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
If you or your organization are interested in doing business with Metrix Restoration, please visit the Preferred Vendors Page of our website or send an email to [email protected].
“Choose Metrix over the Matter
Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix”
The last thing you want to do is panic if your insurance company denies your flood or water damage claim. Flood Metrix will not complete a water damage restoration project with the intent to bill insurance if the source of your water damage or flood is not typically covered by insurance.
No representative of Flood Metrix can state the fact of what your water damage insurance provider will or will not cover. Flood Metrix will perform an initial assessment and document all water damage discovered during the process. This information will be used to help your insurance company determine coverage.
Insurance companies are not always able to determine coverage over the phone. Water damage adjustors rely heavily on documentation provided by the water damage mitigation company, the plumbers report and your insurance coverage. Over 85% of the water damage claims handled by Water Damage, Mold & Flood Metrix LLC in 2021 were complete or in the drying phase before an insurance adjustor ever came on site.
We are trained for emergency response to Commercial & Residential Water Damage
The emergency part of flood & water damage restoration is executed with an “emergency response attitude” to stop/mitigate water damage. You and your insurance company want this immediate response, but the insurance adjustor also needs documented information. Flood Metrix aims to have an initial project report completed within 24-36 hours of responding to a flood damage or water removal project.
The Reason your Flood/Water Damage Claim Was Denied May Shock You.
Not all water damage claims are covered by insurance due to policy design or exclusions. You may think there wouldn’t be any other reason your water damage claim could be denied, but you would be mistaken.
Insurance is meant to cover “sudden or accidental” damages not “long term/lack of maintenance” damages. This is where the overwhelming majority coverage mistakes are made because making the determination of sudden vs maintenance issue is not always easy.
Review your homeowners’ policy for the appeals procedure
If you water damage claim is denied, then review your policy to better understand the appeals process. Many homeowners do not realize that many claims are covered after they have completed the water damage claim appeals process. The process can be long and stressful but well worth the reward.
Act within the allotted appeals time frame and be diligent. It is a good idea to start by sending an email to your insurance company notifying them of your intention to formally appeal the denial of your water damage claim.
Contact your Insurance Agent, they sold you the policy
The insurance agent who sold you your policy has a vested interest in keeping your policy open. They can be a valuable resource in helping you to navigate your water damage claim appeals process.
Your adjustor may be inexperienced and lack knowledge of advanced restoration industry details. Or they may be very experienced, but still not be an IICRC Certified flood or water damage expert.
Check the credentials of your insurance adjustor, they may not be IICRC certified, which means their opinion is not an “expert opinion on water damage restoration”. Your water damage service provider/company should have more IICRC certifications than your insurance adjustor.
Hire an IICRC Certified Water Damage Company
Always hire a water damage restoration company with IICRC certified technicians. If a portion or all of your water damage claim gets denied due to how your adjustor interprets information about the flood, the IICRC credentials of your water damage restoration contractor can easily help get your claim paid.
Why is this important?
Whoever has more water damage IICRC certifications also has the most authoritative opinion on water damage restoration. Flood Metrix has IICRC Certified Master water damage restoration professionals on staff.
Reports & Documentation
All lines items submitted for payment should be supported by an organized presentation of photos, videos reports and projects notes. A claim or portion thereof can easily be denied due to non-submittal of supporting documentation.
“Water Bills Don’t Lie”
Another key factor in proving your claim is by submitting copies of your water bills. This will show the sudden spike of water loss at the time of your flood.
Organize and submit evidence to rebut reason for denial. Be sure to inform your water damage service provider, they can provide IICRC citations to support your claim.
Highlight IICRC S500 & S520 Water Damage/Mold Remediation Standards
Your insurance company is obligated to pay flood and water damage restoration costs in accordance with IICRC standards.
You may have waived your right to sue your insurance company and may only have arbitration as your course of action. Most insurance companies have an “ombudsman” responsible for handling escalated appeals. It is their job to resolves such matters.
Contact A Public Adjuster, they don’t get paid until you do.
Public adjusters can also help apply pressure to your insurance company to pay your claim if it should be covered. Public adjusters work for you and not for the insurance company. You may find the services they provide invaluable to helping get a difficult water damage claim settled.
Scott A. White is Commissioner of the Virginia Bureau of Insurance with the SCC//State Corporation Commission.
Contact Commissioner Whites office if you are not satisfied the results of your appeal. Visit https://www.scc.virginia.gov/
“Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix”
Frozen Pipes & Winter Water Damage by Metrix Restoration
Winter weather brings an added element of difficulty & danger to water damage restoration claims. We all can understand how each flood or water damage cleanup comes with both general & special needs.
In this article we will highlight how winter weather affects water damage restoration operations, the most common causes of winter water damage & what you can do to protect your home.
Making water pipe maintenance a priority this winter is a good idea, especially if the climate of your area sustains temperatures of freezing or below. Cracked & Busted Pipes due to freezing temperature is cited by most insurance adjustors and water damage restoration professionals as the #1 cause of residential water damage during winter, according to R. Noel, GM of Flood Metrix in Stafford, VA.
“Of course, roof leaks and ceiling damage caused by ice dams are also very common throughout the water damage industry in areas with longer winter seasons and heavy snow fall, but busted pipes still rank #1 in Northern VA, District of Columbia & Southern MD.”
How Frozen Pipes Cause Water Damage
The physical materials of your home are under constant “attack” by its surrounding environment. Most homeowners understand that weather in general can affect the structural integrity of their home, and still never consider how nature itself is a natural “stress factor” affecting their home on a day-to-day basis.
Temperature differentials in air currents, air pressure, convection are each invisible factors of winter water damage, unnoticeable to the naked eye.
During winter temperatures can remain at freezing or below for weeks and months at a time. In such climates freezing rains, icy wind chills and snow become like “military special force units” making structures more susceptible to flooding and water damage.
The good news is that keeping your home in good condition with up-to-date maintenance is the best defense against winter water damage. In fact, keeping your home reasonably heated is enough to prevent frozen pipes from busting & causing water damage/flooding.
Energy.gov recommends an average inside temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unoccupied homes are much more susceptible to flooding due to frozen/busted pipes when compared to homes which are occupied with regular home maintenance. One reason for this is that unoccupied homes are also more likely to have colder inside temperatures.
Additionally, unoccupied homes are more likely to behind on routine maintenance. When you combine cold temperatures with points of direct exposure to water pipes, freezing becomes a scientific certainty.
Frozen water obstructs and water flow and multiplies pressure per square in throughout pipes until they crack or bust. The chances of this happening begin to increase exponentially when temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
Water damage restoration companies must then use additional specialty drying equipment including directed heat, adding to the financial costs of flood damage.