Water damage from a pipe burst after a freeze or undetected leak can quickly cause considerable damage to your home or business. Common causes of water damage are:
- Frozen or broken plumbing; and
- Leaking roofs or exterior walls.
Time is of the essence! Immediately following the discovery of water damage, it is critical to put your insurer on notice of claim and start the preservation and restoration of your property. Large water damage insurance claims can be very complex, need prompt mitigation, and thorough documentation. Mold and mildew can begin to form within 48 hours.
Texas commercial building, multifamily property, and high value home owners dealing with water damage claims from frozen pipe bursts who want the maximum settlement they deserve in minimum time.
- Hire a reputable, local mitigation company to demo and dry out wet materials with IICRC credentials.
What to do after water damage loss
Protect your property from further damage. It’s your responsibility to perform emergency work such as putting up tarps, removing porous materials such as drywall and carpeting to prevent mold, and boarding up openings. It is best to use a certified mitigation professional.
Document the damage with photographs and video of the damages, before you begin any cleanup efforts.
Request a complete copy of your insurance policy. Read and make sure you understand your rights and obligations under your insurance policy before entering into any serious discussions or negotiations with your carrier. Seek a claims professional to help you understand what your policy actually covers and, just as important, what it doesn’t.
Document all of your activities and expenses. Keep a log of your activities and save receipts after the damage, including those for property replacement and extra expenses.
Make decisions that are the best for the continuation of your business. Policyholders who expect the insurance company to tell them what to do to save their business may be profoundly disappointed. Only you know your business and what’s best for your recovery.
Hire your own experts. The insurance company adjuster and representatives sent by your carrier to evaluate the damages is working for the insurance company, not for you. The burden to prove, document and submit your claim falls on you, the policyholder. Make sure you have a licensed professional who thoroughly knows property insurance claims on your side to ensure a full, fair and expedited settlement.
- Hire ICRS Public Adjusters to get you the fair and prompt settlement you deserve!
- Q: Should I hire a 3rd party water damage mitigation company to remove wet areas or do it in-house?
A: That is the question many commercial owners have been asking themselves. Onsite property management personnel are overloaded with work orders trying to retain tenants while water-damaged units that still may not have been properly mitigated run the risk of mold.
- Ready or not, your insurance company’s adjusters are coming. What the insurer’s representatives see during your inspections and who represents your interests can make a big difference in your claim settlement.
As trusted Public Insurance Adjusters representing Commercial and Multifamily property owners throughout Texas, our advice is to have property management personnel resources handle work orders for your business, check vacant units/areas for damages, and make sure air conditioning is on to help dry out moisture.
Running the business vs mitigating damage are two separate activities and this is why you have insurance.
Consider engaging a professional water mitigation company to tear out wet materials, mitigate further damage and perform a proper dry out to help prevent mold.
Q: How are policyholders dealing with water damage assured that the mitigation vendor will defend their work to the insurer’s and not be obligated to pay anything more than what the insurer will pay?
A: In our opinion, we recommend mitigation vendors and policyholders agree as follows:
“In the event insurance company disputes any mitigation invoice, contractor agrees to defend their work product or waive any unpaid portion not approved by insurer.”
- Do the remediation in phases with adjuster approvals. The process goes a little slower at times, but really substantiates the services performed and for the rebuild.
- Memorialize that the scope of work will be performed pursuant to 3rd party water damage restoration and remediation protocol.
- Payment terms are in accordance with Texas insurance code payment statute timelines.
- Work with a reputable water mitigation contractor who uses professional certified restoration/remediation crews that have been trained on the S500 and S520 Restoration industry standards set by the IICRC process. These professionals should have no issue documenting and supporting any reasonable and necessary scope of work or costs.
- 7 Tips for Thawing Frozen Pipes