When your home or business has been damaged, it can be hard to know who to trust for the insurance repairs: with so many companies competing for business, an overload of information, and an abundance of cowboy builders, how can you tell who will do the best job?
We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll give you 8 things to look out for when choosing property insurance repair specialists (and explain why Sarrani ticks every box).
1) Are they established, accredited, and insured?
It sounds obvious, but you’ll need access to qualified and vetted professionals, specifically experienced in property insurance repairs – not general construction - to restore your home or business premises after it’s been damaged. If the contractors don’t fully understand the work involved, you could be left in an even worse position than you started, with further problems appearing down the line and the insurers refusing to pay out to correct issues caused by poor workmanship.
Check that your chosen insurance repairs company has accreditations from reputable bodies such as the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS) and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), and they’re fully insured to cover all the work they carry out.
Sarrani is owned and managed by seasoned property professionals who have been successfully refurbishing and repairing properties for over 17 years. We have comprehensive insurance cover for construction and design, hold CHAS and FMB accreditations, and have a network of trusted and vetted contractors across the UK ready to help with any emergency.
2) Do they have all the right skills for the job?
It’s extremely likely that the complexity of damage to your property will require a number of different professionals to complete the insurance repairs correctly.
For example, after a fire you’ll not only need experts in fire damage and restoration, but also soot and smoke decontamination, structural engineers and architects, as well as someone experienced in insurance claim reporting.
By instructing Sarrani to help, you will have access to our vast network of heavily vetted contractors and partners, containing some of the most highly skilled experts in the industry. You will also be appointed a dedicated project manager to coordinate the work from end-to-end, taking the stress from your shoulders.
3) Do they have evidence of good work?
In the age of the internet, you wouldn’t make a big purchase without first doing your research to see what others thought of the product or service you were thinking of buying, so why should property insurance repairs be any different?
Having great client testimonials is an excellent way to know whether you can trust a company to reinstate your home to a high standard.
Look out for something like this:
Or even this:
Before-and-after shots are also a useful tool for seeing the standard of work for yourself. We have a dedicated and frequently updated webpage to showcase the kind of work we do; we are proud of the high standards we’ve achieved and want to share them with future clients. Don’t trust anyone who can’t demonstrate their standards with evidence!
4) Do they guarantee their work?
You’ve seen the accreditations, the photographs, and the testimonials, but what about the aftercare? It’s all well and good to have a beautiful picture from the day the job was completed, but how does it hold up 6 months down the line? If they’re not prepared to guarantee their work, be suspicious – that could mean they’re cutting corners and you’ll be calling someone else out to fix their bodge job within a year.
At Sarrani, we guarantee all our work for 12 months, so you can feel confident that the job has been done properly.
5) Do they have a fast response time?
The steps taken in the first 48 hours after damage occurs are vital to minimise the loss and the time taken to restore your home or business premises. Other insurance repairs companies might have all the accreditations, reviews, and guarantees under the sun, but if they can’t get to you for another week then there’s little chance they will be able to reinstate the building effectively.
If response is slow, your property will continue to deteriorate, and while you’re stuck in temporary accommodation or unable to continue trading, the cost of your insurance claim and the associated repair works will be steadily increasing.
At Sarrani, we aim to be on-site within 24 hours – no matter where you are – to give us the best chance of getting your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible.
Even after the initial emergency period, we still aim to respond to all project-related emails and calls within a maximum of 2 working hours.
6) Are they a franchise?
As you've probably seen by now, a lot of companies like us are franchises. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but there are some downsides to consider – the first being that as a franchise holder, there are fees to pay which means less money in the budget for your property insurance repairs.
Sarrani’s founder has had first-hand experience as a franchisee for a large property insurance claim-handling organisation, and she took away many lessons of how NOT to run a company effectively. She quickly saw that the franchisees were expected to wear too many hats – acting as loss assessor, surveyor, project manager and site supervisor, severely over-stretching their time and making it difficult to give clients the attention they deserved. Unfortunately, this is a common model for franchise firms and doesn’t bode well for their service levels.
Furthermore, as a franchise network grows, it isn’t unusual to find that the quality of work can be vastly different from one franchisee to another. In other words, it can be pot luck whether the representative dealing with your project is up to the job. You may also find there is no contingency plan in place to handle your project if your appointed representative is unavailable for any length of time.
At Sarrani, we recognise that different roles require different skills. If you ask us to manage your property insurance repairs, our highly efficient project managers will coordinate a team of experts with the right experience and capabilities to complete every aspect of the work. Our robust project management system and culture of excellent communication mean we can consistently provide an uninterrupted, unsurpassed level of service.
7) How much do they cost?
You’ve no doubt heard the saying: “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. There are valid reasons why some companies charge more than others: competitive salaries to attract the best staff, expensive offices in prime real estate to signal legitimacy, the cost of high-quality materials – but there is another way for you to access a premium service without it costing you a fortune.
At Sarrani, we take our payment from your insurer, meaning that as long as the work is covered by your policy, there is no cost to you other than your excess.
Our innovative, independent, lean business model means we won’t over-inflate your premium: we keep our overheads low so we can do your job for a fair price.
8) Do they treat your property with respect?
Stomping through your living room in their work boots, turning up late, waiting days for a call back are the tropes of your average construction company. Yes, we all expect a level of efficiency and professionalism, but what about empathy and respect?
If your home or business has been damaged by a flood, a fire, or anything else, it is inconvenient at best, and traumatic at worst. As you are picking through the remnants of your child’s first toys or treasured photographs of late relatives, the last thing you want to deal with is rude or lazy contractors. It’s stressful and completely unnecessary.
So how do you know who’ll make your property insurance repairs as painless as possible?
Well, for starters, that’s our motto.
It all begins with our 3-step process:
1. Plan—The first step is a visit to your property. One of our experienced surveyors will check your requirements, then draw up a comprehensive specification of repair works for you and your insurance company, leaving no stone unturned. Our site managers are no strangers to complex insurance repairs, and will ensure every inch of damage is identified and appropriately dealt with to ensure no further problems down the line.
2. Co-ordinate— We assemble a team of vetted and accredited contractors who share our values and ethos. They will use their expertise to efficiently and professionally undertake the task at hand, with minimal disruption and maximum results. All our contractors are bound by the strict terms of our service level agreement, and we regularly carry out audits to verify the high standards that we require are always being met.
3. Manage— Your dedicated project manager will work tirelessly to keep your stress to a minimum by handling everything they can on your behalf, guiding you through the work process and quickly addressing any concerns you may have. They will assist with design choices, sourcing materials, and be a single point of contact between you and the team.
If your property has suffered damage and you need to claim on your insurance, contact Sarrani today at email@example.com or call us on 020 3006 3126 to find out how we can help.