Storm | Water | Fire | Damage: Insurance Restoration Answers

Getting the Proper Insurance Claims Results

Murphy Bros. approach to insurance restoration is to be our clients’ liaison, working on behalf of the homeowner to complete a fair claim. Many construction companies that specialize in just insurance restoration often have loyalties to insurance companies and their primary concern is to protect that relationship with the insurance company to ensure future work. We do not. In fact, Murphy Bros. primary commitment is to our clients, the homeowners. Insurance companies, like all companies, are in business to make a profit and are interested in completing a claim quickly by doing the least required work at the lowest possible cost.

Your insurance policy is a legal contract between you and your insurance company. Typically the insurer agrees to provide repairs needed to restore your property into the same or better condition then it was in prior to the event that caused the loss. Murphy Bros. can help you with the process of assessing, defining and completing the needed repairs to your home done right with quality craftsmanship and materials.


We have found, on average, most insurance companies underestimate by 20-40% what is needed to get the job done right. We understand how they work and what the building industry has set for best practices. We actually use the same estimating software the insurance companies use too, so it is not unusual for us to get significantly more for our clients. And of course, because we've been in business for more than three decades, you can trust we'll be around should there ever be any warranty issues with materials or labor.

  1. We begin with an insurance authorization agreement, approved by the homeowner, which authorizes Murphy Bros. to do the repairs contingent on coming to agreement with the insurance company as to the scope and pricing to complete the project.
  2. The homeowner gives us the deductible as a retainer for the work we will do to create an accurate scope of work and materials list budget.
  3. If for some reason we cannot come to an agreement (this is very rare) with the insurance company on the project cost, we then return the deductible to the homeowner. THEIR MONETARY RISK IS ZERO. We actually carry most of the risk, but because we have been doing this successfully for more than three decades we see that risk as being fairly low.
  4. If the agreement is acceptable, then we schedule and perform the work with all care and speed available.



Fire damage resulted in a whole house renovation—see http://mbros.com/projects/bathrooms


The Insurance Claim Game Explained

Home disasters are the most difficult to deal with for both homeowners and the firms they hire to fix the damage. Emotions can run high and expectations for quick and decisive action are common and often unrealistic. That is why we have noted the 7 most common questions and answers that explain what we like to call the Insurance Claim Game.



Some Insurance adjusters are hopeful that you will go to work for them to shop multiple contractors in order to get a “bid” that will save the insurance company money. If your loss requires several different trades such as roofing, painting and carpentry, they are also hopeful that you will take on the role of General Contractor and save them having to pay the Profit and Overhead that they are only obligated to pay to a licensed and insured company who will manage and warrant your entire project.


Straight-line wind damage to roofs

Why would an insurance company overpay a claim? In fact they rarely do and never on purpose, but they will pay the fair market price to a qualified company who knows how to assess and present a complete and fair scope of work. Murphy Bros. uses software and a price data- base that is widely accepted by the insurance industry and is used by many insurance companies and adjustors as a basis to determine a fair settlement.


There are no secrets as to what establishes the market costs of repairs to your home or business. Typical items that do cause variance in settlement amounts are:

  1. Determining the proper scope of work to satisfactorily repair the damage.
    • What constitutes damage enough to be covered?
    • Is a partial replacement adequate or is it necessary to replace the entire amount?
    • What related items are impacted by fixing the damaged item(s)
  2. Making sure that the scope of work is thorough in not only covering the big items such as “shingle’s, gutters and siding” but are the related items such as plumbing jacks, dormer flashing and steep roof charges are also covered.
  3. Making sure the quantities are correct and adequate. How many feet of roof edge is the right amount? Does the shingle count allow for waste?



You can!! You may or may not save any money but is possible to do with time and determination.

  • First, you need to find the right 3 or 4 subcontractors (i.e. roofing, siding, painting, carpentry, etc.) and you get to meet many interesting people as you will typically interview several “subs” for each trade component.
  • Next, after you found the “right” people to be on your team, you soon discover if they work well together and agree on what everyone is supposed to do. Then you hope that you can schedule them when you need them (even though most of them are loyal to the people who give them regular work, they really do care).
  • As payments come due, you should then inspect their work for quality and completeness but you probably don’t have to worry about that because you wouldn’t have hired the someone you didn’t trust anyway.
  • Also you are probably handy enough to do the few small things that were not part of the hired subs responsibilities. “Does anyone have a pressure washer and a 36 foot ladder that I can borrow?"
  • Lastly, since you found the “perfect” subs you won’t ever have to worry about a warrantable situation. If in the unlikely situation that you should develop a leak a year or two down the road, it is interesting to find out that the roofer is POSITIVE the siding installer put the house wrap behind the wall tins and the siding installer is SURE that the underlayment was not run up the wall properly. At least you can go to the General Contractor to make sure it gets taken care of.


There are several reasons why many people find that working with one company who can provide you a complete home restoration service is of importance. People who have tried have often encountered some of the following:

  1. Finding good subcontractors is not always easy. There are many “nice people” who try to be in the trades that are not always good or honest. Most Restoration Companies have a history of experience of the people they work with and even then it can be challenging to schedule and coordinate them. Understanding and acquiring the proper legal documents is also part of the process Murphy Bros. is accustomed to.
  2. Funds left on the table. Typically Insurance claims have a provision to pay for Overhead and Profit, “O&P”, as this is what covers the time expense for liability and workers compensation insurance, scheduling, permitting, managing and warranting your project. Being you do not actually have those expenses as a “do it yourself” contractor, they are not required to pay them to you.
  3. Quality Control. A good Restoration Company will have a Project Manager who oversees and inspects each job to make sure that it is specified correctly and completed as specified. This is the person who knows as much or more than the people who are doing the work to make sure there are no short cuts taken.
  4. Warranty. A company that has been in business for many years has the best chance of having the experience to know proper installation procedures that will not void product warranties. It is also most likely to be around to provide a warranty should such a need arise.


There is a direct relationship of low bids and high-risk company’s and a reason that 3 out of 5 small construction businesses fail in the first 5 years. Typical reasons being:

  1. The business is new and the owner is likely a tradesman trying to start a new business and does not have the experience to know all the costs that he needs to plan for that will allow him to stay in business.
  2. The company is a “one man band” who works out of his truck, has “no overhead”, and likely no ability to war- rant the work if something goes wrong, if you can find them again.
  3. The company is desperate to get some quick jobs because they are in financial trouble and need some cash flow to pay the bills on the last 3 jobs that were completed a month ago (or worse yet – not completed).
  4. The work is being sold and completed by an out of town company that is paying a small local contractor a fee to use his name and license till the easy work is completed and then they are gone. Usually leaving the local contractor exposed beyond their ability to warrant those jobs.


Design/build consultant Jeff Robinson and project manager Jamie Rosenlund problem solving water damage restoration with client


There are a many good companies to work with but few simple things to remember when choosing a company to work on your home for insurance restoration or any type of home remodeling project.

  1. Confirm they hold a current Minnesota Building Contractors License.(Murphy Bros. #3416) MN Contractor License look up
  2. Check that they have current insurance policies for both General Liability and Workers Compensation. (you and your insurance company may be on the hook if they are not properly insured)
  3. Verify that they have been in business for at least 5 years, preferably 10 with the same license number
  4. Make sure that they can provide a long list of references of past clients whom you can call to verify their claims.
  5. Ensure that they are able to do the full scope of your repairs so that your project is warranted as a system and not as an assortment of warranties on various components
  6. Check the BBB or other reference sources to make sure that they have an acceptable record of service and length of service. We were recently awarded the 25 year member badge with the BBB. Murphy Bros. BBB Listing
  7. For added assurance, check to see if, like us, they are ShingleMaster™ certified, and/or have earned the Shingle Quality Specialist certification from CertainTeed.




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Call (763) 780-3262 or talk with a professional remodeler about your project.

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