Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I file an insurance claim for storm damage?
Once the Maxim Building Services inspection is complete, and if storm damage is found, Maxim Building will then move forward and raise your claim for you.
This can be done a couple of ways.
a) A Three-Way call with Maxim, Insurer & the owner on the line. The owner confirms they wish Maxim Building will be the main contact to facilitate a fair outcome for all your repairs.
b) Letter Of Authorisation lodged on line or sometimes both
Then we file a claim for the storm damage that occurred to your property and the date of storm or catastrophic event. We will forward your claim number to you and keep you updated during the process.
2. Will filing a claim cost me money?
No. Maxim Building is offering a Free Service to file the claim on your behalf. The Insurance Company is paying for your restoration due to storm damage. The only cost to you is your excess (see 8.). At settlement the insurance company will deduct the excess and forward the agreed amount into your account.
3. Will filing a claim raise my individual insurance rates or drop me from coverage?
Yes and No. A claim filed as a result of hail, wind and/lightening is likely to be considered an “act of God” claim.
That is to say, there was no way you could have prevented the damages to your property. Insurance companies cannot raise your individual rates as a result of such a claim. Premium increases are based across a whole region, city or state of thousands of claims being filed for the same storm or catastrophic event, not individually, premiums can also go up yearly.
4. What if my Insurance Company sends out a “preferred contractor” versus an insurance Assessor to review the scope of my damage?
Your Insurance Company will either schedule a time for an Insurance Assessor or another Building Contractor to come out and inspect and assess your damage. The Assessor will call you to schedule a time that works for you. It is important you schedule a specific time to meet this Assessor. If possible, take down the assessor’s name and contact number. While some Builders and Assessors work for the Insurance Company, Maxim Building Services work directly for the property owner. We don’t take short cuts, nor are we provided bonuses for less work, from the Insurance Company, by trying to keep the amount of the claim low. Our goal is to ensure all claimable storm damage related repairs are repaired through this process.
5. What if my Assessor of building contractor estimate is lower than the Maxim Building initial estimate? Do I have to use the contractor sent by the Insurance Company?
No you do not. If you have already decided on using Maxim Building Services as your preferred builder please inform your Insurance Company’s Claims Manager and / Assessor of your decision.
You have the right to choose a Preferred Builder.
Prior to any settlement it is most important that Maxim Building receives your insurance companies Panel Builders Scope of Works. Their Scope of Works is then checked by your Claims manager to ensure all damages have been covered on your property, It is normal to go back and forth two or three times until all Scope Of Works line up with your sustained damages. For example, if the Insurance Company send out a builder who forgot to include gutters, proper roof components, safety equipment and some damaged windows in their estimate, naturally their assessment would be lower. It is important to get a copy of this Scope of Work so that a proper comparison is made. It items that were estimated by Maxim Building Services were not included in the Insurance Company’s assessment, then the property owner must request a variance for those items to be included.
If reasonable and fair market pricing is provided by the Insurance Company’s assessment and the Scope of Work is identical, Maxim Building Services will adjust initial estimates to match the dollar amount being issued by the Insurance Company, which then allows us to live up to our guarantee of completing all properly scoped work for the insured.(except in some cases, the excess amount).
6. What if my Insurance Company or one of their preferred contractors tries to pressure me into a contract when I feel a proper assessment has not been done, or interfere with my choice of contractor to complete the work?
Again, you have the choice of using Maxim Building Services as your preferred Builder to have all work done at a fair market price. Having a contractor (Maxim Building Services) on your side to ensure your interests, not the Insurance Company’s, are protected is essential. This is precisely the reason you need Maxim Building Services. Firstly, call the Claims Manager and file a complaint with a Supervisor and/ Manager at the Insurance Company. Tape the call. If nothing is resolved within 5 business days, contact your local Ombudsmen (Financial Ombudsmen Service 1300 78 08 08) online and fill out a complaint. You can also call them for advice. We also assist with this process.
7. How do I request an allowed amount settlement to begin repairs with Maxim Building Services as my preferred builder?
Before accepting any settlement from the Insurance Company, stop and advise your Maxim Building Services Project Manager so we make sure all your claimable damages have been allowed for. Payment amounts for the various stages of the repair will be discussed with you. Also you can request cheques made payable to Maxim Building Trading as Maxim Building Services. Each of these cheques is retained by you, the home owner until the particular stage of the job is complete. After completion you can mail the cheque to Maxim Building Services or directly deposit it to our bank account after you are satisfied with the quality and service. Should the Insurance Company refuse to issue cheques in this way, contact your Maxim Building Services Project Manager or alternatively you can authorise settlement of the claim and send the Insurance company your banking details.
8. Will I have to pay my excess?
Maxim Building services will absorb the excess cost depending on the total settlement amount to your excess dollar value.
Perhaps, the insurance company is obligated to pay a fair market rate for the damages to your home less the amount of your excess. If you choose to have all the damages your Insurance Company assess as claimable repaired, you may have to pay your excess. You may choose to use funds assigned to a less important part of the restoration to pay the excess (the work you are opting to shift funds from would obviously then not be done) thus eliminating your out-of-pocket expense.
9. What if my Insurer asks me to pay my excess at the time I file my claim?
There is no reason you should have to pay your excess before the claim is assessed by the Insurer. Simply indicate that you would prefer to pay your excess once your claim has been assessed and that you will pay the excess directly to the Contractor you have chosen to conduct the work.
10. What happens if my insurance company approves a dollar amount less than the Maxim Building Services estimate?
You should not worry about significant out-of-pocket expense. The contract between you and Maxim Building Services guarantees you that we will complete the approved repairs at the insurance approved price and in return, you have committed to using Maxim Building Services. Our estimate is based on the current fair market pricing. The Insurance Company utilizes a network of contractors who may be incentivised to reduce the amount of you claim. It may be necessary for Maxim Building Services to address insufficiencies in the estimate prepared by your Insurance Company’s contractor, but this is common. Regardless, you will never be asked to pay more than the Insurance Company pays for the approved Scope of Work, plus your excess(see 8.)
11. What happens if the Insurance Company does not cover me for all the damages assessed by Maxim Building Services?
We are committed to working on your behalf. If your Insurance Company does not cover damages that Maxim Building Services feel are justified, you are not out of options. Maxim Building will forward supporting photos and data to your provider and work towards having them included in the Scope Of Works Having a contractor on your side to ensure your interests are protected is essential in protecting yourself as a property owner.
12. What should I do if the Insurance Company is taking an excessively long time to settle my claim?
This can be common depending on the provider. It is in the Insurance Company’s responsibility to act fairly and to keep the claim moving. The damages to your home may be more serious every day that passes from the date they were incurred. Your Insurer is obligated to assess and pay for the damages to your home in a timely fashion. During some large Storm events nationally, insurance companies can be inundated with claims and this can increase the time for settlement. This often delays a claim if it has been more than 30 days since the date you reported your claim, you should call your Claims Manager and ask they settle your claim immediately. If your request is unsuccessful, you may register a formal complaint with the Financial Ombudsman. A complaint can be lodged by visiting their website: www.fos.org.au (resolving disputes tab) email: email@example.com or phone: 1300 78 08 08.
13. How long will the repairs take?
Our standard turnaround for repairs to be completed from start date is 1 – 2 weeks which allows for re-installation of items after the roof is completed such as solar panels / hot water systems.
14. What is a lifetime warranty?
A lifetime warranty covers the life of the products. The standard warranties are: 6.5 year structural, 12-36 year for Colourbond and 15 years for Ultra.