It is so important to make sure insurance funds are escrowed. Over the years we have assisted many of our clients by escrowing their construction and remediation funds, and have found that it protects both the homeowner and the contractor. From our experience, we have created a 5 step process to help someone that is filing an insurance claim, paying out of pocket for construction, or a contractor that wants to ensure construction funds are secure. The goal of our 5 step process is to ensure that (1) no one gives money to a bad contractor, an unlicensed contractor, or ends up with poor craftsmanship and (2) that good contractors get paid for the work they perform. We have seen where, (1) a client makes a deposit with a contractor in a time of need and the contractor does not show up for weeks, doesn’t perform according to the contract or worse never shows up at all or (2) where the contractor fully performs under the contract but the family in a time of need spent the insurance money and could not pay the contractor the final draw. This is a bad deal for everyone, and why escrowing your construction funds is so important. We know that your homes or business may have been damaged and we want to protect your interests. Please beware of depositing funds with any contractors or handymen without speaking to us first. No matter if you are a homeowner or contractor make sure the funds are escrowed with a law firm so you don’t get ripped off! Lastly, in our experience, insurance carriers often offer less than or close to your deductible to encourage a quick settlement; however, with proper legal counsel you may be entitled to more money. Don’t negotiate or settle on your own! Please follow our 5 step process below!
5 Step Process for Disaster Protection
Fort Myers Disaster Relief Attorney – 239.330.6674
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC has made it easy for you to anticipate the consequences of a natural disaster and react accordingly with its 5 Step Process for Disaster Protection. With heavy flooding and Hurricane Irma recently devastating much of Florida, there is no better time than now to take advantage of our easy-to-follow process.
Our firm’s 5 Step Process for Disaster Protection:
- Contact The Dorcey Law Firm for a free evaluation of your situation and to sign an Escrow Agreement.* (This is the first step so the insurance company will have authority to communicate with our firm, and no fees will be collected until funds are deposited for escrowing)
- If you have already filed and received your insurance check for Hurricane Irma or another disaster, you will deposit the funds necessary for construction and remediation into our Law Firm Trust Account for safekeeping; or, if you have not yet filed a claim, have been underpaid or worse have been rejected entirely, we will assist you in filing or contesting your claim. Our firm will file a statement of claim with your insurance carrier so the insurance carrier will pay the funds directly to our trust account for safe keeping. Any assistance filing a claim or contesting a claim will be done on a contingency fee basis, and no fees will be due unless we are successful. Any contingency fees due will only be based on additional funds collected from your insurance carrier.
- Hire a contractor of your choosing; or, if you do not feel comfortable hiring a contractor on your own, you can hire our firm to research and vet reputable licensed contractors from which you can choose; we focus on those suited for disaster reparations, flood damage, wind damage, tornado damage and hurricane damage.
- The contractor you have selected will sign the same Escrow Agreement*, which will become an Addendum to the Construction Contract.
- All draws will be paid out based on the draw schedule within the Construction Contract, with the consent of the homeowner.
* Escrow Agreements will be handled on an individual basis depending on the size of the contract and the complexity of the work involved. All escrow fees will be charged out of the escrowed funds.
The Dorcey Law Firm has created three (3) separate Escrow Agreement packages and an additional option from which you can choose to help organize cases:
- Basic Escrow Agreement Package: To ensure that all draws are paid according to the Draw Schedule, The Dorcey Law Firm will safe keep funds in escrow, and such funds will be paid according to the Draw Schedule. The Dorcey Law Firm will receive a signed Affidavit from both the Homeowner and the Contractor before each draw is paid, stating that the Contractor has performed the work required under the Construction Contract, and that the Homeowner has accepted such work.
- Standard Escrow Agreement Package: In addition to what is included in the Basic Escrow Agreement Package, The Dorcey Law Firm will prepare a comprehensive Arbitration/Mediation provision for the Escrow Agreement. In our experience, if a dispute arises between the Homeowner and the Contractor, it can take up to two (2) years for the matter to be resolved. During this time period, a Homeowner may be left without a completed renovation, or the Contractor may be left without final payment for services completed. Therefore, in our experience, by utilizing a contractual arbitration agreement that is customized for these specific circumstances we are in, we can reduce the time and money spent on litigation, and can require the matter be resolved within sixty (60) days of the dispute. The Standard Escrow Agreement Package is our most popular package.
- Concierge Level Escrow Agreement Package: In addition to what is included in the Basic and Standard Escrow Agreement Packages, The Dorcey Law Firm will fully research and vet up to three (3) licensed, bonded, and insured construction companies of your choice. Upon choosing a Contractor, The Dorcey Law Firm will negotiate and assist in the drafting of the construction contract, and will provide the comprehensive binding arbitration language in such a contract to reduce the time and the expense of a dispute between the Homeowner and the Contractor. In addition to receiving an Affidavit from both the Homeowner and the Contractor, before any draw will be made, The Dorcey Law Firm will engage an independent, licensed contractor or home inspector to verify the Contractor has performed all requisite work under the Construction Contract. Before the final draw will be paid, The Dorcey Law Firm will verify that all subcontractors have been paid by providing a title search and having the contractor sign an Affidavit of Satisfaction of all subcontractors. This extra level of service will provide the Homeowner an independent verification of the quality craftsmanship of the work being performed by the construction company. The Concierge Level Escrow Agreement Package is designed for contracts of significant value and importance.
“A la Carte”: (1) In addition to the Basic or Standard Package, The Dorcey Law Firm will provide a full research package on three (3) construction companies that we have already fully vetted for your choosing and you can retain The Dorcey Law Firm to review the contractors agreement. (2) In addition to the Standard Package, The Dorcey Law Firm will verify that all subcontractors have been paid by providing a title search, and having the contractor sign an Affidavit of Satisfaction of all subcontractors.
You can call 239-330-6674 or contact The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC and our Fort Myers disaster protection attorney to inquire more about these Escrow Agreements for Disaster Protection planning and the applicable service fees. We are prepared to assist you however we can following Hurricane Irma. You can also request a consultation if you have need for our legal services, which range from estate planning to probate administration to business law.