Is it time for the professional?
Flood waters entering into your home or business brings with it a unique set of circumstances that can have a substantial impact on your insurance coverage, your home, family, and business. Read on for a few valuable tips to consider when searching for flood cleanup companies.
Important Safety Tips:
- Do not enter or touch flood water that has entered your home or business.
- If power is off, keep it off until the safety of the electrical devices is inspected and declared safe by a licensed electrician.
Typical insurance policies do not cover damage caused by flood waters entering the home or business from the outdoors; while FEMA does offer flood coverage, much of the coverage given is very distinct from the standard home or business policy, and many are considered to be of actual cash value (ACV) only. Meaning much of damage may not be replaced or recoverable at the full retail value. For this reason, alone, you should check with your insurance agent now. Stay up to date and informed on the coverage (if any) limitations and guidelines.
When dealing with flood cleanup companies, keep in mind that not all have had the past in removing or decontaminating a home or business after a flood has occurred. Ask questions. More specifically, has the company ever worked on a FEMA flood coverage claim prior and what was the result.
More questions to consider:
How will you document my claim?
Accurate documentation, including photographs, are critical. More so in a flood damage claim as it's likely much of the flood waters will have receded before an insurance agent or adjuster having a chance to review the loss. Before discarding any item, be sure that the representative from the flood damage company is taking digital and clear photographs and descriptions.
ECO Disaster Services has employed the use of Dash, an innovative communication platform giving you, the agent, and insurance adjuster accurate information in real time.
Who will you be communicating with?
It's important that the chosen flood damage company understands that clear communication must be given to not only you but to your carrier's agent, it's adjuster and quite possibly a representative from FEMA as well. As flood waters can generate an incredible amount of damage in a short period, critical information will be lost if not communicated efficiently to all parties involved. As the policyholder; keep a record of these communications and photographs. You may be asked to share as proof the flood damage claim was properly remediated if you should ever decide to sell the property.
Do you guarantee your services?
From the first drop of water to the dry out and final certification, every step should be part of a guarantee of services. Critical areas of your home or business may be affected, and long-term results costly if not correctly remediated during the cleaning. Pay particular attention if HVAC and or electrical systems were affected and ask about the guarantee.
Can you verify the cleanliness of the flood damaged areas affected afterward?
One the most important questions. You've chosen to invite a flood cleanup company into your home or business. How will they verify the cleanliness of the project afterward? A drying log that you may not understand and can be easily manipulated for results?
While some flood cleanup companies may offer verification as an additional service (at a cost not often covered by a flood policy) request the ATP Guarantee. The ATP system measures the cleanliness of the materials in your home or business and verifies those measurements in real time. Read more about the ATP clean guarantee here.
Are you an IICRC certified firm? Your technicians?
Check with the IICRC. Any flood cleanup company should be certified by the IICRC for water damage mitigation at a minimum. There are many different levels of certification for water damage in the IICRC and the water damage mitigation is just the start. While this certification alone is not a verification of experience; it is a start and testament that the individual and the company has placed an actual value on educating themselves within the industry.
If you aren't satisfied with the answers, you likely won't be pleased with the results.