Water Damage Restoration: What to do if your adjustor disagrees with your contractor?
This article is about the confusion an uncertified water damage insurance adjustor can create. I received the request for water removal from a customer who lives in a condo on the second level. Her neighbor above had something leak, we don’t know what it is, whether it was a busted pipe or leaky toilet. All we know is that the water leaked from the third level of the condo, down into the second unit of my customer’s house, through her floor, and through the ceiling down to the first unit.
Unfortunately, my customer was assigned an adjustor who was not IICRC certified and had no related industry certifications. I go onsite to conduct my initial investigation with the customer. From first glance, the water damage did not appear to be so extensive. However, after checking the moisture content levels of the ceiling, to discover they were completely saturated. Additionally, carpet and pad were saturated. The bathroom didn’t appear to be as bad as it was, however, the customer was able to take video of the water loss occurring. If I had not seen the video, I may not have discovered the additional water damage.
There was water pouring down the ceiling, through her overhead fan, through the lighting fixture, right down onto her bed and onto the floor. Water was splattering and caused water damage to her wooden nightstands and dressers. Water was falling through the air duct in the bathroom, directly over her vanity. I told the customer that according to the ICRC S500, we will remove the drywall and we will also take up the carpet and the pad because I saw how much water fell from the ceiling.
There was a question as to whether there could be water trapped under the tile of her bathroom floor. Ordinarily I would think she would be safe from having this happen, because tile has one of the highest water resistance levels of different building materials. When I saw the video, I realized there was a good chance water could have become trapped under the tile in the bathroom for two reasons. One: just how much water fell and the accompanying pressure causing water damage. Two: there were breaks in the seals around the toilet and the tub, so water may have got trapped under the tile from one of those breaks in the seal.
Insurance Accepted, financing Available
Residential Water Damage Restoration is 60% Personal and 40% Business
Knowing that the customer works from home, I asked what would be a good time for us to start? We decided that doing the water damage over the weekend would be better for her because she’s not working. I agreed and figured that this would be something her adjuster could definitely understand, we could definitely justify beginning on the weekend. However, this adjuster was perhaps one of the worst adjusters that my customer could have been assigned.
The adjustor claims to have had 10 years of experience. When I got on the phone with her, to explain the water damage from having been onsite, but this adjustor had the audacity to believe they knew what needed to happen better than me even, though I’m an ICRC certified master water damage restoration professional. I had also been on site to conduct psychrometric analysis and this adjuster saw some pictures. She wanted the customer to believe that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that she did. I asked the adjuster what if any IICRC certifications do you have? Their respond was: “you know what,I’m not getting into a conversation about certifications”. That was the red flag to me know this adjuster had no IICRC water damage restoration certifications, because if she did, she would one agree with me and she would say that she had certifications.
Cat 3 Water Damage Restoration
Our biggest discrepancy was how we should categorize this project. I said we should categorize this project as a CAT3 water damage restoration, and she adamantly objected. They believed the water damage should be done as a Cat 2 water loss. Even if we assume that upstairs was perfectly clean, in order to error on the side of caution, I didn’t think that it would be wise to assume that everything upstairs on the third level was completely in order. In order for me to agree with the adjuster, that would mean I have to assume everything upstairs was in pristine clean condition, but:
We don’t know if this person upstairs had pets,
We don’t know what the condition of the floor or the carpet was,
We don’t know what the overall condition of the unit upstairs was.
I didn’t think it was wise or in the customer’s best interest to classify this water damage as a Cat 2, besides the ICRC S500 water damage standard states that even if the water came from a clean source, when the water hit the ground, the category increases because it is presumed that the water is not carrying additional contaminates. This is standard practice for all water damage restoration professionals, we never do a project as a Category 1 water damage. All water damage is either a Cat 2 or a CAT 3 water damage, because even if the water started off clean, when the water touches the floor it becomes Cat 2.
Here’s another red flag that let me know that this this adjuster really didn’t have the experience they claimed. When water falls from one level to the next, for example, through a ceiling or through a floor, down to the next to the room underneath, the water automatically changes categories. Therefore even if the water came from a clean source, when the water when hit the floor of the third level unit, it became CAT2 water, when that water fell through the floor and through the ceiling of my customer’s house, that water became CAT3 water damage.
Water Damage Restoration: Professional 2nd Opinion
The water damage mitigation adjuster didn’t agree, but I knew I was right. After the conversation I was so appalled, and I wanted to report her. I wanted to speak with her supervisor. I just felt like it was very irresponsible to even have an adjuster in this position who obviously didn’t have the right training and did not know what she was talking about. I advised the customer to get a second opinion. Flood Metrix would pay to get a second opinion as long as the company is IICRC certified and are direct to customer water damage contractors. If they agree with the adjuster, then you hired them but if they agree with Flood Metrix we will pay the fee, to have them write up their remediation protocol and then this way we have will have two different opinions from two different IICRC certified water damage restoration companies each recommending the same course of action. Then it would be difficult for the adjuster to justify ignoring the recommendations of certified of two separate certified IICRC certified water damage restoration companies as for the proper course of action for this loss.
During a water damage restoration, customers are already stressed out. Insurance companies know that most water damage policyholders are not reading their insurance policies and the last thing a customer wants to do is be stressed out by their insurance company when it’s time for them to use it. Some insurance companies use this against their customers. They don’t care about their policyholders, they don’t even care about the IICRC standard. They just want to have something done and pressure the policyholder into doing something or what they say should happen, even though they’re not the ones who are professionally qualified to make the call. It’s an egregious act and misuse of authority. This adjuster put their policy holder in even more duress until she didn’t know what to do.
Water Damage Restoration IICRC S500
There’s another detail in the IICRC S500 water damage standard which states: the longer a project sits, the longer and more likely it is to become a Cat 3 water loss. Previously, after 72 hours, a water damage automatically became Cat 3, but the new standard reads that it’s not automatically Cat 3 if the water damage professional on site doesn’t recognize any signs of mold growth. He could then treat the loss as a Cat 2 water damage. Basically, by the time the homeowner would be able to get a second opinion the 72-hour water damage time frame would have lapsed.
This adjuster from All State was the worst adjuster this customer could have been assigned. It was clear they had no water damage restoration experience. As an adjuster, she was very unprofessional and took everything personally, which was not good for the client. When clients understands that the adjuster is saying one thing and the contractor is saying another, they ultimately feel like they are forced to go with their adjuster, when that’s not true. It’s not the case and customers just don’t understand what their rights are, especially when they have a water damage, because they just want to get the water damage taken care of. They just don’t have the attention to put towards really finding out what the insurance company is obligated to do, because they’re in so much fear of the water damage not being covered.
My recommendation to all homeowners before you have a water damage, or during the water damage is to read your policy. Read your homeowners’ insurance policy and understand what is covered and what is not covered for a water damage. When is mold covered, when is it not covered, so that you can know your rights. Homeowners should know what the full scope of their benefits are to prevent being taken advantage of by an adjuster who’s just all about the money. There is no way this adjuster could convince me that she wanted to advocate for this customer or that she was really on the customer side. Everything that she did was for the insurance company. No recommendation she made was really to benefit the customer, it was really to shortchange the customer take advantage of her position. Dealing with this adjustor and the inconvenience they caused prompted me to write this blog, because homeowners need to know what to do during the water damage, especially when you have an adjuster who is just not cooperative.
Water Damage Restoration Hazard And Risk Assessments
The first line of defense in helping to prevent injury, unnecessary damage, and health risks inherent to a water damage mitigation project is safety/hazards awareness. A hazardous inspection checks for any work site situation that potentially poses danger to life or property. Water damage restoration professionals must then perform a risk assessment on all potential hazards found on the mitigation work site. The assessment evaluates the risk or likelihood a particular hazard will cause harm. Due to the unsafe nature of most water damaged dwellings, hazard inspections and risk assessments are essential for protecting workers.
The initial hazard inspection of a water damage restoration project involves three important aspects. The first step is to identify hazards that could give reason not to enter the building, such as wet electrical panels and collapsing ceilings. The second step is to identify the presence of regulated building materials such as asbestos, lead, or PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls). Government-regulated substances required testing or inspection services from specialized third-party experts to assess health and safety issues. Finally, competent water damage mitigation contractor conducts a risk assessment and implements the necessary hazard controls for any identified hazards.
Water Removal Mitigation Hazard Controls
Hazard controls are implemented to protect against injury or other safety incidents. Within the water damage mitigation industry, controls are organized into a hierarchy. Those controls considered to be more effective at protecting workers and occupants are categorized higher on the list. For example, the most effective control measures either eliminate the hazard or substitute a safer situation for mitigation to proceed. Where water damage restoration hazards cannot be eliminated or replaced, industry mitigation safety plans implement controls lower in the hierarchy:
Engineering Controls- These are water damage restoration safety controls which are designed to deal with hazards before mitigation professionals encounter the hazard. These controls isolate workers from an identified danger.
Administrative Controls- These water damage mitigation controls are lower in the hierarchy and occur between the source of the hazard and mitigation professional. They include “safer work practices”.
Personal Protective Equipment- Water damage restoration Personal protective equipment (PPE) consists of controls placed on the mitigation professional. PPE is the lowest form of hazard control because protective equipment devices do nothing to eliminate the hazard directly.
Water Damage Restoration PPE
Water damage restoration professionals cannot always eliminate every health and safety concern on a water damage project, so PPE is a necessary part of the safety program. Selecting a proper level of protection is important when considering PPE for a water damage mitigation project. One step of the initial risk assessment is to closely evaluate the potential risks and determine which type of PPE is most appropriate. To help protect water damage mitigation technicians from the many hazards associated with contaminated water losses, restorers need to have ready access to several safety items. These items protect from all potential exposures to the body and include:
Masters Of Mitigation
Water Damage Restoration Safety “Immunizations”
The great majority of water damage restoration projects involve direct contact with a range of infectious organisms. As a minimum medical requirement, mitigation professionals performing water damage restoration services need medical consultation with a Primary Health Care Physician for appropriate immunizations. Immunizations required may vary depending on the scope of work, previous immunization history, previous exposure and current availability of treatments.
Water Removal Safety Standards And Organizations
Water damage restoration professionals must be familiar with all applicable safety standards and laws which affect their business. This list below includes some of relevant organizations and standards water damage mitigation professionals need to be familiar with.
1 OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration
a. 29 CFR 1910
b. 29 CFR 1926
2 ANSI (American National Standards Institute)
a. ANSI Z117.1-1989
3 EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
a. FIFRA- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
4 IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification
a. S500- Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration
b. S520- Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation
This list should be evaluated for its application through varying state, provincial and other government laws and regulations. It is also necessary to check with each of these sources frequently in order to stay current with changes to standards, codes and regulations.
Water Damage Restoration Federal Regulations
Two codes are particularly relative to the work done by water damage restoration contractors. These documents can be assessed online. In order to ensure compliance water damage mitigation contractors must thoroughly read and understand these two CFR’s:
29 CFR 1910- General Industry Standards
29 CFR 1926- Construction Industry Standards
Increasing air flow across wet surfaces.
Controlling temperature of air and surfaces.
Using outside air when possible.
Creating a drying chamber.
Decreasing humidity in the affected area.
Items covered significant to water damage mitigation include:
OSHA General Duty Clause
Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plans
Personal Protective Equipment
Respiratory Protection Plans
Asbestos and Lead
Noise Exposure Limits
Insurance Accepted, financing Available
Water Damage Restoration And Documentation
Several areas of health and safety require documentation during a water mitigation project. For example, employers who assign mitigation technicians to use respiratory protection are required to have a written respiratory protection plan. Likewise, whenever hazardous chemicals are present on a water mitigation work site, employers must document their company’s HAZCOM program.
Water Removal And Bloodborne Pathogens
Workers in many different occupations are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. First aid team members, housekeeping personnel in some settings, water damage restoration contractors and nurses are examples of workers who are at risk of exposure. In 1991, OSHA issued the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to protect workers from this risk.
Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms present in the blood which can cause disease in humans. Water damage mitigation contractors could possibly come into contact with bloodborne pathogens during day-to-day mitigation activities, primarily through the remediation of sewer backups.
Water damage restoration professionals need to understand the seriousness of these pathogens, know what PPE to dawn, and what procedures and standards must be followed. When documented, this information becomes the employer’s bloodborne pathogens plan for their business. Just as important as developing the plan is implementing the plan, which includes training for workers on the protocols and procedures to be used.
If you or anybody you know needs water damage restoration, Choose Metrix over the matter, because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.
IICRCS 500 water damage restoration standard and reference guide describes the task of water damage restoration through the following five principles.
Water Mitigation Principle 1
“Provide For The Health and Safety Of Workers And Occupants”
Water damage restoration is a dirty job, flooded with hazards. In a previous article I described how and why a water damage mitigation contractor differs from other non-emergency contractors. Electrocution, mold inhalation, asbestos inhalation, natural pathogens and disease are inherent to each and every water damage restoration project. So often customers are in such a panic and technicians are in such a hurry to begin that we forget about safety. However, first responsibility when arriving at water damage site is to identify and eliminate any observable safety hazards. As a responsible professional, the restoration contractor has a duty to protect the health and safety of workers and occupants during restoration procedures.
Water Damage Mitigation Principle 2
“Documentation And Inspect The Project”
Once on-site, a water damage restoration professional must assess the extent of water damage and map the moisture migration pattern. They must also be prepared to measure the amount of moisture absorbed by effected materials in order to properly scope the mitigation project. Several specialized tools such as thermal hydrometers, infrared scanners, moisture meters, and hydro-sensors will be used to gather relevant moisture content readings.
Moisture readings will be taken in both effected and non-effected areas for comparative analysis. Each room is checked and monitored individually because a water damage restoration contractor must be able to verify their decided course of action is direct and efficient. Due to the number of variables present that affect the drying of materials progress cannot be assumed frequent inspection and monitoring is therefore essential.
Drying a home or office effected by a flood or water damage is known as “restorative drying” and is a dynamic process. Each water mitigation project comes with a unique set of “moving variables” which constantly effect a mitigation contractors’ intended result.
Ultimately the goal of water mitigation is returning the structure to a clean, dry and safe living environment. The nature of these variables are changes from one mitigation to the next which compels the restorer to conduct multiple inspections of the work zone throughout the mitigation drying process, these include:
Initial inspection to identify items that were affected and to set dry goals.
Ongoing inspections to assure that expected progress is being made.
Final inspection to ensure that materials have dried to the predetermined goals.
Masters Of Mitigation
Water Damage Mitigation Principle 3
Mitigate Further Damage
Dry goals made are based upon critical information the water mitigation professional obtains during their initial assessment. The inspection not only checks the extent of moisture intrusion but also considers the potential for additional damages.
In order to dry the affected areas in the most effective and efficient way a restorer must focus on water removal and extraction. Any forms of water intrusion must be stopped, and any further moisture intrusion mitigated in order for the restorative drying effort to be successful. The goal of water damage mitigation is to return the structure and contents to an acceptable condition. A project manager will also determine whether any building materials or contents in secondary areas have the potential to suffer secondary damages.
Control The Spread Of Contaminants
One serious form of secondary damage is mold growth. Mold can cause structural components to lose their integrity and has great potential to impact indoor air quality in a negative way. Such conditions may ultimately result in compromised occupant health. In addition to mapping out moisture patterns, the water damage restoration professional will attempt to identify any health concerns, including pre-existing conditions of mold. Professional care is taken to contain contaminants and not spread them to unaffected areas of the home or office.
Water Mitigation Principle 4
Clean And Dry Effected Areas
The cleaning procedures are used during a water mitigation project vary depending on the effected material, its salvageability and value to the customer. Salvageable but contaminated materials have their own special protocols and usually require some type of cleaning both before and after the drying process. For example, effected items may be “pre-cleaned” before the drying process, while the restorative cleaning process takes place after. Sometimes a different division of a water damage restoration company is able to provide contents restoration while the water damage mitigation process is underway. Also, keep in mind contents cleaning is it own specially service and is invoiced to your insurance company separately.
Water damage restoration contractors manipulate and control as many factors as possible in their drying systems to achieve the most efficient drying conditions. After as much water as possible has been extracted, evaporation of the remaining moisture is now possible in the following ways:
Increasing air flow across wet surfaces.
Controlling temperature of air and surfaces.
Using outside air when possible.
Creating a drying chamber.
Decreasing humidity in the affected area.
Insurance Accepted, financing Available
Evaporated moisture must be removed from the affected areas by dehumidification or ventilation. Additionally, a knowledgeable restoration contractors recognize that each loss site is different, and they adjust methods based on each situation including:
Adjusting or removing equipment when necessary.
Removing items that should not be dried.
Saving items that cannot be dried in place.
Using specialized tools to drive difficult areas.
Water Mitigation Principle 5
Complete The Restoration And Repairs
Once the structure and contents are dry according to dry standards, your project officially moves from the water damage mitigation phase and into the water damage restoration and repairs phase. This is important to understand because mitigation is billed separately from reconstruction.
As the drying proceeds, restores must reevaluate the condition of structural items or contents and consider whether they will require finishing or repair to return them to a pre loss condition. Any building materials that were removed or disrupted will need reconstruction. Your water damage claim is not complete until all affected materials are clean, dry and equal or better in appearance and function than they were before the loss occurred. This is the industry standard and is also recognized by all major insurance carriers in the US.
If you or anybody you know needs water damage restoration, Choose Metrix over the matter, because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.
Water intrusions, flood and excess moisture each have the power to cause minor damage or wreak havoc on an indoor environment such as your home or office. As the planet is over 70% water and composed of microbial elements, the conditions needed to trigger and support mold growth are always present. All that that is needed to destroy this delicate balance is the introduction of excess moisture. Whenever moisture content and humidity levels become abnormally high, microorganisms such as mold will naturally begin to multiply exponentially. This rapid increase of mold growth can lead to structural deterioration, odors and has the real potential to create serious health issues for building occupants.
When a water damage occurs, the single most critical factor of estimating the potential damage is the amount of time the structure has been wet and how long the structure remains abnormally wet. This fundamental principle is the reason why the most critical course of action of a water damage restoration professional is to respond quickly and begin the water removal process as soon as possible. All other actions taken during a water mitigation project pivot around this very important principle.
Water Damage Mitigation and Restorative Drying
The restorative the drying process consists of 4 basic tenants:
Each water damage project consists of “standards” and “variables” which make the mitigation project unique. Though the standards are numbered and remain constant, the variables of water damage remain without number. Due to the fluctuating nature of water damage mitigation, the professional must, like water, remain flexible in their approach.
Water damage restoration professional must rely on the science of phychrometrics and the atmospheric reading of their tools throughout the drying process. Anyone engaging in the business of water damage mitigation should follow the standards of care established by the restoration industry known as the IICRC S500 standard and reference guide for professional water damage restoration. Our goal as mitigation/restoration professionals is to reverse the damage caused to an indoor structure by water intrusion into an environment of equal or greater condition and cleanliness than before the water damage occurred. Additionally, the ethics of water damage dictates that we provide such rescue in the most economical and efficient means possible.
A water damage restoration professional begins this process by identifying all affected areas and materials. Water must be tracked from its source and followed in every direction to establish an accurate parameter of the flood damage. What results from this documentation is known as a moisture map. Additional information included with the moisture map includes material types affected and their location relative to the map. Materials noted will include items such as: type of flooring, baseboards, walls, furniture and even structures such as a fireplace or HVAC unit.
Affected materials are evaluated against three criteria to determine if they should be restored or replaced. The three criteria are:
degree of contamination
Identifying which “contents and materials” are salvageable and which should be replaced, is at the root of all structural drying strategy. When dealing with high value structure materials such as cabinets and wood floors, the attempt to salvage and restore is always made before these items are removed. This is a technical process and is primarily done to document that an attempt was made so that adjustor is able to justify the “payout” related to your water damage claim. Contents of high sentimental value such as wedding dresses, collectibles, career memorabilia and should also never be discarded without the homeowners’ permission.
Water Damage Demolition And Dry Out
Water Damaged materials which have been determined to be “unsalvageable” according to IICRC S500 standards and are of relatively low value should be removed or manipulated to the to facilitate drying restoration. The method of restoration used to remove water damaged materials is known as “disruptive drying” and may include the removal of finish materials such as drywall, baseboards, carpet, pad, and other cellulose based materials.
All materials that have been determined to be “restorable” are relocated on or off-site for treatment. The amount of moisture absorbed by a material is measured and documented as the moisture content level of a mitigation report. Moisture content levels are crucial to the drying process for two reasons:
This information influences the amount of equipment used.
Provides observable measurements used to determine if the drying process is working.
The drying process of a water damage mitigation project is monitored with equipment and or regular on-site visits. A water damage restoration professional can compare moisture readings from the previous day to measure progress. If materials are found to have made sufficient progress in the initial 24 hours then drying continues, and no major changes are made to the strategy. If materials are not drying, then it becomes clear that the current approach is not working. In this case, the water damage restoration professional must the change his or her approach and may employ additional measures to balance the concern of mold growth and contamination.
Benefits to Creating An Account With Metrix
1. Creating an account is like purchasing a valuable home maintenance policy for your property with a Follow on social media. Grow the value of your account by liking, commenting and sharing.
2. Zero Dollar Insurance Deductible
3. Save up to 30% on annual maintenance services
4. Cash Referral Rewards
5. Protect your home from damages insurance may not cover
Water Damage Drying Cycle
The cycle of evaluation and reevaluation must continue throughout the restoration process the. Also, it is critical that the drying process to allowed to continue without interruption. If the drying process is not working the water damage professional must modify the drying environment by adding or subtracting equipment or possibly removing wet non salvageable materials. Water mitigation professional should strive to provide the most economical and effective methods for mitigating water damage and project cost.
Throughout the water mitigation drying process, a professional must constantly ask “is this drying properly”? This means to restorer must also know their “dry goal”. A dry goal is determined by measuring non affected materials to get an environmental standard. Armed with this knowledge a water damage mitigation professional knows how to calculate to create the necessary changes to realize a “dry” indoor environment.
The water damage mitigation drying standard was designed to ensure that each water damage restoration project can be done properly, according to scientific method. It is important that all water damage restoration industry processes and procedures are carefully followed. Our tactically approaches should also be specific and flexible just like the water damage itself. Being able to employ both tactic and strategy ensures not only the successful completion of a mitigation, but also translates to significant time, stress and financial savings.
If you or anyone you know needs water damage mitigation, restoration or mold remediation services, “Choose Metrix over the Matter, because the Power to Change the matter is in the Metrix”.
Responsible homeowners have the most to gain from the experience of a water damage emergency in their home or office due to homeowners’ insurance. This coverage is key; however, most homeowners are unclear about the inclusions and exclusions of their policy. Additionally, most policy holders don’t know how to use their insurance nor do they know what to expect from filing a claim. Everyone knows that coverage is a necessity, but no one ever wants to imagine having to actually use their policy. Its understandable how nobody wants to imagine their house flooding or a pipe busting to cause major water damage. Most homeowners purchase insurance simply because it’s a requirement from the bank and so that we have the financial backing we need to get us back on our feet in case of a flood or water damage emergency.
You would think that having coverage would be enough to keep people at ease, but from my experience, it’s really not. According to Metrix research, we discovered that although a person may have homeowners’ insurance, most are people are scared of using their insurance for fear that their premiums might increase, that they may get dropped, or that insurance may not cover the damages. This fear holds many people back from actually claiming the benefit they pay into month after month.
Two Sides To Water Damage
There are two sides to every coin, heads and a tails. In this example, let’s say they say that tales represents the unknown and inherent stress of a water damage and that heads represents the satisfaction of responsibly mitigating a water damage claim and all that is inherent to that. One coin but it’s got two sides. Most people will discover a basement flood or water damage and will enter the dark side of this this coin, the tail side. This is the phase of panic, stress, fear and uncertainty. Most people don’t know who to call in cases of a flood or an emergency water damage and because they don’t have a relationship with a contractor that specializes in this unique type of endeavor, they scramble in a panic to find help. Most people will contact their insurance company to report damage and expect the insurance company to take care of everything. Unfortunately, this not the way that it works, and the homeowner soon discovers the weight of their responsibility to take care of their own property.
Once you file a claim with your insurance company, you’ve given them notice of damage and they can often refer you to one of their program vendors. Insurance companies love to use their own “program vendors” because these contractors agree to provide the insurance network/TPA at least a 25% discount, but this discount can be up to and in excess of 50%. An insurance company is a business and they want to save money however possible and practical.
Choose Flood Metrix Over The Matter
The Power To Change The Matter
Is In The Metrix
Water Damage Pricing Is Standardized By Xactimate
Xactimate is a program we use in the water damage and damage restoration industry to standardize pricing based on zip code. The IICRC and Insurance Industry use Xactimate as a “fair pricing standard” for all flood, water and damage restoration projects. Most water damage project are paid by insurance and contractors who provide water damage restoration services are getting through insurance whether they or program vendors or not. Your insurance company will even tell you that you can hire any qualified contractor you see fit. As long as a project is properly documented and the insurance company is obligated to pay the Xactimate value of a line item, but not more.
Homeowners must understand how to use their insurance coverage so that they can receive the full benefits thereof. Often homeowners fear that if they use their insurance policy it will cause their insurance premiums to raise or cause their insurance company to drop them. This thinking is rooted in fear and uncertainty and couldn’t be further from the truth. The moment you file a flood or water damage claim with your insurance company, they are required by law to set aside funds to satisfy your claim. They are also required by law to pay out at least the Xactimate value of a line item.
IICRC And Water Damage Claims
Stop here and let the above paragraph sink in. It is important for a water damage contractor to understand insurance billing because Xactimate is the “pricing standard” that the IICRC and Insurance Industry uses to standardize pricing for emergency restoration services such as water damage, flood, fire, storm damage, mold remediation and the like. Pricing for these services standardized by the Xactimate software to keep pricing fair and to prevent price gauging.
Insurance companies want water damage mitigation contractors to use Xactimate but does not always want to pay the Xactimate value of a flood or water damage project. However, this is simply the process of submitting a bill and working with the insurance company. They are obligated to satisfy any legitimate invoice submitted related to your claim as long as every line item billed has been documented. Adjustors are accustomed to working with program vendors to and good independent contractors to negotiate better pricing. Its not that they won’t pay, its simply that they want to get a deal also.
Non-Program Water Damage Contractors
It is unreasonable to expect a vendor who does not constantly receive program work from an insurance company to offer the same price discount as if they were. It’s a lot easier for a water damage contractor to give an insurance company a discount on services, when the insurance company is sending them 1 or 2 jobs a month. Discounts on services are for the people who own homes not for businesses such as insurance companies.
A major part of our duty in the water damage restoration industry is to simply educate the general public on the subject. We find that by providing educational resources to our customers it helps to eliminate and alleviate a lot of the stress inherent to water damage restoration. Again, most people start on the “dark side” of the coin when they discover a flooded basement, that their water heater or water pipe has busted. However, after a person chooses Flood Metrix over the matter, we take immediate action to carry that customer away from their current state of confusion and panic. We begin moving them from stress to satisfaction which is ultimately what our mission is all about.
A major key to accomplishing our mission educating the customer about the water damage restoration process, what they should expect and demand from their insurance provider. When a person starts to understand their insurance coverage, they can also they start to see the light. They realize that although their basement flooded or there was water damage in some part of the home, they also have insurance. Having the proper coverage means that all damages will be addressed, resulting in equal or greater final results, and that is worthy of celebration.
Choose Flood Metrix For Water Damage Restoration
When a person chooses Metrics over the Matter for water damage restoration, it turns out becoming one of the best experiences they will ever have with a contractor. The satisfactions of their mitigation experience is greater than their initial jolt of stress and shock. We get onsite there and begin the water damage restoration process. We do the water removal, mold remediation and dry out everything that’s wet. Then we set our customers up for reconstruction and get them connected with the right remodelers. The happiness and contentment which is a result of working with true professionals in the industry floods out and overshadows any stress or discontentment that the customer may have initially experienced. This is the Metrix Mission, to move our customers from stress to satisfaction, and to help them both know and understand their rights and responsibilities as a policy holder.
Sometimes customer feel anxiety dealing with a “direct to consumer” water damage restoration provider because they believe they will get stuck with a bill if insurance doesn’t pay. Again, this is why a customer needs to understand how pricing and billing works in the water damage restoration industry. No contractor wants to get a reputation of being unable to settle invoices with an insurance company, because many field adjustors work the same geographical area. All we want is to get paid for our work after we have mitigated the water damage problem with complications and doing a bad job/not doing it properly is causes complications.
Best Customer Service In Water Damage Restoration
Some customers are just used to dealing with businesses and contractors who only care about money, they really don’t have the customer’s best interest at heart and who really don’t care to understand what it is that this person is going through. It’s all about their bottom line and from the Metrix perspective, this is short sighted, and is not a good way to do business. At Metrix next restoration we seek to empower our customers. We seek to provide them with the details of their situation and to give them as much insight about their project as possible. We do not want our customers to be blindsided with details that should have been brought to their attention from day one.
When a customer really begins to understand their responsibility as a policy holder, the fear of dealing with their insurance company also begins to dissipate. Having a water damage with insurance and not filling a claim is like winning the lottery and not claiming your prize. Sometimes there are mitigating circumstances around water damage restoration projects that insurance companies don’t always like to pay for, but they will pay for them if the policy holder is aware of their rights and how to negotiation their benefit.
Commonly customers are just too tired and overwhelmed to make their insurance company do what they are supposed to do. Or they don’t want to get into it with their insurance company because they don’t know what they are required to do by law. Many times, homeowners might see an invoice $15,000 or $20,000 or $40,000 or more for water damage mitigation and to the homeowner that seems like a lot of money.
However, they are thinking in terms of their own income, not in terms of the assets which are held by the insurance company. Insurance carriers have millions and of dollars set aside to handle water damage claims. When you’re working with that kind of a budget, a $20,000 or $50,000 invoice truly only a drop in the bucket in comparison to what these insurance networks actually have on hand and are actually generating.
Water Damage Industry Standards
Sometimes people fear that their one claim is going to bankrupt the insurance company or that their $30,000 claim is going to make the insurance company all of a sudden not want to do business with them anymore. However, homeowners should realize that paying claims is the nature of the insurance industry. This is why policies are written in different ways to include and exclude certain aspects of damages. Where the confusion comes in with homeowner is that they really don’t know what is included in their policy and they really don’t know what is excluded in their policy.
For the record, there are generals standard which are included in most policies. These general coverage standards are based on the IICRC S500 water damage and S520 mold remediation standards. Such general coverage includes specifics line such as water removal and extraction, structural drying, pack outs and content manipulation, demo and reconstruction. Likewise, the general exclusions are based on sudden and accidental damage. If damage is due to lack of maintenance of behalf of the homeowner, insurance companies are not likely to get involved.
Overcoming The Panic Of Water Damage
This is what this is what scares a lot of homeowners, they don’t know if the water damage will be considered sudden or accidental and so it paralyzes them. This fear rapids turns a $1000 water damage deductible into a $12,000 personal bill. This article was written to educate and encourage insurance policy holders to use your insurance. The reason we buy insurance is to use it when its needed. If an insurance company gives you a difficult time after when you have only done what a responsible homeowner should do, you should drop them and find a new carrier. You would need to file multiple claims in a short period of time in order for your insurance company to be able to justify dropping you. Again, there are laws preventing the insurance carriers from dropping the homeowners just because they use their coverage.
Homeowners must get over this fear because every month you are paying into this insurance and it’s generating money for the insurance company. The insurance company is making money off of those monthly payments and trust me, they’re making a lot more money than what they pay out of any claim, that’s just the way the system works. We have to remind ourselves of this so that we can act in surety and confidence when we approach the insurance company.
One thing for certain and two things for sure, the insurance company will try to shortchange your claim but there are methods for handling your insurance carrier such as going through the appeals process, hiring a public adjustor, or suing the insurance company for not paying the bill. Many times an insurance company will shortchange a claim on purpose just because they can, it’s almost standard operating procedure. Insurance companies operate for their own best interest and will use your ignorance to their benefit.
This is what this article is written, to help empower the homeowner. We want to help you get everything you are entitled to, every single time, and we’re going to help direct you to get the satisfaction you deserve.
Flood Metrix Over The Matter
The Metrix customer is a mind over matter type of individual. The metrics customer wants to look at the bright side, wants to focus on the benefit, wants to focus on the solution and not the problem. We want to remind our customers that although your home be in a wreck today, when we get finished it will be in an even better position than it was before. That is the reminder we want to put into the consciousness of our customers so that they are not afraid and know how to proceed even in the chaos and the stress of a flood or water damage.
If your or someone you know needs help with a water damage problem, choose Metrix over the Matter, because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.