Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
3 Benefits of Keeping Electronic Insurance Files With a Storm Damage Claims Information Center
SERVPRO offers insurance claim information service centers
Benefits of a Claims Information Center
When you are an insurance agent, keeping up multiple claims after a major weather disaster in Fairview Park, CA, can be daunting. Each insurance claim is different and your clients likely all expect top-tier service, no matter how many files you are handling. However, you can streamline these claims and help each claimant more efficiently by utilizing the many benefits of a storm damage and restoration claims information center.
1. Information at Your Fingertips
When you work with a national claims information center with a storm damage response vendor, you can access information for any file whenever you wish. A phone call or accessing an online dashboard gives you instant access to all types of claim information, from the type of loss to where the business is located. This type of information retrieval can help you assist your insurance clients more efficiently.
2. Access To Cost Information
If your insurance customers need help filing a claim for a business loss, working with an information center can help you do so with more speed and accuracy. Job files costs and estimates are available once you sign into the dashboard, and you can view the results from almost any mobile device. This can be useful when visiting damaged businesses and speaking with owners who need such information to finish filing their claims.
3. Consistent Claims Updates
Estimates and the circumstances of an ongoing claim can change. However, companies who offer insurance claim information service centers, such as SERVPRO, can help you track estimate changes easily. Each time a file is uploaded into the system, any changes made can be viewed and noted as you help your client complete the claim. This may result in a faster payout for the business owner and fewer stressful moments for you.
Working with multiple business owners after a natural disaster in Fairview Park, CA, can be difficult for you as an insurance representative. However, when you work with a claims information center, you may be able to handle each insurance claim with more efficiency.
What You Should Know About the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
A company that is IICRC certified can handle a variety of disaster-related issues
When a disaster has occurred in Bristol, CA and has affected local homes, finding the right restoration company to assist in rebuilding homes can be difficult. However, considering whether a company has been validated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or the IICRC, is often important.
What Is It?
Understanding what the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is helpful to homeowners and insurance agents alike. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has various purposes, and does the following:
- Provides restoration and cleaning businesses with industry standards for commercial and residential assignments
- Offers resources for homeowners and restoration professionals
- Provides ongoing education for cleaning and restoration professionals
- Partners with various organizations to strengthen standards in the restoration and cleaning industry
What Types of Disasters Can Certified Professionals Handle?
A company that is IICRC certified can handle a variety of disaster-related issues. Though each restoration company will be different, many restoration companies that have this mitigation certificate commonly work on:
- Buildings affected by mold growth
- Buildings impacted by fires
- Buildings affected by flooding and wind damage
Why Does Using a Validated Restoration Company Matter?
Finding a company that has been validated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification can often be helpful when it comes to choosing a restoration company that will provide quality, reliable services. A company that has been validated by this organization is likely to have extensive restoration experience. Additionally, a restoration business that has this validation must adhere to a set of standards, which holds companies accountable for the work they do. Overall, homeowners and insurance agents can feel confident in companies certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
Understanding what the IICRC does and knowing what trained professionals can assist with and why certification matters can help homeowners and insurance agents choose the best restoration company for the job. If homeowners or insurance agents have questions about the process of rebuilding, contacting certified restoration professionals may be helpful.
What To Know About Renter’s Insurance and Fire Coverage
Fire damage to living room in Downtown Costa Mesa, CA
If you’re a renter and your home in Downtown Costa Mesa, CA, is damaged by fire, you need to understand that the value of your personal belongings is not protected by the insurance coverage your landlord holds. Your landlord’s insurance takes care of structural damage. What can you do to recover the value of your personal belongings? Consider renter’s insurance. Each policy is different so here are some coverage types you want to know about before you call an agent.
Insurance policies may encompass different types of coverage. Here are some common features of these plans:
- Loss of Use. This piece of the policy can help you pay for a place to stay if your rental abode is damaged.
- Liability. This is a common feature of most renter’s insurance policies and is important to protect you from financial destitution in the case that you or your family may have accidently started the fire.
- Medical Payments to Others. These are usually smaller payments for minor, no-fault injuries, but are still an important part of coverage.
Make sure you discuss these with your agent and decide what selections are right for you.
Another important detail to check is if your plan covers replacement costs or cash value for items with fire damage. You don’t really want a policy that will only pay you cash value. That means that your belongings are depreciated and have a lesser value. This makes sense that the television you’ve had for ten years may only fetch a few bucks, but if you need to replace a TV damaged by fire, you would certainly have to pay more than that.
If a fire does strike, a renter’s insurance policy can help protect you financially by helping with injuries, money for a place to live temporarily and replacement of your belongings. You may also benefit from calling a professional for damage assessment to see if any of your personal items may be recoverable. Professionals specialize in fire restoration and may be able to clean smoke or soot from your personal items.
Is a Mold Inspection Necessary Before Buying a Building?
Mold containment in Westside,CA
Inspecting a property for mold can be expensive. If a building has sustained water damage and has a hidden mold problem, mitigation can be far more expensive. Before you buy a building in Westside, CA, check for signs of water damage. You may want to schedule a mold inspection if the structure has sustained this type of damage.
Does the Building Have Water Damage?
There are several signs of water damage to look for in a commercial building. Check for ceilings, walls, flooring, or other surfaces that are:
Keep an eye out for accumulations of water anywhere in the structure. If you smell a moldy odor, it may be worth your while to schedule a mold inspection.
Are There Any Signs of Visible Mold?
It may seem obvious that you should check for signs of a mold problem prior to buying a building, but it may be difficult to know what to look for. Wear and tear may resemble mold, and some types of mold may look like discoloration due to age. Keep a look out for:
- Irregular growth patterns
- Patterns of clusters or spots
- Fuzzy or hairy textures
There are a variety of colors of interior mold. Look for growths that are:
If you smell mold but do not see any colonies, hidden mold may be present. Do not attempt to locate this mold on your own. If you are interested in the property, the expense of professional mold testing may be worth the peace of mind.
Whether you notice signs of discoloration, deterioration, or potential mold growth, a mold inspection can be helpful when considering whether to purchase a building with a history of water damage. If experts find mold and you still want to buy the property, rely on a commercial mold cleanup company in Westside, CA.
What Are the Tenants’ and Building Owner’s Responsibility After a Fire?
Apartment fire damage in Downtown Costa Mesa,CA
An apartment fire in Downtown Costa Mesa,CA can be devastating for both tenants and the building owner. If your rental properties have been damaged by a fire, you may be unsure of your financial responsibilities as the building owner. There are several categories of damage, however, and this will determine who covers the cost of the damage.
The Building Owner’s Financial Responsibility
After a fire occurs, the building owner should file an insurance claim in order to see what home owner’s insurance will cover. Often, insurance will help to cover the costs, but regardless of what insurance will or will not cover, the building owner is responsible for:
- The cost of structural damage to the building
- The cost to fix or replace plumbing, electrical and other necessary systems
The Tenants’ Financial Responsibility
Once tenants’ apartments have sustained damage from an apartment fire, tenants may also find it helpful to contact their own insurance company to see what renter’s insurance will and will not cover. The tenants are responsible for:
- The cost of personal belongings that have been damaged or destroyed, such as clothing, televisions, computers and other items
- The cost of furniture and upholstery
After a fire, business owners and tenants have additional responsibilities that they should fulfill in order to make the restoration process as simple and quick as possible. Potentially helpful steps to take may include:
- Both the tenants and the building owner documenting the damage and losses
- The building owner discussing temporary housing options with the tenant; the cost of temporary housing is often covered by the tenant’s insurance
- Checking with the fire department in order to know when it is safe to reenter the apartment
Knowing your responsibilities after an apartment fire can help to expedite the restoration process. When restoring your buildings, it might be helpful to work with fire damage restoration experts who can help to safely and efficiently clean and restore your building.
Your Flood Preparation Guide: What To Do When a Major Storm Is On the Way
Storm damage in Fairgrounds,CA
If you live in a flood zone, it is imperative that you have a storm preparation plan in place that will keep both you and your home safe from flood water and the damage it can cause. If you don't currently have a plan in place, now is the time to create one, as storm season is well under way in most parts of the country, and floods can come out of nowhere and may do the following:
- Result from excessive rain or snow, coastal storms, overflows or storm surges
- Develop slowly or quickly, such as a flash flood
- Cause power outages, result in costly water damage, disrupt transportation and create landslides
Because floods are often the result of common natural events, such as rain, and because they can come on suddenly, the best thing you can do for your safety is prepare.
What To Do When You Are Under a Flood Warning
If your area is currently at risk of being inundated by flood water, there are certain measures you should take to stay safe. Some such measures include the following:
- Do not attempt to navigate the flood waters via any means, whether by walking, driving, swimming or boating.
- Steer clear of bridges that go over fast-moving water.
- Evacuate your home if ordered to do so.
What To Do During a Flood
If your home is at risk of becoming flooded, move to higher ground immediately, but only if there is a clear path out of the flooded area. Otherwise, stay where you're at. If you're trapped in a flooded building, turn on your radio and tune into NOOAA Weather Radio, EAS or the local alerting system for instructions on how to proceed. DO NOT go into the attic, as you may become trapped by rising water. If necessary, climb out onto the roof and flag for help.
What To Do After a Flood
If flood water has caused excessive water damage to your home, contact your Fairgrounds, CA, flood remediation team as soon as the waters have begun to recede. The right team can help dry out your home and restore it to pre-flood condition.
Fire Statistics in America & Tips To Keep Costa Mesa Residents Safe
A few examples of some fires that SERVPRO of Costa Mesa was involved in helping to clean and restore.
Every year homes, churches and office buildings catch fire. The numbers of reasons are endless as to why. Whether intentional or by accident, the statics for fires in America has been increasingly higher each year. Per www.nfpa.org (National Fire Protection Agency), the statistics below show the 2014 year (2015 has to be collected) for what is at cost when a fire occurs.
In 2014, there were 1,298,000 fires reported in the United States. These fires caused 3,275 civilian deaths, 15,775 civilian injuries, and $11.6 billion in property damage.
494,000 were structure fires, causing 2,860 civilian deaths, 13,425 civilian injuries, and $9.8 billion in property damage.
193,500 were vehicle fires, causing 345 civilian fire deaths, 1,450 civilian fire injuries, and $1.5 billion in property damage.
610,500 were outside and other fires, causing 70 civilian fire deaths, 900 civilian fire injuries, and $237 million in property damage.
Beyond the numbers of what fire cost, the frequency in which fire occurs is listed below, also cited from www.nfpa.org.
The 2014 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 64 seconds.
One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
One civilian fire injury was reported every 33 minutes.
One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 41 minutes.
One outside and other fire was reported every 52 seconds.
One highway vehicle fire was reported every 3 minutes 8 seconds.
So now that we know the numbers that affect us in America, what can we do to decrease such statistics listed above? For starters, having the knowledge of how to identify the risk of potential fires will help everyone stop a fire before it starts.
If outdoors, keep dry brush away from camping fires or BBQs. When done, be sure to water down any flames or embers that were burning, even if they have stopped smoking. Always keeping abucket of water nearby would be wise as well.
Keep front lawns and bushes cut to reduce potential fire hazards. Just because California is in a drought and we are limiting water, doesn’t mean you should let the wild brown grass or bushes grown wildly.
Home rooftops and exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh should be checked seasonally at the very least.
If driving a vehicle, pull over as quickly as possible, turn off the engine, get everyone out of the car and move at least 100 feet from the vehicle. Call 911 right away.
If indoors, keep plants and loose cloths/curtains aware from fire places, gas stoves and candles. Any open flame is a risk for a potential fire. Have a small fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, and hall closet to be extra safe.
Make sure that those around you know how to use a fire extinguisher.
Have an escape plan. Whether outdoors or inside, always plan an escape route in case a fire should occur. Two story homes could be just as dangerous as an open field. Keep in mind that fires can spread quickly and are more often than not, unpredictable. Inside a home or office can spread just as quickly as being in an open field and then being surrounded by flames.
Know how to read if a closed door is a safe exit away from fire or if it just a barrier between you and further flames. Place a hand on the door. If it is warm or bloated, it isn’t safe. If it is cool, it is ok to go through and should be closed behind you. Every door when leaving a fire should be closed behind you if possible.
Keep fire alarms operational and frequently check the batteries. If an alarm goes off, leave the premises immediately. If you must exit through smoke, sty low and crawl to your nearest exit. Each room should always have two escape routes.
Never use elevators if you live in a high rise apartment complex or are at a hotel. Stairs will be your go to in order to leave a building.
There will be times we won’t be able to avoid fires, accidents do happen. If that is the case, once everyone is safe, let us come help you get everything back to "Like it never even happened." SERVPRO has years experience in a variety of fire claims. From natural disasters involving lightening storms to electrical fires to fireworks and Christmas Trees taking over a person’s home, we have seen it all and we know how to help. Contact your local SERVPRO straight away.