04 Dec Factors To Consider When Working Flood Claims
More than a month after Hurricane Michael barreled through parts of Northwest Florida, insurance claims have topped 125,000, according to numbers posted online by the state Office of Insurance Regulation. Many of those are flood claims and contractors looking to help these areas recover not knowing how to accurately asses these types of claims can be a challenge.
Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina and other major flood events provided some important lessons for all involved in the adjusting and restoration process. Documentation is critical for both policyholders and adjusters. What does the policy cover? What damage was sustained? What can be replaced and what can be restored?
For contractors who do not have a lot of experience adjusting flood claims, Balance can help. Here are our top recommendations to ensure that critical facets of the inspection aren’t missed, and your damage estimates are accurate.
- Take as many photos as possible. Photographs should be taken of all sides of the risk and the surrounding area, as well as in every room. Each room should have photo documentation showing at least two walls. Photos should be taken at each corner of the room or at multiple locations to ensure full coverage and then from the other side of the room.
- Remediation and clean-up. There are a number of factors that can impact the costs associated with the restoration, remediation and clean-up process. Work performed by the insured can be reimbursed at the federal minimum hourly wage for the replacement only of work covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.
- Know Xactimate. When estimating any loss, knowing how to use estimating software such as Xactimate or Simsol is critical. Using line items that remove dry building components instead of wet will result in underpayments and adding casing trim to doors when the door line item already includes casing trim will result in overpayments.
- Safety. Contractors, policyholders and adjusters are exposed to a number of dangerous elements following a flood. Some are easy to see like holes or tripping hazards but others like mold, electrical hazards, and bacteria growth are not.
- Know when to get help. Properly estimating and scoping a flood claim takes time… a lot of time. If you find yourself buried in paperwork, consider outsourcing your estimating or supplement process. At Balance, we specialize in helping you process those water mitigation insurance job file invoices. As the nation’s largest, most successful construction professional services file administrator, we can take on the file process for water, mold and flood damage jobs to save you time increasing the efficiency of your business.