Insurance Restoration

Roughly 1 in 20 insured homes submit an insurance claim each year. The most common home insurance claims are a result of 1) wind and hail, 2) fire and lightning damage, and 3) water damage and freezing. Chicago, the Windy City, is no stranger to wind, hail, or freezing pipes with the extreme freezing winter temperatures. Navigating the intricacies of the insurance claim process and reconstruction can feel overwhelming. You must read and understand all the fine print in your insurance policy and know how to advocate for yourself to ensure your home will be reconstructed to its original condition before the insurable event occurred.

Areté Renovators has spent years helping homeowners throughout Chicagoland and North Shore navigate the insurance claim and reconstruction process. Our team of experts can help ensure you are advocating for yourself during the claim process, while our skilled production and design teams perform high-quality restoration and repairs. 


We highly recommend immediately calling a contractor after placing the insurance claim. A contractor will partner with you, and ideally attend walkthroughs with your adjustor, to further advise you on best practices of reconstruction and estimated costs. It is important to keep lines of communication open between the homeowner, contractor, and adjustor to ensure everyone is quoting the same scope of work. Having a contractor attend the initial walkthrough with your adjustor can also help eliminate overlooked items in the scope. A contractor can also guide you on initial steps for clean-up and whether an emergency service is needed, or if that money can instead be better allocated towards reconstruction costs.


Understand your policy. Know the ins and outs of your limits and exclusions so you know what to expect as far as replacement coverage in the event of a claim. Knowing your policy will help you advocate when challenging any discrepancies or denials. Insurance companies are not in the construction industry. Your insurance adjustor has a vested interest in coming in under actual construction costs and keeping payouts as low as possible for the insurance company. By bringing in a contractor with experience in insurance restoration, they will be able to provide a more realistic assessment of damage and costs and point out damages that your insurance estimate may not include.


Document everything related to your claim to maintain an accurate record of the loss, progress, and all communication. In a perfect world, you would have already prepared for a disaster and had a log of photos and video of each room in your room and the contents contained in each. Most homeowners do not plan on experiencing a disaster and therefore may not have prepared to this level.

Before cleanup begins it is important to take more photos and videos to document the damage that has occurred. This will help in supporting your claim. Create a detailed inventory log of damaged belongings including age, purchase price, and estimated replacement cost. It’s important that you are compensated for all losses, not just loss to the structure of your home. 

Keep a log or separate email folder of all communication with your insurance company. It will make it easier to go back and reference conversations, dates, and people you spoke to.

Be sure to include any immediate out-of-pocket expenses as a result of your claim in your documentation, such as living expenses if your claim requires relocation. 


Partner with your contractor to obtain a detailed labor proposal that includes material, labor, and any additional services such as design and drawings that may be needed to reconstruct your home. Talk with your contractor to better understand the financial aspects and costs that will be covered by insurance and personal funds or financing. 

Once you are ready to get the job done, become familiar with your insurance company’s payout structure. Sometimes insurance companies will provide the full approval and payout of funds prior to the restoration work starting. Other times, insurance companies request the homeowner submit invoices as work progresses.


Having a knowledgeable contractor on your side that can help you navigate the insurance claim and restoration process with diligence can result in a home that looks and feels like nothing happened. The right contractor partner will be able to fully explain itemized costs so you can advocate with your insurance company to ensure the claim reflects the proper scope of work and real cost associated with the work.


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