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We're big fans of getting all of your ducks in a row with a scope of loss to make sure the insurance company is giving you a fair estimate (Read our free eBook for more information on a Scope of Loss). A very common software used in the industry for this purpose is Xactimate. I read an article recently that stated that while building material costs are going up, the value of those building materials is going DOWN in Xactimate.

Here is the graphic they provided in their story (read it HERE):

I encourage anyone going through a loss to still go through the pricing exercise but have all prices verified by a contractor who actually builds houses or performs the kinds of repairs you're having done to make sure you don't get short changed!

---Update---

A follow up blog post specifically addressing California was posted HERE.

Inspirational Quotes

Being human is itself difficult, and therefore all kinds of settlements (except dream cities) have problems.

Jane Jacobs

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...had it not been for CARe's workshops, we shudder to think what the end result would have been for us in dealing with the aftermath of the fire and particularly the insurance company....the kindness and GENUINE "CARing" (!), their incredible bank of knowledge, and consistent support is almost beyond comprehension. We hope to be able to pass this same caring and "know-how" on to future victims (God forbid) when the need arises.

2003 Cedar Fire Survivor, San Diego CA