Know Your Rights When Filing an Insurance Claim
Windstorms--not necessarily a rare event in Spokane--topple trees and cause massive damage to property. Photo Credit--Ginny Campbell.
With the recent serious windstorm in the Spokane area and the resulting massive increase in insurance claims from homeowners we thought it would be appropriate to review the Washington State Insured Bill of Rights. 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 Northwest Spokane 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 509-487-4700.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane Cleans Vandalized Lincoln Statue
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane Cleans Vandalized Abraham Lincoln statue in downtown Spokane.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane 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 Northwest Spokane 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 Northwest Spokane specializes in property damage restoration whether from vandalism as in this instance or fire damage, water damage, storm, or flood damage.
Some Suggestions on Preventing Water Damage to Your Spokane Home
Undetected or untreated water damage can do serious harm to the structural integrity of your home. When moisture seeps into the wood construction of your home, it weakens the wood and is an invitation to carpenter ants and termites. Be careful!
Knowing how to prevent water damage is something every homeowner should be familiar with. Here are some suggestions.
Drainage is Critical
Poor drainage is a recipe for disaster. When water does not drain away from your home it can weaken your foundation and cause your home to settle giving you sloping floors or uneven walls with cracks and even more opportunities for water to enter your home.
Check your gutters regularly for blockages. Especially here in the beautiful Northwest, pine needles are a constant source of blockages in rain gutters. Failure to deal with these blockages can cause water to run over the edges of your gutter and pool next to your foundation.
A leaky foundation can be difficult to spot. Water can seep slowly into your basement and appear as simply a damp spot on your unfinished basement floor. If your basement is carpeted, you may not even notice this moisture at all until it results in a musty odor or even mold. If this happens, your best bet is to call SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane to help you locate the source and deal with the problem.
Check Your Sump Pump Often
Many homes in our area have sump pumps that "lift" water from the depths of your basement or foundation into your sewer line. This critical piece of equipment must be kept in working order at all times.
How to Spot Water Leaks
Small but consistent leaks cause mildew and mold, rot, and encourage the presence of carpenter ants and termites. If you are quick to fix a leak, you may experience no long-term damage.
Leaks can show as dark stains under pipes inside sink cabinets as well as stains on ceilings.
Take a close look at your roof at least once per year. Be sure to note and replace loose or damaged shingles. Check around flashing for leaks and be sure to inspect caulking for cracks.
Call the Pros
If you find a leak you should call the professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane to have the source identified and the leakage stopped. Our professionals are IICRC certified and are available 24/7. Just call us at 509-487-4700.
If Your Basement is Flooded You Need the Professionals at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane
We don't like to think about it, but our area is susceptible to long periods of intense rain which can cause flooding even in the most well-built basement. Finding standing water in your basement can be a homeowner's worst nightmare.
Quickly Remove the Water
If there is standing water in your basement, your first reaction will be to find a way to remove the water. This will require a wet vac at the very least and some sort of pumping system at the most. Many homeowners will have a wet vac, but very few will have any sort of pumping system beyond their overwhelmed sump pump. Getting the water out of your basement quickly helps to prevent further damage. It's one good reason to call the experts at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane. Our water damage restoration teams have specialized equipment to remove the water--no matter how much--from your basement.
Dry the Surfaces
After the standing water is gone, it's important to quickly and thoroughly dry all the surfaces. This includes flooring and walls. Drywall will likely have to be removed just above the water line for the drying process to be complete. SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane has industrial-grade drying equipment that can accomplish this task much more quickly than anything available to a homeowner. Getting things dried out quickly helps to prevent further damage and discourages the growth of mold. Our technicians are also equipped with professional-grade moisture detection equipment to make certain that hidden moisture is also removed.
Inspect HVAC and Other Basement Equipment
It's possible that the flood water damaged some of your HVAC system or appliances. SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane can evaluate these damaged items and recommend action.
Restore the Damage
This often includes the replacement of flooring which is too badly damaged to be restored and may even involve replacing some wall structures. Once again, the team at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is highly trained and qualified in restoring water damaged areas of your basement--regardless of how severe the damage. They are a flooded homeowner's best friend.
If you have a flooded basement, regardless of the source of the water or scope of the flood, SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is the trusted resource in Spokane for homeowners who want their restoration work done quickly and professionally. Just call them anytime 24/7 and they'll respond faster to your disaster. You can reach them at 509-487-4700.
Questions to Consider Before Hiring a Commercial Restoration Service
Thoroughly vetting a company before you hire one for your commercial restoration and cleaning needs is a smart move. You’re letting this company come onto your property so it’s important that you make the right hiring decision. Asking the right questions makes this easier. If you’ve had a fire or flood or water damage, etc., your needs may be urgent. If you have thought about some of these issues in advance, it will be helpful.
What are your needs?
Before anything else, make sure you understand what you need from the firm. Fire or flood restoration? Water damage restoration? Mold removal and remediation? Some firms offer specialized services and use specialized equipment and processes specifically for these restorations. Some have special certifications. It’s always good to go with a firm that is IICRC Certified. This helps you to be confident that the firm has received the proper training to handle your disaster restoration and cleanup. Do any of their specializations fit the bill? Some firms will do a customized assessment of your needs and then recommend a specific set of solutions.
Do they have reviews?
A firm that’s been around for years should have more than enough positive reviews from happy clients. A company that’s also proud of its work and the service quality it delivers will be more than happy to direct you to those reviews. If the firm doesn’t have any, that’s a red flag.
What do the reviews say?
When you look up the reviews, look over them to gain more insight into how the firms serviced their clients, what they did to help, what kind of customer service they are able to deliver. All the information you find will help you figure out if you're choosing the right restoration crew. Remember also, that most businesses—especially those that have been in business a long time--will have an occasional bad review. If a company has dozens of reviews and none of them are negative, that can be a red flag pointing to fake reviews. Pay attention to their responses to negative reviews. Sometimes people write negative reviews and post them to the wrong company—especially if the company is a franchise business.
What are their rates?
Price is a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only one on your list. Using cost as a measure of what makes quality service isn’t accurate. You want to get the best value for your money instead, all while still receiving the level of restoration and cleaning service your property requires. Additionally, you’ll want a firm that is experienced in dealing with insurance companies, as you will likely be filing a claim for cleaning and restoration work from a fire or flood.
Choose SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is the preferred restoration company in Spokane. If your business has experienced a disaster or even just needs a deep clean, they should be your first call. They are available to respond to your emergency 24/7. Call them at 509-487-4700.
Dealing with the Aftermath of Fire and Smoke Damage
Fire and smoke damage can be devastating. If this happened in your home, it could destroy everything you own. The lasting damage might seem irreparable. To make sure, though, you’ll need to hire the services of a fire and smoke damage restoration team. Here are a few tips to help you deal with the aftermath.
Remove the Soot and Smoke
Don’t leave the soot, fire, and smoke too unattended for too long. Once you get the go-ahead that it is safe to enter your property, your restoration team will need to start removing your belongings as soon as possible. The sooner the team carries this out, the more successful the restoration efforts will likely be.
Don't Touch Anything
If you’re not sure how to go about cleaning your carpets or belongings, don’t touch anything. Leave the work to the hands of experts. The fire damage restoration firm has the experience and tools to take care of this for you. If you’re not certain how to handle anything, just keep out of the way of the team and let them work.
Replace Your Belongings
Cleaning efforts can only do so much. This applies to your belongings and your property. If your contractors suggest that you replace your carpets or rebuild parts of your home, you’ll need to follow that advice. Experts know best, so trying to fix those belongings or structures in your home will mean you’ll only be tossing money out the window.
Be Careful with Clothing
It’s easy for soot to get into your clothing, just as it can get into your curtains. When you clean your clothes, don’t rub them, or throw them into the wash with the rest. Doing so will contaminate the rest of your clothing. If the pros you hire tell you that the damaged clothes are beyond repair, toss them and get new ones.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is Your Best Resource for Fire Damage Restoration
The experts at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane have decades of experience in restoring fire and smoke damaged structures and belongings. Their professionals are IICRC certified. They have all the latest equipment and processes that will make certain you get the best results from your restoration. They are available anytime 24/7. Call them at 509-487-4700.
Why SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane
Hire a trusted team like SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane to take care of your restoration needs. Our team offers water, fire, and mold cleanup along with restoration services for both residential and commercial properties. Here are some of the reasons why we are the right choice for you.
Not all companies have the industry knowledge and expertise to provide specialized restoration work. We do. Our team is equipped to handle biohazard cleanup, document restoration, dry cleaning, reconstruction and more along with the more basic restoration work we do for smoke, water, and fire-damaged properties.
We are capable of mounting disaster recovery solutions on a large scale. The experience and expertise as well as the organizational competence of our team make that possible. If you need restoration and reconstruction assistance, consider our track record.
We don’t offer cookie-cutter solutions. We ask you about what you need. We provide restoration plans based on our assessment of your property. That’s why you can count on us to deliver restoration work that addresses the needs of your property, all while helping you stay well within your budget. And we’re experienced in dealing with insurance companies. We can help you get your claim processed properly.
We understand how devastating it is for people to lose their properties and belongings to fire, smoke, storm, or water damage. That’s why our teams are trained to work efficiently and swiftly. As soon as we arrive on the scene, we don’t waste a moment. We know how important it is to get started on restoring and saving what we can. We treat your home or facility as well as your furniture, valuables, and other belongings with respect.
24-Hour Emergency Response
The team at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is available to answer your calls and requests 24 hours a day. We know that disasters can strike at any time. Call us today to learn more about the help we can extend to you and your family. We’re here for you 24/7 at 509-487-4700.
Fire Smoke Damage Restoration Advice
Fire damage can be physically and emotionally devastating. Make sure you hire an experienced restoration team to help you through the process.
Attempts to perform fire and smoke damage restoration on your property and belongings should only be undertaken by experts. If you’ve experienced a fire and you want to stay safe and get the best possible restoration results, here’s some helpful advice.
Don’t try to breathe in air that’s been contaminated by smoke or soot. If the property hasn’t been cleared yet, whether by local officials or by smoke damage restoration experts, you’ll want to stay away.
Wear Protective Gear
When you do venture onto the property for the first time, wear the proper protective gear. Without any protective gear, you might put yourself in danger when you step into the home in the aftermath of a fire.
Don’t DIY It
The worst mistake that property owners make is to take the restoration on their own. Don’t do that. Reading a few websites doesn’t make you an expert in fire and smoke damage restoration. You could injure yourself. You might not know enough about protective measures too. You’ll need pros to handle the problem. They have the knowledge, skills, and tools to ensure effective damage restoration.
Do Your Homework
Find a trusted team of experts for the restoration. Look for experience and an excellent track record. A firm that’s been in the business for years is a lifesaver. Longevity in the industry is an indication that you’re hiring the right team for the job. Also look for proper certifications. A good firm will be IICRC certified.
Read the Reviews
Look for client feedback. What do other customers think about the company? What do they say about the firm’s service level? What common problems or issues came up when they hired the company’s services? Whatever information you find will give you a sense of what to expect from the restoration service provider, enough to help you determine if you’re making a sound hiring decision.
Choose SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane
After a fire, you will likely experience some emotional times. You’ll be concerned about the loss of your property and belongings. You want to be sure you select a restoration firm that understands not only the physical aspects of what you have been going through but the emotional aspects too. That comes from experience. For decades SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane has been a reliable partner for homeowners in their most devastating emotional state. You need a true partner in this time of loss. Call SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane. You can reach them anytime 24/7 at 509-487-4700.
Why SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is Your Best Restoration Resource
Whether you’re dealing with storm damage, fire or smoke damage, or water damage, you’ll need to hire a team right away. Restoration work requires immediate action. The sooner pros get started, the more successful their efforts will be. Here’s why you’ll want to hire SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane to handle your restoration needs.
Our trained professionals are licensed and certified. With a team of qualified experts, you can count on us to deliver excellent results. With industry knowledge and expertise, we provide the service quality that you can trust. Years of experience in the field have given our teams insight into restoration work. We maintain our IICRC certifications which means we keep up to date with the latest and most effective practices and techniques, ensuring that our clients always get the best outcomes possible.
Water damage, storm damage, fire, and smoke damage, and even mold remediation all require specialized tools. With our equipment, we are able to perform efficient cleanup and restoration work. We also produce faster results. That matters, since restoring properties and belongings is a race against time. With tools that make restoration easier, we bring back your valuables, furniture, and even your property to their pre-damaged states successfully.
Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster, fire, or a bad storm is devastating for anyone. Our team understands that. That’s why we provide competent and compassionate assistance. Our crew is trained to handle your belongings with care. We do the best we can to minimize the damage.
We offer restoration as well as cleaning assistance. We perform storm damage restoration, fire and smoke damage restoration, water damage restoration, cleaning, and mold remediation. If you’re not quite sure about the kind of help you need, talk to us. We can guide you through the process of determining the right solution for your needs. SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is here to help you. Call us anytime 24/7 at 509-487-4700.
6 Commercial Restoration Hiring Suggestions
Choosing a commercial restoration and cleaning firm isn’t rocket science. But you’ll want to pick a trustworthy team to take care of your property. Before you settle on a hiring decision, here are suggestions you’ll want to keep in mind.
Know the History
How long has the firm been around? What kind of experience does the company have in commercial restoration jobs? A newly minted firm might not have the resources necessary to handle this for you. Past behavior is the best predictor of future results. You’ll want a company that delivers consistently outstanding results.
Ask About Customization
Some firms provide restoration packages. Are those solutions right for what you need? Don’t hesitate to discuss alternate options or arrangements with the firm. The team might come up with a package that’s ideal for your budget and property.
Learn About Employee Training
What kind of training do the contractors have? What credentials and qualifications? Are they IICRC certified and licensed to work in your area? The crew must have experience in the kind and scope of restoration project you have in mind, such as residential or commercial properties.
Find Insured Contractors
Accidents can happen. Hiring a team of licensed and insured contractors is a sound way to protect yourself and your assets.
Come Up with a Plan
Pros come to check out your property and provide a plan that includes which areas are good for renovation and which ones need to be torn down and rebuilt completely.
Get More Details
An established firm will have no problem walking you through the plan. If the contractor can’t provide more details about the process, that’s a red flag. Get help elsewhere.
SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane is Your Smart Choice for Commercial Cleaning and Restoration
When you’re looking for someone to work on your commercial property, you need an experienced, professional team with all of the training and certifications so you can have the confidence that your property is in the best possible hands. Call the team at SERVPRO of Northwest Spokane anytime 24/7 at 509-487-4700