Recently, I received a call from a couple who had a break in the stack pipe which caused water damage on the first floor and in the basement. They contacted their insurance company, who explained that they didn’t want anything touched until their adjuster saw the damage after the home owner refused to hire one of their recommended franchise restoration companies. Do you see something wrong here?
First and foremost, as I’ve said countless times, you as the home owner can hire any contractor you please. The insurance company’s can only recommend someone, but they can’t force you to use anyone. But more importantly, the insurance company can not force you to wait on doing any emergency or needed mitigation on your home which can cause further damage. Especially in this case where the home owner did not have a Mold clause attached to their policy. Why? Because by leaving the water loss sitting it can cause mold growth, water wicking, further loss to personal contents, etc. The insurance company’s job is to minimize loss and prevent further damage, not making anyone wait days for some adjuster just to come and take a look, when any restoration company will document and photo the entire job from start to finish. And in this case, the water loss itself was a Category 3 Loss, which is basically contaminated water which can lead to major illnesses if left untouched.
So here’s a few final points to remember whenever dealing with the insurance company:
- They’re not your friend, although they’ll act like it. They don’t post hundreds of millions in profit each year by giving you money.
- If you should incur a loss, you have the right to hire any remediation contractor you please as long as they’re licensed, insured and able to follow the guidelines for doing claim work,
- It is within your right to immediately address any loss in your home which is covered by your policy to minimize loss and to quickly bring the home back to pre-loss conditions.
- For dealing with major losses and/or major content loss, it is always an option to hire a reputable Public Adjuster prior to filing a claim, as the paperwork for such a loss is immense.