You’ve just been involved in an auto accident. The most important thing is your safety. If you are injured , please call for emergency help right away. Here are some additional steps to help you file a claim on your auto insurance:
- Call for emergency assistance if needed.
- Once all parties are safe it’s helpful to take pictures of the damage and exchange insurance and driver information.
- Next call your agent whether you are at fault or not
- Follow the directions your agent gives you to provide all documentation related to the accident and file your claim. You may need a police report.
- Keep copies of all your documentation and bills related to the accident. Jot down detailed notes following conversations about the accident. You need to know who you spoke with and what they said, at what date and time, and how to contact the person.
- Find out from your agent:
- Time limitations for filing your claims and submitting bills.
- Time limitations for resolving claim disputes.
- When you can expect the insurance company to contact you.
- Whether you need estimates for the damages.
- Whether your policy covers a rental car while your car is being repaired and how much it covers.
Next we will cover the steps to take to file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance:
- Report any crime to the police if its due to a burglary or a theft
- Phone your insurance professional immediately
- Have the insurance adjuster inspect the damage
- Make any temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or items in it
- Prepare a list of lost or damaged articles
- If you need to relocate, save your receipts, some of those costs may be reimbursed
We hope this has helped you navigate the claims’ process and answered any of the questions you may have had. If we can be of further help, feel free to give us a call here at Sentinel Assurance at 651-237-5180.
It’s that time of year! Spring cleaning and warmer temps call for those updates you dreamed of for your home. If you are hiring a contractor to perform work on your home or property, it is essential to hire a contractor who is both licensed and bonded. When you hire an unlicensed contractor, you are taking significant risks, including that you will be subject to a lawsuit, as well as the potential that any implied warranties afforded by state law will be void.
While the laws for a contractor’s license differs by state, in most cases, a license is required to do any type of skilled labor on another person’s home or property. For instance, an electrician, a plumber, or a drywaller may be required to have a license. Someone performing a variety of tasks may need to obtain a general contractor’s license. The state may impose specific requirements such as minimum education or work experience to obtain a license. The state may also require that the contractor take an examination with different levels of licensing for the right to do different size jobs. In addition, the state may require that the contractor has an active worker’s compensation insurance policy for a license to be issued. In many states, being bonded is also a prerequisite to obtaining a license.
Being bonded is different from being licensed, although the two are sometimes related. When a contractor is bonded, this means he has purchased a surety bond. This is a type of insurance policy that protects a property owner. The bond provides a certain amount of liability protection and if the contractor fails to complete a job as required or contracted, the bond can provide compensation to a property owner.
Typically, for a bond to pay out to a homeowner, the property owner must first win a claim with the state contractor’s board by proving that the contractor failed to perform the required work. The homeowner may also be required to attempt to collect money from the contractor before making a claim against the bond. Whether the bond will be sufficient to pay the claim depends on the size of the bond that the contractor had, and on whether there are other claims against it. The Oregon Construction Contractors Board (CCB) warns customers that the bonds required in Oregon may only provide a limited amount of financial security to property owners because the bonds required are often small compared to the volume of work performed by contractors. However, this may differ in your state and your contractor may sometimes buy a larger bond than is required by law. To determine the amount of protection available to you by hiring a bonded contractor, it is best to speak with a lawyer prior to entering into a construction agreement.
There are important reasons to hire a bonded and licensed contractor. First, since the unlicensed contractor is usually breaking the law by working without a license, there’s a good chance he is also not complying with other laws including permit requirements and inspection requirements. This can result in your project not being up to code, and necessitating repairs or removals if your home is inspected or before your property is sold. Second, it can be much harder to determine if an unlicensed contractor will provide you with quality workmanship since the contractor has not submitted to any examination or review of his knowledge by a licensing board.
Aside from the increased possibility of receiving poor workmanship when you hire an unlicensed contractor, you may also be giving up your right to make warranty claims. While most states impose implied warranties on contractors for bad workmanship, these implied warranty laws often require that the contractor be licensed in order to apply. Furthermore, your state contractor board will not typically help you to make a warranty claim against an unlicensed contractor. So if you are trying to recover at all, you will need to go to civil court. Even if you win in civil court, without a bond, there’s a good chance the unlicensed contractor will not be able to pay your damages.
Another important consideration when hiring an unlicensed contractor is that you could be subject to liability. While the licensed contractor is usually required to have worker’s compensation insurance, someone unlicensed may have no protection from injury at all. If the unlicensed contractor harms himself on your property, you could be subject to a lawsuit and responsible for paying his damages.
Hopefully we’ve equipped you with some information to help you make good choices when hiring a contractor. Once again, Sentinel Assurance is here to help, let us know if you need a quote or to review your current coverage.