Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Super Heroes in Western Nebraska
Ahhhhhh, the glorious life of a (heroic) insurance agent in western Nebraska!
As an insurance agent, storm season can be nerve racking and stressful but it’s nothing that a little bit (or a LOT) of chocolate and caffeine can’t take care of! Actually, I really do LOVE being an insurance agent, even when there are hail storms. Although slightly exaggerated, sometimes I do feel like a superhero because I am able to help people rebuild their lives after they are destroyed. That is an awesome thing!
If you have experienced damage from a recent storm, make any needed temporary repairs to prevent further damage and review the recommendations below provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with respect to hiring contractors after a natural disaster:
-- Use local contractors first. If you were satisfied with past work done by local licensed contractors, try them first. If they cannot help you, ask for recommendations. If you must hire a contractor you don’t know, talk to several of them before signing anything.
-- Ask for references. Contractors should be willing to provide names of previous customers. Contact some of those customers and ask if they would hire the contractor again.
-- Ask for a written estimate. Make sure it includes everything you expect the contractor to do. Also, find out up-front if the contractor will charge a fee for that estimate.
-- Ask for proof of insurance. Be sure the contractor has disability and workers’ compensation insurance. If not, you may be liable for accidents on your property.
-- Get a written contract. The contract should clearly state all work, costs and the payment schedule. Never sign a blank contract or one with blank spaces. It may also be worthwhile to have an attorney look at the contract before signing it.
-- Ask for guarantees in writing (if separate from the contract). If the contractor provides guarantees, he/she should clearly state what is covered by that guarantee, who is responsible for fulfilling the guarantee (dealer, contractor or manufacturer), and how long the guarantee is valid.
-- Get a copy of the final, signed contract. Read it over carefully before signing. Once signed, the contract is binding on both you and the contractor.
-- Do not sign off before the job is finished. Make sure the work is done to your satisfaction before signing completion papers or making a final payment. A reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign if the job is not finished properly.
If you have other questions or need assistance with your claim, call our agency at 308-436-4202 or visit our website http://www.insurance-by-katie.com/. (And don’t forget that your friendly, neighborhood agent gladly accepts all forms of chocolate!)
Posted by Katie Kochenower - Insurance by Katie