When faced with an emergency water damage clean-up or fire/smoke damage to your property, who do you call… what should you do? Many property owner’s call their insurance company since you purchased insurance to protect your home, why not get their advice on how best to minimize the damages considering you will want them to pay for the damages.
Some insurance company’s will respond with an offer to send one of their Preferred Vendors – “contractors” to provide the services you need. Many homeowners assume the insurance company’s suggestion of a contractor, is an implied endorsement of that contractor. It is also assumed that the contractor will provide a quality service as they are there to protect the property for the insurance company. Remember one thing, the vendor is Preferred by the insurance company, not by you!
Here is the question so many property owners ask….”Do I have to use my insurance company’s contractor?” The short answer is NO. One of the reasons you may opt out of using your insurance company’s suggested contractor, is you may not have control over how the work is managed or controlled and if you disagree with their approach, you may have little power to oppose them.
Here is a recent story of a contractor sent by an insurance company. A property owner was on vacation for 8 days, upon return to the property, a puddle of water was discovered on the kitchen floor. This was the first indication of a water leak seen by the owner. At the time of the incident and when the claim was filed by the owner, the exact source of the leak was undetermined. The insurance company offered to send their contractor to perform the water damage cleanup and dry out. The property owner agreed to use this contractor with the belief they would handle the job properly and the insurance company would pay the contractor for the services easily since it was their contractor.
The outcome of this situation was nothing short of a nightmare to a property owner that didn’t have the experience to know better. The contractor placed dry out equipment in the affected areas and monitored the equipment every other day by testing the moisture content and humidity inside the property. The source of the leak was identified as a pipe leaking in the kitchen island sink area and a plumber was sent to repair the pipe.
After a couple days of dehumidifiers and fans running, the drywall and cabinetry should have showed signed of drying out. Instead, the affected areas remained very wet, and this contractor did not use the diagnostic monitoring data to determine that another ongoing leak from another source was continuous. Contrary to industry standards, the equipment remained on the property for 33 days when a typical dry out is 3-5 days. As a result of the mismanagement of the this water damage mitigation, the problem worsened over time, and now the water damaged areas have created a significant mold problem.
Although we are not suggesting all stories turn out this way, in this case, the property owner fully relied on the credibility of the contractor simply because the insurance company recommended them and the property owner complained thru-out the process but nothing was done.
In the end, the decision over choosing a contractor should always be the choice of the property owner since they will have to live with the outcome of the contractor’s work for many years to come. We can all agree that not having control over your restoration process can be frustrating and overwhelming.
We are here to help, not cause additional damage. We investigate the source of the leak, and it is our goal to ensure the leak has stopped so the damage will not continue. If you find yourself in need water damage restoration, fire/smoke restoration, mold remediation or reconstructive services, please call South Florida Water and Mold Restoration at 954-923-3340 for a fast and professional response.
South Florida Water and Mold Restoration, Inc.
1221 Stirling Road, Unit 113
Dania Beach, FL 33004