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Insurance Claims For House Damage: What You Need to Know
Disasters happen that can affect your home: fires, floods, storms, and mold infestation. Thankfully, when these things happen, you probably have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place that should cover the costs of repair.
But having the policy in place and having to utilize the policy are two different things. While having the policy gives you peace of mind while everything is fine, when disaster strikes, you are suddenly faced with having to go through the insurance claims process, and that can add stress to an already stressful situation.
Under these circumstances, wouldn’t it be better if you could just focus on putting your life back together and restoring your family home, rather than having the headache of figuring out what your insurance company needs in order for you to utilize your coverage? Well, when you hire the right restoration company, you can delegate some of the insurance claim work to them, and trust them to get it right.
Here are some tips on what to do when disaster strikes, to make sure you will get the maximum amount of benefits available under your insurance policy.
Don't Attempt To Clean Up
Jumping right in to try to clean up a mess or poke around the damage is the number one mistake homeowners make before notifying their insurance company and filing a claim. As hard as it may be in the midst of disaster, calling your insurance company is critical. Most insurance companies have a claims specialist available at all times and, in many cases, their instructions or advice will be helpful, especially when the gravity of the situation makes it hard to think clearly or to make decisions.
Going through your things and cleaning up is very tempting, especially when you are worried about what you can salvage and what you may have lost. But the best course is to leave everything as is and wait for the experts. This is especially important if the house is in such a state that you could risk injury if you enter the structure.
If you know it is safe, it is okay to take some basic emergency measures, such as draining excess water in a flooded part of the house before it does more damage, or safeguarding your valuables. These steps can be accomplished without causing much disturbance. But you don’t want to alter the scene in a way that will hinder the ability of the claims specialist to inspect and assess the damage properly.
If you need to do anything major, take photos first. Make sure they fully capture the extent of the damage by taking multiple photos from different angles, both close up and from a distance. In the absence of a physical inspection, you need to be sure you have sufficient evidence to back up any damage claims that you file with your insurance company.
Contact a Professional Restoration Company Right Away
By law, it is your right to choose the restoration company that performs the restoration work; you do not need to wait for your insurance company to send you a list of approved vendors. So, as soon as you have notified the insurance company, call a professional restoration company that can respond immediately, no matter what time of day or night. They can do a professional evaluation and, if necessary, take steps to prevent further damage. They also understand what insurance companies need, and will make sure that any steps they take are well-documented and justified by the situation.
For example, if a fire or flood has damaged any structural parts of your home or to the roof, waiting may cause a ceiling to collapse, a wall to cave in, or more damage to occur from exposure to the elements. A licensed company whose staff are trained and certified, will respond appropriately, by shoring up the structure, for example, or tarping the roof. Preventing further damage means that your repair will be finished more quickly and more cost-effectively.
Work with the Professional Restoration Company to Navigate the Claims Process
Unlike you, the experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene have extensive experience dealing with house restorations after a disaster has struck, not only as to restoring your home but in dealing with insurance paperwork. We’re used to all the forms, all the legal language, and all the documentation, and we’ll do a lot of the “heavy lifting” throughout the insurance claims process so that you can get your house and your life back in working order as soon as possible.
When you trust the experts at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to handle your restoration, our goal is to make your house look and feel like the damage never even happened and, in working with your insurance, we’ll also try to make your bank account look the same. Contact us today at SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to speak with one of our damage repair specialists.
SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss
Large Loss Division Truck
Disaster Recovery Team
NO JOB IS TOO LARGE...
The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.
Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.
At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene!
Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:
- The Pentagon
- The Hospitality Industry
- Property Managers
Should a storm or major event strike, call 1-800-SERVPRO or call our local office @ 208-457-1234.
Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard, or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene is prepared for the unpredictable.
With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Some of the mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:
- 2017 California wildfires
- 2017 Hurricane Irma
- 2017 Hurricane Harvey
- 2016 Hurricane Matthew
- 2014 Polar Vortex
- 2012 Sandy
- 2007 California wildfires
- 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita
WINTER Homeowner Tips
WINTER Homeowner Tips
It's winter which means its time to take extra precautions to protect your home from water damage! Follow these tips below to help keep your home safe this season.
#1 Protecting Those Pipes- Water expands as it freezes. If water that is caught inside your pipe freezes, it will expand which can cause your pipes to burst and/or crack! Pipes can burst if the water pressure is built up inside, behind a block of ice. TIP: It is always a good idea to leave your faucets dripping in extremely cold weather.
#2 Check the Heat- Checking your furnace by turning on the heat and blower helps your heater operate like it should. TIP: By reversing the direction of your ceiling fan, the counter-clock-wise movement allows warm air to circulate down into your room.
#3 Preventing Ice Dams- These Dams form when heat escapes through the roof and melts snow that settles. Snowmelt then gets into the roof’s edges and freezes most often in the eaves. Ice Dams can later melt and improperly drain, leaking through a roof and causing water damage in your home. TIPS: Clean the clogged gutters and downspouts. Seal places that allow warm air to leak from your home. Make sure your soffit vents are clear to allow air to flow properly.
#4 Clean and Store your Lawn Equipment- Empty all of the fuel. If this is not done, it can damage fuel lines and other components. TIP: Clear out each machine from yard debris and any oil build up. Sharpen the blades. Store in a garage throughout the winter if possible.
#5 Inspect your Fireplace and Chimney- Clean out all soot and debris that could catch fire. TIP: Keep the flue closed when you are not using the fireplace. You should not be able to feel any cold air coming down the chimney.
#6 Seal Windows and Doors- Caulking around windows and doors can help on heating costs. TIP: Put weather stripping around your entryways.
# 7 Crawlspace Prevention- Crawlspace foundations generally have vents. TIP: Vents should be covered or closed near any bathroom sources to prevent excess moisture and/or water damage.
The Decision to File a Insurance Claim
SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene has encountered many types and sizes of water losses. The first step in the process of experiencing a water loss in your home is to ensure all family and guests are safe and their location is established.
The next step in the process is to turn-off the source of the water intrusion into the home, if possible. Always know the location of the main water line shut-off valve. If the water is coming from a toilet, sink, and other water lines they may have a separate shut-off valve for that specific water appliance. If possible, one person may call SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene while another person is shutting appropriate water valves.
It is appropriate that the homeowner inform their insurance company of the event. However, prior to the actual submission of a formal claim to your insurance company, review your insurance policy and find out the amount of your deductible for the water loss. Next, ask SERVPRO of Coeur d'Alene to provide you with an estimate for the mitigation of the water loss. Next, request a couple of estimates to repair the damage to your home due to the water damage.
This information is important for the homeowner to determine as soon as possible. If your water loss deductible is $1,500.00, and your water mitigation/repair costs total $1,800.00, be sure and review this information with your insurance agent. Ask your agent to help you understand if this water loss will result in higher insurance premiums in the future. Ask how much, if any, your home insurance premium will rise.
On the other hand, if your water loss/repairs are $30,000.00 you will more than likely be encouraged to file an insurance claim. Your insurance agent most likely will be of great service in helping you make loss decisions.
Coeur d'Alene Residential & Commercial Services
SERVPRO of Coeur d’Alene provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Coeur d’Alene. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7
Whether your Coeur d’Alene home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Coeur d’Alene commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business.
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Feel free to reach out to us today for your Residential and Commercial needs. We are always here to help!
Call SERVPRO - Coeur d' Alene When Disaster Strikes
SERVPRO Coeur d Alene will respond promptly to your emergency. SERVPRO Coeur d Alene is available 24 hours/Day.
Many of our satisfied customers have experienced world class quality service with SERVPRO Coeur d' Alene. Our Team constantly prepares for ways to improve our quality of service. World class quality service does not typically "just happen." Our Team consists of members who intentionally seek to exceed our customer’s expectations.
SERVPRO Coeur d' Alene employees know many of our customers have never experienced a flood or fire. Our customers reactions to a flood and/or fire vary greatly. We treat every customer with courtesy, respect, and respect for their home. It is SERVPRO - Coeur d Alene's responsibility to listen carefully to our customer’s specific preferences and conduct our work in accordance with those preferences.
Our employees are trained to provide our customers with a brief overview of the clean-up process and the corresponding timeline. Customers have shared their appreciation to SERVPRO – Coeur d’ Alene for ensuring our customer have a good understanding of all of the steps of the process.
Recently, we responded to a flooded home. It was clear one (1) customer was angry with the events leading up to the flooding. The customer had much anxiety. SERVPRO - Coeur d' Alene responded with sincere words such as, "we are very sorry you are having to go through this experience" and, “we will do our best to ensure they were able to attend an event later that evening.” SERVPRO – Coeur d’ Alene employees worked hard and assisted our customer in any we could to expedite the process.
Our SERVPRO employees discovered some options that would allow for a more rapid removal of the water. It worked! Within 3 1/2 hours of the initial notice the home was well on its way to drying. The tension was relieved and the family was overjoyed with our prompt and efficient service.
Few things at work are better than being a part of a successful project and having an elated customer.