurance carriers scope will be incorrect. They will normally include repairing items that should be replaced. What you don’t know can be devastating to your claim.

Contact us for Contractors with 50+ years experience to evaluate your loss.

Make a decision to make a decision
It is very common for homeowners to experience an enormous amount of stress after the fire. You are approached my multiple vendors that want to assist you with your loss. It can become overwhelming. It is extremely important that you make a decision. It might seem easier to default to the Insurance carriers vendors and let them handle it.

This is NOT always the best option.

By defaulting to Insurance you are making a decision. So make a decision as to who will help you with your loss. Again, it is important that you check references, ratings and licenses before making any commitments to these vendors.

Understanding the role of the Insurance Preferred Vendor
When policyholders suffer a property loss you will hear the following form your insurance adjuster. “We (the insurer) have a Preferred Vendors list of contractors & restoration companies you can choose form, all of which have been vetted for quality and reliability.

You can also chose your own contractor to perform the repair work, however if you chose one of our preferred vendors we (the insurer) will guarantee the work and arrange repairs if the work is not completed properly. “

The Preferred Vendor list is a money saving tool for insurers. Contractors that participate in the preferred vendors programs agree to complete the scope of repair work approved by the insurer at the price determined by the insurer. Therefore the insurer achieves its goal to pay less and the contractor achieve its goal of continuous work and income.

Contact us for a list of vendors we trust. We have worked with these vendors in the past and trust you will have a good experience with them.

Understanding Xactimate Pricing

Xactimate is a computer software system for estimating construction costs that has become widely used by insurance companies in the past decade. Insurance adjusters use it to calculate building damage, repair and rebuilding costs.

Adjusters use Xactimate to generate loss estimates and claim settlement offers. This generic software is best suited to tract homes. If your property is custom-built, historic, or located in a high value area,

Xactimate pricing will likely NOT be sufficient to reimburse your for the actual cost of repairing and replacing your specific home. Underestimating on material costs and lowballing resulting from the improper use of Xactimate has caused many claim disputes and lawsuits between the insured and insurer.

Contractors and builders that are not insurance preferred vendors do not solely rely on Xactimate pricing. They base their cost estimates on sub-contractor bids and their general knowledge about the cost and time involved in a potential job. If you select a contractor that has no knowledge of Xcatimate to participate in settlement discussions with you and the insurance company’s adjuster, he or she may be at a disadvantage.

If your contractor is unfamiliar with Xactimate you will want to consult with a Xactimate writer to assist with an analysis of the Xactimate scope that is provided by your insurance carrier adjuster.

 A competent contractor will supplement and Xactimate estimate with bids from subcontractors. This makes it easier to add in a comment in a specific area that explains or details any additional increase in cost. It may be important to explain why the costs are higher by pointing out the uniqueness of a building component.

Xactimate estimates look impressive because they are so well organized, professional looking and lengthy, but they are often inaccurate. A computer cannot replace the knowledge of a local, experienced construction professional as to the materials, time and labor costs associated with a job.

Contact the Catastrophe Assistance Team for a Xactimate Writer referral