Water Mitigation is the Homeowners Responsibility
Every homeowner understands the importance of having homeowners’ insurance, but according to private research conducted in house by Metrix Restoration, less than half all homeowners know how to use their homeowner’s insurance in case of a flood or fire emergency.
“Most people do not know that according to their homeowner’s policy, they are OBLIGATED to conduct day to day living in a manner that mitigates damages, which means its your responsibility to take action”
This is why educating the general public on this subject is near and dear to the culture of Water Damage, Mold & Flood Metrix. Homeowners want to trust their insurance companies, especially in emergency situations, such as a flooded basement or other water damage. With all the of the stress inherent to a mitigation project, most people do not have the attention units required to process the details involved with filling an insurance claim.
At Flood Metrix we estimate that CUSTOMER EDUCATION helps to reduce the stress of a water damage project by at least 60%. But why doesn’t your insurance company do a “better job” of educating their customers about the water, fire, & flood damage claims process?
Well, its not that this information is “top secret” or even “classified” information; in fact, this information is provided with ever policy. However; insurance companies are smart & they understand “statistics.” According to insurance bureau demographics, roughly 82% of policy holders will never study their policy. I don’t know whether this shows “trust” or “ignorance” on part of the homeowner, but I do know that it works in favor the company and not the customer.
What happens when your insurance company receives a claim?
First, the homeowner calls to report a flood, fire or water damage. During this process, the insurance representative will ask a few standard questions in order to gain a better understanding of the damages. At the end of this short process a claims number will be generated and an adjuster will be assigned to your water mitigation claim; typically within 48-72 business hours.
If you have not contacted Flood Metrix by now, the insurance representative will initiate the claim assignment process. This involves sending your claim to a program vender for water damage restoration services.
A program vendor is a mitigation contractor participating in your insurance networks’ “claims program.” If insurance companies had it their way, every flood, fire & water damage restoration property claim would be handled by a program vendor. Not because program vendors are better or more professional, but the reasoning all boils down to money.
“Your insurance company prefers to deal with program contractors not because the policy holder receives the best water mitigation services; but because it costs them less money.”
However; as the homeowner, you have the right to hire any water damage restoration contractor you choose. This water damage contractor is known as a “direct to customer water mitigation contractor.” So, what is the main difference between a program contractor verses a direct to customer service provider? The answer is that a water damage restoration program contractor incurs zero-dollar advertising or marketing costs for a job, because the job is provided by insurance restoration network. In exchange for this referral, the mitigation contractor agrees to forfeit 25%-50% of each water damage claim provided by the network.
Insurance program contractors do not and cannot work for the homeowner, because they already work for the insurance company and every decision made to mitigate water damage is made to benefit the insurance carrier.
Policy holders want to believe that the best way to avoid unwanted expenses is to use program contractors. Homeowners do not normally understand how homeowners’ insurance differs from car or health coverage. For example, unlike health coverage, there are no penalties or additional clauses to “restrict coverage outside of the insurance network.”
Sometimes a policy holder can report a basement water damage, but experience huge time delays when waiting on the insurance company to handle mitigation within the network. Vendor Profitability & availability are two major reasons why. Remember, program partners agree to forfeit a huge chunk of the mitigation invoice “gross fee” to the “TPA or third-party administrator. Check out study video associated with this article.
By law your insurance company cannot provide mitigation services directly. To solve this “technical problem,” the insurance industry created “third-party administration agencies” whose job it is to “screen and onboard” contractors & to over-see claims management by contractors.
However, it’s not easy to recruit & retain skilled contractors willing and able to participate in these programs due to company size requirements, reduced profitability & the “wait list.” The wait list refers to the time it takes for a new program contractor to receive enough program work to make it profitable. The only way for program work to be profitable for a contractor is to receive it in “bulk”, but bulk program work is reserved for large national franchise organizations and smaller businesses are used as “stand-by options.” This creates a vicious turnover cycle within the restoration industry.
Water damage restoration is a SCIENCE and the goal of a water damage professional is to become a Master of Mitigation. The more one progresses in the field of their chosen career path, the more valuable one becomes. Unfortunately, program work creates extremely marginalized profits for mitigation companies, making it difficult to fairly compensate experienced & certified professionals.
Metrix Has The Solution
The ideal Metrix client believes that the best business deals are “win-win” for each party involved and is willing to cooperate to make that happen. Water Damage, Mold & Flood Metrix made history as the first Damage Mitigation company in the DMV to offer the market a customer portal. Through your customer portal you can create a custom referral code, which is GOOD FOR LIFE. You can earn points exchangeable for cash and services by following Flood Metrix on all social media @metrixoverthematter. Points earned on social media can be tracked from your customer portal.
In part two of this article we will discuss advertising costs & direct to customer to better explain the benefits of the Metrix Solution to water and mold damage.
Basement Water Damage Fairfax VA
The source of this water damage was a failed sprinkler system. Because the water originated outside of the property, most homeowners insurance will not cover this type of loss unless you have an additional flood damage policy.
If you have a basement, live in Fairfax VA & don’t have a flood damage policy, I recommend creating an account at floodmetrix.com/registration. With this account you can start collecting points by posting your customer affiliate link in the comments section on any social media @metrixoverthematter and YouTube. Points earned can be exchanged for cash and services such as water damage restoration.
For this basement flood mitigation project, my biggest obstacle was moving enough of the customers property out of their flooded basement to ensure a successful water damage restoration.
Content manipulation is a line item used when a water damage protocol requires moving a customers’ property or “contents.”
There is also a specialty service in the damage restoration industry known as a “pack-out.”
Pack-out is the detailed process of professionally packing, moving, organizing & storing a customers’ property until such time that the water damage property can be restored to its previous condition.
To optimize this project I opted for a pack-out.
And here is where we can begin to explore to beauty of basement water damage restoration in Fairfax VA, because it connects with so many other specialty trades such as plumbing, electrical, hvac, remodeling and more.
The water damage industry, being service based, thrives of networking & referral business.
Our industry is designed for a water damage contractor to make a profit from sub-contractors and referral bonuses. This practice is especially useful for small owner/operator size businesses as it promote high efficiency and profitability.
in In Fairfax VA, never refer a business or a contractor to your customer who you can’t vouch for, bc its your reputation on the line.
Most water damage mitigation companies don’t begin offering pack out service until they also offer fire damage services due to the nature of work. PSI is a respected and reputable business offering fire damage restoration and other specialty restoration services & is a featured water mitigation pack out referral partner for this Fairfax VA water damage mitigation.
The PSI crew really did a great job and made working together on this flooded basement project more fun.
One of the biggest takes always I got from studying this project is the power of making a positive impression on a customer and establishing trust as soon as possible on a water damage project in Fairfax VA.
The service industry is reputation and relationship based. All service-based businesses share this one common thread.
The template for building a successful service-based business/water damage restoration business already exists. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, but we can innovate to serve our interests and serve our customers.
The impression I want to leave my audience with today is that not only am I a professional, but I’m also a pleasure to be around. I think of myself as a blue-collar executive and recognize the value I bring to my customers, partners & to the entire water damage restoration industry as a true polished professional.
“Basement water damage in Fairfax VA is 60% personal 40% business”
Therefore, I always aim to provide the Metrix customer with outstanding service, including an overall excellent customer experience.
After all of the salvageable contents were packed out, we could begin with removing the water damaged/unsalvageable materials.
These materials included the water damaged carpet, pad, tack strips, base boards, drywall and wet insulation.
The next step to mitigate and remediate this flooded basement was to clean and decontaminate the floor and structural frame. This process includes a HEPA extraction, an aggressive cleaning method of the stud wall cavity and floor slab, plus the application of an anti-microbial.
Once all of the demo and cleaning had been completed, the water mitigation/remediation phase of the project of officially completed and structural drying could officially begin.
Drying the flooded basement only took 3 days and no specialty drying equipment was needed.
I had a chance to interview the woman of the house. I explained to her that I believe that there are certain actions every contractor can take to put their customer at ease and build up as much trust in as little time as possible. She told me…
“It happened very quick, once you spoke to our insurance adjustor, she told us this guy knows what he’s doing and he has our go ahead”
I want to thank this customer for Choosing Metrix over the Matter for their flooded basement restoration needs.
If you or someone you know are in Fairfax VA or Northern VA and are in need of water damage mitigation services, be sure to Choose Metrix over the Matter, Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.
Here are the top 5 things you need to know as a property owner, to better understand the flood and water damage restoration process.
Timing is crucial to preventing secondary damages such as warped walls and doors, damage to furniture, and mold growth even in places the flood did not touch.
Therefore, a Flood Metrix service professional will respond with urgency to prevent further damages. Customers expect to get an estimate before hiring a contractor and, in most cases, this is advisable; however, there are some cases where comparing estimates is not practical. Most property owners’ insurance covers emergency services such as flood damage restoration and emergency water removal; therefore, the emergency service billing process is a little different from the non-emergency service billing.
Most reputable insurance providers do not require a written estimate before approving emergency water mitigation services to begin.
However, they will require confirmation of the water damage source, i.e., sump pump failure, busted pipe, or appliance leak for example.
Often property owners will call Flood Metrix to request an estimate for flood damage or emergency water removal services. There are two major reasons a property owner calls to request an estimate for flood damage or emergency water removal service. First is because they do not know if their insurance is going to cover the cost of repairs. Second, because they need to find out if the cost of repair is worth using insurance coverage, which in most cases it is. Customers who choose Metrix over the Matter in an emergency and are self-pay customers receive special residential self-pay pricing.
Documentation for an emergency water removal services is critical, especially when insurance is paying the bill.
Do not be surprised if your water damage inspector takes pictures before they even enter your property. The inspector is required to follow industry guidelines for submitting project details for insurance claims. For example, we need to document relevant environmental conditions outside, note any damages, and of course collect a picture of the damaged property.
In addition to the photos taken outside, the inspector will also take pictures from the moment they enter the property, all the way through to the affected area. This is for both liability purposes and to create a proper damage scope. For example, what pictures may need to be taken down off walls so to prevent damage while a crew is bringing in equipment, what type of floor protection is required, and how many items may need to be moved. At Flood Metrix we use doc-u-sketch cameras to not only take photos but also to create a 3D virtual tour of the flood damage. Providing this quality of service allows us to share claim details with any adjuster, in real time, at the touch of a button.
In most cases we will collect a deductible up front with the average deductible being $500 or $1,000; sometimes the deductible can be up to $2,500.
However, this does not have to be a problem because Flood Metrix can defer your deductible to be applied towards the Reconstruction portion of your water damage project. This benefit creates little to no out-of-pocket expense for a customer. This is just another reason to choose Metrix over the Matter because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.
Most flood & water damage projects have 2 and sometimes 3 phases; each phase has different stages.
Phase 1 is the Water mitigation phase, which includes the cleanup and structural drying process. Phase 2 is Reconstruction & phase 3 would include Content Restoration. Each phase is paid as a separate invoice by an insurance provider, even if the same contractor handles 3 phases.
Insurance Accepted. Financing Available.
Choose Metrix over the Matter, Because the Power to Change the Mater is in the Metrix.
Why Property Management Companies Choose Metrix over the Matter for Water & Flood damage restoration projects?
Flood Metrix is a small business that offers big business benefits. We compare the relationship with a Property Management company to the relationship of a Partner. As a water damage restoration company, we actively seek networking opportunities, which naturally lead to future financial gains. Below is list of Key Competitive Benefits Property Management Companies receive when they “Choose Metrix Over The Matter.”
Flood Mitigation Maintenance Emergencies
Flood Metrix offers property management companies the ability to successfully handle maintenance emergencies such as floods & water damage on call. It is estimated that 1 in 500 homes will experience a water damage claim each year and that the average cost per claim is 3k-8k, not including reconstruction costs.
In other words, the average homeowner will experience a flood or water damage related problem once every 8-12 years. This is likely due to drain clogs and line water failures being listed among the most common causes of water damage.
Keep your clients fully informed
Flood Metrix uses Doc-U-Sketch cameras to create virtual walk-throughs of flood damage restoration projects. These reports are in 3D & can be shared instantly upon creation. We use this level of technology to quickly document water damage while simultaneously gathering detailed room measurements.
Insurance adjustors can process claims faster because they have access to all the information they need as soon as it becomes available. Property owners and managers alike are provided with an extra sense of “control” over the chaos caused by water damage.
Secure more real estate investors
Property Management companies find themselves in a position to manage both units in “rentable” & “unrentable” conditions. Properties with flood and mold damage have the potential for high resale value once the property has been restored. However, these projects also tend to be more expensive investments, because the of additional water damage and mold remediation costs involved in such projects.
“This practice helps us to optimize savings for our partners”
Metrix partners with property management companies and investors seeking to renovate water damaged and mold infested properties. In many cases we can begin restoration with a minimum down payment along with a security agreement. Flood Metrix adds value to our partnerships with property management companies by allowing referred investors to defer the cost of water/flood damage restoration until after the sell. This creates a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Another way Flood Metrix adds value to our property management partners is through our Referral Program. Top Tier referral partners can earn up to a 25% commission on water damage, mold remediation projects.
Multiple Property Deals
Unlike residential customers with one or two houses, property management companies manage 10s, 100s and even 1000s of living/business units. Every contractor has over 50% of their customers promise additional work on their “other property sometime in the future” in exchange for a discount. Seasoned contractors always take that promise with a grain of salt residential customers, but this is not the case when it comes to commercial flood damage customers/property management companies.
Water Damage companies know that property management companies are a good return on investment. Flood Metrix helps to secure these valuable property management alliances with Preferred Vendor Pricing.
Preferred Vendor Pricing
The industry leader in damage restoration software is Xactimate, in fact, Xactimate is the program over 85% of insurance adjusters will use to determine “fair compensation” for water damage claims. It is standard industry practice for these invoices to be itemized, but Xactimate also has a “Time & Materials” conversion. We use this setting offer Preferred Vendor Pricing based on Xactimate line-item values. “This practice helps us to optimize savings for our partners”, said Khonsol Badu, owner of Metrix Restoration.
Free quality marketing and public relations are valuable assets to any business. Whenever a property management company decides to business with Water Damage, Flood & Mold Metrix we celebrate a significant victory towards accomplishing our company mission. We immediately begin to add as much value to our partners’ business as possible.
One way we do this is by linking to our partners’ websites to support and facilitate website domain authority and organic search engine visibility. Another way we do this is creating and sharing valuable content relevant to both industries. We also like, share and comment on social media posts made by our partners, because we know how social signals can affect search engine rankings. And of course, we refer our partners to customers whenever possible, because referrals are the backbone of service-based businesses.
Many property management companies handle single family, apartment buildings and business offices. One critical aspect of managing each of these different types of properties is carpet cleaning. Metrix Restoration also owns the Carpet Metrix Brand to specifically focus on carpet cleaning. We understand carpet construction and know how to get Maximum Efficiency out of your carpets.
Residents of apartment units and condos can take advantage of “Group Discounts Rates” by scheduling carpet cleaning services during special “complex cleaning events”.
Additional Benefits of providing water damage restoration services for Property Management Companies
Sketch of effect unit: measurements, saves time