A fire in your home or kitchen can cause a great deal of damage to the property and personal belongings. After the fire crew has given authorization that it’s safe to go back in your building, the recovery process starts. It is very important to know what steps to take first and what your rights are. Unfortunately, with severe catastrophes that we are having, and the financial strain it has put on insurance company reserves, some insurance carriers have chosen to take short cuts and not fully abide by insurance code of regulations. One code that frequently gets violated is California code 2695.9
There are several sections under this code, but one that clearly affects homeowners from the beginning of a claim states, “No insurer shall require that the insured have the property repaired by a specific individual or entity”. That statement simply means when you call to file your claim, your insurance company can’t push a restoration vendor to clean and mitigate the damages. Your insurance carrier must ask if you have a vendor in mind or not, only after your response and request they can offer the names of their preferred vendors. Unfortunately, majority of the homeowners do not know their rights, and accept the vendor that their carrier sends. This translates into improper mitigation techniques which in return results into smaller claims for the carrier to pay out.