The Questions You Ask The Most
Your contract (policy) with your insurance carrier states that the first amount to be paid on any claim is your responsibility. This is known as their deductible and must come directly from the you. Any settlement from an insurer on any claim will be for the loss amount less this deductible
The first payment from the insurance company on any claim is for the “actual cash value” of the loss. Items damaged in the loss are valued at their worth at the time of the loss (age, condition, etc) and this payment will reflect that value. Once replacement or repairs have been made, and proof has been submitted to the insurer (photos, a completion certificate signed by the client and their contractor, a final invoice from contractor, or a combination of all of these), the insurer will send a second check for up to the full amount of the loss less deductible. It is your responsibility to pay the remaining cost to their contractor for the full amount of the restoration, plus any upgrades or items not included in the insurance settlement.
Claims can take as little as a few days to receive the first check, however the second check is only released upon completion of restoration. Also, if there are any discrepancies noticed by your contractor a supplemental estimate with photos will be required by the insurance company for consideration. This is subjective to the limits of the policy and can extend the claims process timeline considerably. The Texas Department of Insurance has set time limits on responses by insurers as well, therefore response times are much quicker than in the past.
Many times, a client asks “do I have to complete all repairs listed on my estimate”? The short answer is no, but the insurance company will not release the depreciation on items not replaced/repaired. Further, they will exclude from payment any items claimed on subsequent claims which were never restored. They will however still pay the depreciation if restoration is made within the timeframe listed in the policy. It is always best to complete all repairs as estimated for your claim.