Manufacturers and Suppliers are critical members of the community when it comes to resilience and disaster recovery. Manufacturers create the products we need to build stronger homes and businesses and suppliers help get materials to communities to rebuild.
Manufacturers have an interest in producing products that can be used for stronger building methods, like Fortified, but have challenges selling the product if the builder is not clear on the material specs and installation methods to get certified.
A Better Way
BuildSOS offers three ways to minimize the disaster after the natural disaster via preparation, verification, and transparency.
- Before the Disaster – homeowners take 8+ pictures of their homes to give insurers and the contractor exact details (materials, quality, and measurements) of what their house looked like before it was damaged.
- Verify Contractors – homeowners easily and quickly verify legitimate contractors and drastically reduce the likelihood of being scammed. This process also discourages other scammers posing as service providers.
- Transparency Throughout – throughout the process, the contractor provides photo documentation to all parties to verify progress, which also serves as timestamped, georeferenced proof for future claims and evaluations.
Because this simple, yet highly effective process significantly reduces risks to all parties, insurance companies are starting to offer discounts on deductibles when a policyholder uses a verified contractor for claim work.
Everybody Wins When Insurers, Homeowners, and Builders Improve Trust and Communications
Every party involved in disaster recovery has safeguards to protect themselves and reduce their specific risk. These safeguards cause more time delays and drive up the cost for everyone involved.
We created a structure that provides transparency after every step to expedite the rebuilding process because it reduces the risk for every party involved, the homeowner, contractor, insurance company, and mortgage company. From the beginning, they build trust knowing they are working with a verified contractor and that trust continues throughout the project with our software because everyone is following the same, transparent process, and each step is documented along the way.
Besides just reducing risk, the entire process runs smoother saving the homeowner, contractor, insurance company, and bank headaches and money. The speed of recovery lies in cash flow, applying it efficiently and swiftly drastically expedites the recovery process.
How BuildSOS Got Started
A small group of contractors, many of whom sit on Louisiana’s contractor licensing boards and are leaders of area home builder associations, teamed together after seeing the unnecessary challenges and fraud in the rebuilding efforts from the 2016 floods which impacted Southeast Louisiana. They wanted to help their neighbors get back into their homes faster so their communities could be together again.
The main reason rebuilding efforts took so long and cost so much was a lack of coordination, clear processes, data sharing, and trust.
Delays and costs increase because the residential construction industry involves many participants who lack common processes. This is further worsened by homeowners uneducated about the rebuilding process.
BuildSOS empowers homeowners by giving them the control to identify good and fraudulent contractors through our verification process. We also empower homeowners through education on what to expect when rebuilding and transparency in the process.
BuildSOS is not a lead source for contractors, and homeowners do not have to pay anything for our services. Contractors cover costs to get verified and may pay a fee for estimating and project management software.
Our self-verification process for contractors includes:
- Registered with the Secretary of State
- State Contractor License
- Valid Business Insurance
- Criminal Background Check
- Business in Good Standing with Secretary of State
BuildSOS does not verify the quality of work a contractor does on every job; that checkpoint is done by the local permitting/building code office. However, we do educate homeowners on what to look for (and how to build stronger) and require photo documentation in our software for you to view and verify before releasing funds.
Building Stronger Reduces Future Costs
BuildSOS educates homeowners, insurance companies, and builders about the power of building fortified compared to meeting minimum building code requirements. Small investments today when rebuilding not only minimize future insurance claims but may prevent claims altogether. The vast majority of storm damage involves roof damage.
Since many of BuildSOS’s founders are contractors on contractor licensing boards, we’ve seen numerous occasions where small fortifications provide incredible returns in just a few years. For example, homes in Grand Isle (along Louisiana’s Southeastern coast) had no insurance claims following hurricane Ida because their roofs were fortified while homes next door were destroyed due to wind and water damage.
What’s Next & How to Get Started
We’ll share more about our verification process and ways you can incentivize customers to help you reduce risk and grow your profitability.