Once you have made an insurance claim for property damage to your home or business, the insurance company may suggest one or more “preferred contractors” to you to prepare an estimate for the work. A “Preferred Contractor” is a contractor that has an ongoing relationship with your insurance company. This sometimes means that the preferred contractor’s estimate to repair the damage will be lower than the real value of your claim.
A preferred contractor cannot negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf (like a public adjuster can). Furthermore, the preferred contractor has a vested interest in continuing its business relationship with the insurance company, so your insurance company has more control over what the contractor’s estimate looks like and how much you will receive to have the work performed.
Don’t think that your claims process will go more smoothly just because you use the “preferred contractor”, because you may not receive all the funds you’re entitled to and need in order to make you whole again after your home or business has suffered damage. More importantly, keep in mind that just because your insurance company recommends a contractor does not mean that your insurance company guarantees or backs their workmanship!
Bottomline: You do not need to use your insurance company's preferred contractor.
A public adjuster serves only you as the policy holder and is not beholden to your insurance company. Your public adjuster represents your interests alone, and can prepare estimates and recommend contractors that will maximize your claim and ensure that your home or business is restored completely after you have suffered storm damage.
It’s important to remember that your insurance company’s preferred contractors are not public adjusters and can’t negotiate on your behalf.