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Insurance Claims

Yelp Review Olek on Media Olek online Store

From Flooding, Fires or Moving Damage and Disaster Recovery

If you suffer a loss that may be submitted as an insurance claim, from Sandy or from a fire or move, your insurance company will expect a detailed damage estimate. The purpose of the damage estimate is to enable the insurance company to see if the restoration costs are reasonable, and more importantly, credible. Your insurance policy insures you against damages and entitles you to receive compensation for repair refinishing, and upholstery necessary to restore the damaged furniture to its condition prior to the loss.


You may decide to use the services of a public insurance adjuster, or claims adjuster, to put your entire loss water damage loss claim together , or if it is not too complicated, submit the Loss Claim yourself. In either case, an estimate for the water damage restoration is necessary. A public adjuster may employ us directly, or you may hire us to write the damage estimate yourself.


Found in 16" of water following a basement flood, little was intact before repair. Water damage wood required restoration


What does it mean that the estimate must be credible?

This is a legal term that implies that the estimate is written in sufficient detail to be credible in a court of law. Then the estimate will be admitted into evidence, and serve as the foundation for your Claim. Without a properly prepared, credible estimate your damage claim may not be admitted into evidence by the Judge, even in Small Claims Court. If it is not admitted you will lose the case despite the obvious damage that all including the Judge can see. Good photographic evidence is not sufficient. Your insurance company will know if the restoration estimate is credible. A "regular" refinisher's estimate is not credible. Without a credible estimate, the insurance company generally will not pay you to fully restore the damage. The insurance company knows that if you go to court you are ill prepared and will lose. They will usually offer a small fraction of the Claim then, to avoid having to send a lawyer to court, but ultimately prevailing against you in the Claim.


Everything was taken apart from this pre-War Walnut Sideboard belonging to the client's grandmother.


Every single leg had to be completely disassembled, dried out and stabilized prior to being shimmed for warping of elements and re-glued.


What distinguishes a Credible Estimate from a regular estimate?


This written damage estimate must describe the furniture and its construction, and the mechanical, finish, or upholstery damages from causes consistent with the Claim. The extent and locations of all damages, and the restoration process and materials required, must be described in minute detail. Instead of being one sentence, a damage estimate might require a long paragraph, or even as much as a page of description for a single item of furniture. We include photographic documentation as well if available.


Cost of the Damage Estimate


We do charge for our time preparing a damage estimate. The cost may be quoted in advance if we are presented with adequate photos to be able to write the estimate from emails. The photos should be from a digital camera taken with a flash, and high resolution. Cellphone cameras don't take good closeup photos and usually are not suitable for writing a credible estimate. You can send up to 15 MB per email to us. If it makes more sense to visit, there is a minimum trip charge of $185 for the first hour on-site, depending on your location and distance from us, plus an hourly charge of $125 for second and succeeding hours spent surveying, photographing, and writing up the damages. Your insurance company should reimburse you for this cost, although you might want to confirm that in advance of hiring us. We can give you a brief, "regular" estimate prior to your deciding, if we have photos emailed to us.


When is the Damage Estimate Fee due?


The payment of our Damage Estimate Fee is due prior to our presenting you with the estimate. If the amount has been fixed in advance from your photos you email to us, we write up the estimate following receipt of your check or PayPal payment for the fee. If we visit, we will give you an estimate at that time to be paid at the visit, and if there is anything additional due or a credit, to be settled upon similarly prior to the release of the estimate. Your insurance company will usually pay your estimate fee. If we visit, the fee for our inspection and visit and writing up the report is due prior to our releasing the damage estimate survey, analysis, and treatment report.


When is payment for work due?


Payments for the work are due 50% in advance for labor, and 100% for fabric or leather cost, with the balance due at the time of delivery or before. We are not paid from your insurance company, and our work is contracted directly with you.


Sideboard after restoration. Client wanted to retain an old patina, rather than make the sideboard look new.


Does Olek restore what we write up?


Our intent in writing up credible damage estimates is to restore your furniture to its pre-damaged condition as expeditiously as possible. Our upholsterers, refinishers, artists, metalworkers, and cabinetmakers are highly qualified to restore, or recreate anything that we present an estimate for.


Does Olek help us settle with the insurance claims company?


We can offer advice on how to deal with your insurance company to smooth the process along. We don't fill out your Proof of Claim with the Insurer. Our Damage Estimate is attached to that, and is presented to you by email or by mail if you prefer. Submitting a "regular" estimate often causes problems later, as the insurance company adjuster will then commit to settling for a lesser amount to their manager, and then be unwilling to settle the case out of court even though a credible estimate is provided later


We look forward to helping you get your life back on track, and restore your heirloom, antique, vintage modern, or other esteemed furniture to you as quickly as possible. Your precious possessions are important to us. Olek Lejbzon & Co. has been restoring furniture since 1950, and has earned a reputation for being meticulous, and exceeding client expectations.


Please email Peter Triestman at , or call him at 212-243-3363 Skype Me with any questions or concerns. We know how important this is to you, and gladly accept calls anytime or day.