What You Should Know About Filing an Insurance Claim
Winds in excess of 70 mph toppled trees all over the Spokane area. Many fallen trees caused property damage. Photo Credit--Ginny Campbell.
The recent windstorm in Spokane caused a significant amount of property damage from falling trees. Of course, this has kept insurance companies very busy processing claims. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is experienced in helping homeowners file insurance claims. Here are some facts you should know when dealing with your insurance company. This list of your rights has been compiled from various Washington State insurance and consumer rights organizations.
Washington State Insured Bill of Rights
- YOU MAY TAKE AND BE FULLY COMPENSATED FOR THE COST OF EMERGENCY STEPS TO SAFEGUARD YOUR PROPERTY FROM FURTHER DAMAGE AFTER A LOSS.
In fact, you have the obligation to do so under the terms of your policy. The insurance company may not be liable for additional expenses if you fail to provide such protection.
- IF YOU HAVE SECURED ADEQUATE COVERAGE, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE PAID FOR THE FAIR COST OF FULLY RESTORING YOUR HOME TO ITS PRE-DAMAGED CONDITION.
You are, however, not insured for the repair of unrelated problems such as code deficiencies and or prior damage.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO EMPLOY AND SHOULD INSIST UPON A FULLY LICENSED AND INSURED REPAIR FIRM OF GOOD REPUTATION.
If you choose not to employ such a firm, the consequences, and liability for any injury, damage or other actions will rest with you.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO EMPLOY A FIRM WITH SUFFICIENT EXPERIENCE AND STABILITY IN THE COMMUNITY TO STAND BEHIND ITS WORK AND WARRANTY RESPONSIBILITIES.
The repair contract and its execution is strictly between you and the contractor. Your insurance company does not warrant or guarantee the performance of any firm you hire.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP FULLY EQUIVALENT TO YOUR EXISTING INSTALLATION IN “LIKE KIND AND QUALITY”. The insurance company has no obligation to improve your existing installation.
- YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ACCEPT THE LOWEST BIDDER. NOWHERE IN YOUR POLICY DO THE WORDS “CHEAPEST”, “LOW”, OR “LOWEST PRICE” OCCUR.
Repair rates should correspond to prevailing standards in your area for work of good quality.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE A DETAILED LISTING OF THE SCOPE OF REPAIRS AND QUANTITIES OF MATERIALS TO BE PROVIDED BEFORE WORK BEGINS.
Provision for hidden or latent problems relating to the damage should be spelled out in as much detail as possible.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO AND SHOULD REJECT ANY CONTRACT THAT DOES NOT INCORPORATE ALL FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION WORK.
You must be familiar with these requirements in order to enjoy the protection the law provides. Contact a Professional Restoration Contractor for this important information.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO SELECT A FIRM WHO CAN DEMONSTRATE SKILL AND EXPERIENCE IN INSURANCE DAMAGE REPAIR AS A FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL SERVICE.
Ask for references, credentials, and association memberships that indicate professional training and status in insurance repair, as contrasted with ordinary home improvement work.
- IF SUBSTANTIAL DISAGREEMENT ARISES BETWEEN YOU AND THE INSURANCE COMPANY OVER THE AMOUNT OF THE LOSS, YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REQUEST ARBITRATION (APPRAISAL) AS DESCRIBED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE POLICY LINES 123-140 OF THE STANDARD HOMEOWNERS FORM WHICH SPELLS OUT THE PROCEDURES FOR SETTLING DIFFERENCES WITHOUT RESORTING TO LAWSUIT. The insurance company is also entitled to this provision, which may be invoked at any time prior to settlement, regardless of whether or not you have received advanced payments.
- YOU ARE ENTITLED TO RECEIVE PAYMENT FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED BY THE POLICY AND YOUR STATE INSURANCE REGULATIONS, WHICH ARE DESIGNED TO PREVENT INSURANCE COMPANIES FROM USING DELAY AND PERSONAL HARDSHIP TO COMPEL A LOWER SETTLEMENT.
The policy also has time requirements for the policyholder, within which you must prepare and submit your claim. Ask your adjuster about these requirements at the outset so that you can be in compliance.
For more details you can visit the following website:
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County works with your insurance company to make sure your claims are handled quickly and efficiently. Contact us for any of your property damage repair and restoration solutions. You can reach us anytime 24/7 at 509-534-0566
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County Cleans Vandalized Lincoln Statue
The crew from SERVPRO South & West Spokane County cleans the vandalized statue of Abraham Lincoln in downtown Spokane.
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County finished cleaning the red paint off the Abraham Lincoln statue downtown, which was vandalized on Thanksgiving.
It took two days and more than 40 working hours to completely clean the statue, which was doused in red paint on Thanksgiving.
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County volunteered the time and materials to clean and restore this important landmark in downtown Spokane.
“We love our community. We love Spokane,” said Jess Hockett, Marketing Manager for SERVPRO. “We’re proud to be members of the community, and the statue belongs to each one of us. It just doesn’t belong to the City of Spokane. It belongs to each one of us as members of the community.”
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane specializes in property damage restoration whether from vandalism as in this instance or fire damage, water damage, storm, or flood damage.
Safety is Important Even After a Fire
If the soot is this bad in your home after a fire, you should not be entering without a respirator.
It is traumatic to experience a fire in your home or business. And the dangers don't present themselves only during the fire. They can appear after. It is important to take specific actions to minimize hazards to your health after the flames are gone.
One of the biggest concerns after the fire is out is air quality. It is likely that materials caught fire and debris and particles were sent airborne. These particles could easily be toxic. Without proper respiratory protection, you will be inhaling these potentially toxic particles.
Another big concern has to do with "slip and fall" hazards. If you must go into the structure, make sure to wear proper shoes and avoid areas that may be wet from the water that was sprayed to put out the blaze.
Use the buddy system. Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Use your legs to lift things -- don't use your back! Be very careful.
There are some things you should do, following a fire.
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change your HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
Most of all, remember that the contents can be replaced. Take care of your health and the health of your loved ones. Getting injured after the fire is something that can be avoided!
The smart thing to do is hire professionals to handle the cleanup and restoration after a fire. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is ready to help. Our teams of IICRC certified professionals are available 24/7. Just call us at 509-534-0566.
Hoarding Problems Need Special Attention
This room belonged to a hoarder. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane cleaned and sanitized the residence to help with recovery.
If you're faced with the problem of cleaning up after a hoarder, then you know, it's not just a matter of straightening up a room's contents and clearing away clutter.
Hoarding is a serious mental problem and can be very difficult to deal with. Hoarders don't just accumulate "stuff" they often pile rooms high with garbage, pet feces, and other items that attract rodents and their associated contaminants and diseases. Cleaning up after a hoarder is a job for a professionally trained team.
Whether you're a property manager, owner, or family member of a hoarder, you can feel confident calling SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County for help. Our teams are IICRC certified and highly trained in both cleaning and disinfecting--as well as dealing with the often sensitive issues that come with hoarding.
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is available 24/7. Just call us at 509-534-0566 and we can have a professional out to your property in no time.
Dangerous Mold Can Grow in Unexpected Places
Dangerous mold can crop up in hidden spaces and be nearly undetectable. That's why you need the professionals from SERVPRO of South & West Spokane.
Anything attached to the outside of your home poses the possibility of providing a pathway for water to invade the home. Whatever material covers your home’s exterior must be in good repair and reinforced in areas where moisture regularly collects. Even a small breach gives microbial growth a chance to take a foothold. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is waiting to help you find and eliminate this serious problem.
For example, if you added a bank of window boxes beneath your living room window, in addition to making your home more attractive, the new addition, unknown to you, may actually be a source for mold damage to your Spokane home.
The technicians SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County sends to deal with mold are IICRC certified and receive advanced training in EPA techniques to manage mold.
Our technicians can find mold under the window overlooking those new garden boxes, hiding between the exterior cladding and the plaster wall facing the living room. The odor wafts through wall outlets, and the colony was revealed when our crew cut out a section of lathe and plaster. Containment was achieved with plastic draping, followed by removal of the mold and the wood lathe upon which it fed. After we bagged the moldy material, proper disposal followed according to local regulations.
Technicians from SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County discovered small cracks through the stucco that occurred during the installation of the window boxes. Every time the spray of the watering hose hit the stucco some moisture leaked into the dwelling. This small amount of water then activated mold spores and the infestation was inevitable. Sealing of the cracks and replacement of the plaster removed to expose the mold finalized the remediation and restoration process.
Waste no time when you smell a musty odor. Contact SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County at (509) 534-0566 and a mold remediation team will quickly respond.
Commercial Water Damage is a Different Problem Than Residential Water Damage
If your office space of business property has flooding or water damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County.
Flooding and water damage events at Spokane-area commercial properties are often complex, with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County will work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area.
Business owners understand that the business downtime can be more devastating to the property damage -- we understand that too. Many times the most important thing to Spokane-area businesses is to get back in business . . . fast. It is critical that business owners be put in a position where revenue-generating activities can begin again as quickly as possible.
The professional technicians at SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area quickly while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County
SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is IICRC Certified and highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Call us 24/7 at (509) 534-0566.
Sprinkler System Malfunction? You Need SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County
How many times have you heard this nightmare? A business owner shows up early for work only to find that a sprinkler system malfunction has soaked the business and all of its furnishings!
It happens more often than you think. A sprinkler head comes or even just comes loose. Or a sensor goes bad and before you know it, your beautiful retail or office location is a disaster.
At SERVPRO, We're Fastest To Any Size Disaster. We arrive as quickly as we can so no time is wasted, and your emergency is brought under control as soon as possible. Removing the standing water and excess moisture is paramount to ensuring that any potential damage is stifled before it can become a reality.
Removing the water from a broken sprinkler head often means drying out not only your building but anything and everything between the sprinkler system and the floor. Merchandise, displays, carpeting, furniture and much more all face damage if allowed to remain saturated. Preventing subsequent damage is impossible unless water removal begins immediately.
Removing excess water and moisture from your building can be accomplished with the use of heaters, air movers, and dehumidifiers. Using these together increases each type of machine's efficiency, cutting the overall drying out period drastically. Water vapor removal is crucial to preserving inventory and keeping a shop open.
Some materials that are highly sensitive to contact with water might need specialized care to preserve it. Other items may be so fragile that no amount of attention can salvage them. Each item is always assessed on a case-by-case basis. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County makes it a point to explain all details of such matters with you, before disposing of anything. We understand that inventory may need to be photographed in such situations when damaged beyond repair or restoration.
For the fastest response from start to finish, contact us, SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County. We are local and always ready, day or night. Our number is (509) 534-0566, and we are available 24/7 to answer your call.
4 Benefits of Commercial Restoration Services
A commercial restoration and cleaning service such as SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is essential in maintaining your commercial property. The condition of your building impacts productivity at work and eventually your bottom line. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect when you hire the right pros to take care of cleaning and restoration.
Faster Insurance Process
If you have suffered a loss from fire, flood, water damage, biohazard, or more, you’ll have the information you need when you file for a claim with your insurance company. Experienced restoration experts can help you fill in the form. They also provide documentation that prevents the insurance company from downgrading the losses or damages.
As an established restoration service provider, SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County has the experience and industry knowledge to provide the assistance you need. That ensures efficient and stellar results. With a team of certified and skilled technicians who are up to date with the latest and best practices in restoration techniques, you can look forward to getting your property restored and your business back in operation quickly.
Not all commercial cleaning and restoration services provide solutions tailored to your needs. That’s why it’s essential that you sort out the details with the firm. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need. SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County will come up with a plan that fits your needs and is just right for your budget.
Pros can take a look at the building or facility, assess the damage, come up with a detailed plan for repairs, and proceed to restore the property. With their help, you can get back to using that space in no time. It's possible that the firm may be able to restore portions of your property to operational status while still working on more difficult areas. This will help you begin to get back in business quickly.
Hire the Right Pros
When you’re looking for a cleaning and restoration service provider, there is no better choice than SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County. Our team of experienced professionals is IICRC certified. That means we’re up to date with the latest training, techniques, and equipment to make short work of your cleaning and restoration no matter how serious your property damage. Call us anytime 24/7 at 509-534-0655.
Benefits of Storm Damage Restoration Services
Stormwater damage to your property is a serious problem. It could lead to all sorts of trouble, such as bacteria, mold, and mildew growth. Get the help you need right away by looking for pros. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect when you hire a team of storm damage restoration experts.
The longer the property and your belongings are submerged in water or exposed, the less likely it is for restoration efforts to be successful. That’s why calling in pros as soon as the problem happens is a must. They work fast to ensure they get to save as many of your belongings—and as much of your home—as possible.
Safe Mold Removal
When stormwater enters a structure, mold is often the result. Pinpointing spots of mold growth in your home is challenging work. It can develop in the property’s siding, ceilings, walls, and more. If you or a family member keeps getting sick or respiratory problems, mold allergens could be a factor. Hire pros to find and eliminate them from your home. They know the most effective and safest ways to find and deal with the problem.
Cut Down on Losses
Water damage can lead to heavy losses in damages. Calling in professionals as soon as possible, though, can make the difference between being able to save some of your belongings or a portion of your property and writing everything off as a complete and utter loss. By hiring pros with a trusted reputation for delivering quick results, you can cut down on the losses and the costs of your repairs as well as replacements.
Hire a Pro and Get Experienced Advice
A reputable water damage team such as SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County is able to inspect your property and belongings and can tell you which ones might still be re-used and which ones are a lost cause. Our team is IICRC certified and has the training, specialized equipment, and experience to make quick work of your clean up and restoration. Call us anytime 24/7 at 509-534-0655.
Storm Damage – What to Do with Flooding
Strong storms that happen occasionally in our area can create a significant amount of flooding in a home. That floodwater may be trapped inside your home causing extensive damage. What do you do when this happens?
Keep Safety in Mind
Your first and primary goal is to maintain the safety of your family. To do that, you need to stay out of the water. Stormwater may look harmless inside your home, but it is often filled with contaminants that can be harmful. You may even need to leave the home if the water is more than a few inches or if it continues to rise.
Removing the Water
In some cases, the water will recede, but you do not want to wait too long for that to happen. If the water will not quickly drain on its own – that is when you need professional help right away. The faster you can remove the water, the less damage will be done. Our team can extract the water properly, minimizing any risks to you along the way.
Drying Out the Space
Storm damage like this needs to be carefully assessed and remediated right away. A key component of the process will be to dry out the space and, if something cannot be dried out properly, it should be removed. Proper cleaning is also necessary since water is likely to leave behind harmful substances such as raw sewage or toxic chemicals.
Get the Support You Need Now
It is best not to wait to get storm damage cleaned up. At SERVPRO of South & West Spokane County, our experienced, IICRC certified technicians can help you to overcome the damage you have quickly. Call us 24/7 at 509-534-0655 for immediate help.