How to Get the Best Results When Filing Commercial Property Insurance Claims
Today’s blog shares a bit of our experience on getting the best results when filing your commercial property insurance claims.
At SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills, we work with a combination of residential and commercial property owners whose structures have been damaged. Eventually, our customers have to file claims with their insurance carriers. In our business, we work tirelessly to ensure that our customers feel “Like it never even happened”, under all circumstances – including wind or storm damage, fire damage, water damage, mold damage or perhaps a combination of these events. While your insurance policy is a contractual obligation for your carrier, there are things property owners can do to receive more timely payout.
Know Your Policy
A careful reading of your policy will help you understand what obligations your carrier actually has and what you need to do to settle the claim. Sometimes these claims are written in ‘legalese’, which is a language lots of people have a hard time deciphering. It’s a good iodea to talk with a licensed public insurance adjuster if you think you’ve got questions.
Don’t Wait - Mitigate!
You can prevent further damage to your property, and avoid further expenses, by taking quick action that arrests further damage. Steps in this area can include
Repairing damaged windows, doors or the roof so you don’t continue to admit continued rain, animals or even vandals from doing more damage. At the same time, you should contact your utility company and other authorities, such as the fire department to ensure it’s safe to enter your property.
Since it’s your property, its also your responsibility, as the polic holder, to assemble full proof. This can’t be over-emphasized. While you can’t have too much proof, too little documentation will create delays in the process.
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills includes pack-out service in certain instances. We have a highly detailed process we follow which includes complete photography and labeling of all items we carry out and inventory on our clients’ behalf. We advise the same to all our clients on occasions when they choose to handle this process on their own. Along with photography, we advise on writing detailed descriptions of all observed damage to both manipulated objects and the property itself. You should include notes about smoke odor, soot or ash that may be present. You’re going to need this for the Proof of Loss statement.
Your documentation should continue even after you’ve submitted your claim. All communications with your insurance company should be done by email as much as possible. If there are occasions when communication is by phone, you should journal these including:
- Person(s) you spoke with
- Issue discussed
- Resolution of issue/ Next steps to be taken
Competitive General Contracting Bids
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills specializes in preparing your damaged property so that licensed contractors can efficiently and effectively do their remodeling work. Be sure and get your bids in writing, with well detailed descriptions of the work that will be done. We also advise you to think value instead of price. Be sure to understand the assumptions underneath the quote, including materials to be used, scope of work and detailed scope of work. If a quote seems to good to be true, it probably is. We’ve found that construction shortcuts today mean higher replacement costs down the line.
Submitting the Proof of Loss Statement
The way you submit your proof of loss statement will have a major impact on how quickly your insurance claim is settled. Take extra effort to complete the Proof of Loss accurately and thoroughly. Insufficient information, documentation or evidence is a major cause of delayed settlement.
- Photographs and written explanations should clearly reveal
- What happened
- When and where the damage occurred
- Damaged property, inventory, equipment, personal property etc.
- Copies of all estimates
- Total value of losses
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills takes a very customer-focused approach to our work. From the moment we receive your call to the moment we cart away any debris and fold our last protective tarp or floor covering your full recovery and well-being is our only concern. This includes:
- Thorough, efficient, effective restoration of your property
- Minimizing your disruption
- Maximizing your sense of peace and assurance
Need more convincing? Review any of our testimonials from satisfied customers here.
How SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills Restored an Anaheim Hills Home Following a House Fire
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills recently had the opportunity to assist a family in Anaheim Hills who called us for fire damage restoration work.
This large, 7,000 square foot home, located in one of Anaheim Hills older, more prestigious neighborhoods, had been damaged due to an electrical fire. The local fire department was successful in saving the home, but there was still significant damage due to the soot and ash that permeated much of the structure. In addition, the odor from the smoke and fire had to be eliminated.
Water damage often accompanies fire damage, since water is required in most cases to put the fire out and that was true in this case as well.
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills worked for ten days to completely dry the home and prepare it for remodeling. The first thing we had to do was get everything dry. We brought in pumps to remove all standing water. Then we removed all the carpeting and padding. Unfortunately, this was not salvageable. Using hand-held moisture meters, we tested all the walls and ceilings to identify where water had permeated the drywall and gotten the studs moist. We found several walls and sections of ceiling that had to be either partially or totally demolished in order to save the wooden studs underneath. We did find mold as well which required remediation. Exposed studs were dried with the aid of air movers.
Eliminating mold is definitely something that should only be done by trained professionals wearing protective body suits and using engineering controls which included plastic containments, anti-microbial sprays, and HEPA filters. We identified several sections of mold growth, had these lab-tested to confirm our findings and then did the remediation.
Ash and Soot
During the fire, a thin layer of ash and soot had drifted through the home’s airways, settling on most surfaces of the home. We are meticulous in our approach to ash and soot removal, using a combination of water and sponges to remove much of it, and special vacuums to complete the work.
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills uses a combination of approaches to deodorize a home or business after a fire. We leverage a blend of counteractants, solvents, and detergents. When the odor has saturated furniture textiles, we will tent the furniture while it’s exposed to various counteractants. The same is true for carpets. Thermal fogging is another technique that we apply. Thermal fogging uses a pressurized force to spread deodorant droplets in the same basic manner that the smoke was spread in the beginning. The deodorants do their magic to lift the odors out of the home and its furnishings.
In the end, our Anaheim Hills customer was very satisfied with our work! If your home or business has recently been damaged by a fire, we would like to serve you. Please call SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills at 714-776-6222 for a same-day inspection and estimate. In most cases, we can be onsite within 60 – 90 minutes!
How SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills Helped an Orange County Home Owner with Water Damage and Mold.
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills recently received a call from a client who had inherited a home from her parents upon their death. With the recent rains we’ve had this year, a great deal of water had gone through the roof, creating water damage on the ceilings.
A handyman had been hired to address the damages, but without proper training, certification or experience, he had only made the situation worse. Compounding the difficulty, the home had been built in the 1960’s which meant that there was a high likelihood of asbestos contamination as well.
This is how we made our customer feel “Like it never even happened.”
Our first step was to order an asbestos test to confirm whether there had been contamination. The test proved positive. We recommended a licensed asbestos company to come and perform an asbestos abatement and, upon a second test, determined it was safe for us to enter the property and begin the water damage restoration. This one single recommendation to test actually saved our client over $50,000 in the long-run.
Our next step was to identify where interior moisture existed within the walls and ceilings. We used hand held moisture meters and, based on our findings, proceeded to demo sections of walls and ceilings to expose moist studs. This step is very important. Moist wood is the perfect breeding ground for mold growth and mold can lead to health issues. We then sprayed all mold affected areas with an anti-microbial spray and wiped the surfaces down, removing all mold. Its also important to reference that we also built containments around all mold impacted work areas and applied negative air pressure (engineering controls) to prevent mold spores from drifting to other areas of the property where they could otherwise contaminate new areas of the home. We also used special HEPA filters which scrub the air to restore air purity to EPA guidelines.
Our first priority with all customers is to ensure that they feel comfortable and confident that they are being well cared for during their emergencies. In this case, we accomplished this by providing expert recommendations, such as the need for an asbestos test and by patiently and comprehensively addressing all our customers concerns and questions. Additionally, our promptness in servicing the customer and our qualifications and credentials (all SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills technicians are IICRC certified) provided our customer with the assurances she needed. SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills is the #1 SERVPRO franchise in California. We’ve achieved this by serving our customers with integrity, personal care, expertise, promptness and genuine concern for their welfare.
Are you facing a property damage crisis? We hope you’ll call us. We’re available 24/7/365. Need more information about our work? Feel free to review any of our customer testimonials. You can find them here.
For the best service and results in water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, wind and storm damage restoration, look to SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills!
How SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills Restored a Rancho Cumonga Business After Storm Damage
The right team, supported by the right equipment, can restore practically any storm or water damaged structure.
Last month, a customer in Rancho Cucamonga called us for assistance when rain had leaked through an exterior wall.
The front office and the cubicles had gotten wet. So had the carpeting and the interior drywall which divided offices and work spaces.
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills is available 24 / 7, every day of the year. We guarantee arrival within 60 to 90 minutes of your contact and we are committed to restoring not just your structure, but more importantly, your peace of mind!
In this case, we received the call at 8 pm, and were on-site by 8:40 pm the same evening. Our rapid approach and extensive experience resulted in being able to salvage the carpet.
We used a water extractor to remove the standing water, and we brought in dehumidifiers and air movers to complete the drying process.
When our moisture sensors indicated interior water absorption, we did have to open one section of drywall to dry the studs.
We were done by 10:30 pm the same evening, and work continued at this business the next day, "Like it never even happened."
Hit Twice By Lightning; Storm Damage and a Plumbing Disaster in Yorba Linda
This photo mosaic shows the various ways we worked with this Yorba Linda customer after storm damage and water damage had affected her home.
Our hearts went out to Amber. She prized herself on keeping a beautiful home. One of the features she was most proud of was her hardwood floor, a feature that she and her husband had planned and saved for over several years. She never expected a rainstorm to do the kind of damage it did - and in such a short time!
No wonder she was so upset when she met with Cesar, one of our best project managers/ estimators. Our dispatch team fielded Amber's call early in the morning and within an hour, Cesar was on site, introducing himself to the client, and starting the process of making her feel like she was in good hands.
It took four entire days of round the clock drying to fully dry out the floor.
On what we thought was the last day of the project, Amber discovered an outdoor plumbing leak that finally welled up under her kitchen. Her cabinets and floor were also damaged. It took us another two days of hard work to restore the kitchen and prepare it for a remodeling crew to come in.
To make matters worse, Amber's insurance company classified the rain damage as flood damage and she was not insured for flood insurance (rare coverage in California where we're more worried about droughts than floods).
We worked closely with Amber to create a work plan that would complete her overall restoration project in the most effective manner. We brought in air movers, a dehumidifier and a dessicator. We also added some of the latest technology in water damage restoration by adding the 'Rescue MAT system' to our tool kit for this project. MAT Systems are used to dry out water-damaged hardwood flooring safely and effectively. This system uses the power of a high-pressure blower to draw moisture right through the surface of the floor. The MAT system allowed us to salvage Amber's prized wooden floor.
By the end of day six, we'd done everything we needed to do so that Amber could truly say that SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills had made her feel "Like it never even happened."
Storms Ahead - Are You Ready?
There's no telling exactly when trouble may strike. Since that's true, get to know this helpful advice about storm preparedness kits!
Your trusted allies at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills warmly encourage you to prepare for the coming winter storms this year! Enjoy this blog about preparing storm emergency preparedness kits.
When it comes to weather, we mostly have it made in Southern California. But the whole point of being prepared for an emergency is things can change and when they do, its important to have planned in advance.
As we head into ‘winter’, we should use the many good days of weather we enjoy to prepare for when the weather turns. Having a storm kit ready when you need it is an important consideration.
Every good storm kit should include these following items:
- Bottled water – A good rule of thumb is to set aside a minimum of one gallon per day for a minimum of three days per person. This water will be used for everything from cooking to drinking to hygiene, so if anything, this could be light.
- Food – This needs to be shelf-stable food. You are setting this aside and it will be ready for you when you need it. But don’t assume you’ll have refrigeration. Think of yourself as ‘roughing it’. of gases inside the can).
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- Flashlight – pack an extra round of batteries in your kit ‘just in case’.
- First aid kit
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
- Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Extra batteries – Besides the flashlight, have enough batteries to power a radio, lantern, and any other ‘emergency’ appliances.
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
In addition to these items, here is a short add-on of other things you might want to make sure you're prepared with.
Additional items you must not be without:
- Prescription medications
- Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
- Glasses and contact lense solution
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account
- records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Of course, once the kits are created the first time, its essential to ensure your kits are ready when you need them. Here's how to main them!
Maintaining Your Kit
To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.
After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:
Keep canned food in a cool, dry place
- If you are storing your kits for a long period, make the effort to periodically check your food supply in case the expiration dates are approaching. Most canned items are safe for 18 to 24 months. You’ll know your canned food has expired if you see any can swell (indicates build up
- Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers – cardboard and paper packaging is like a ‘welcome’ sign for rats.
- Replace expired items as needed
- Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
Kit Storage Locations
- Emergencies don’t care where we are when they happen. We have to out-smart them! The best way to do this is to keep multiples in locations including home, work and vehicles.
- Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
- Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
- Vehicle: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.
Misery Loves Company; But SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills Loves Helping Our Customers!
Water damage in our customer's master bedroom was no match for the restoration heroes at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills!
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills has been in the water damage restoration business for over eleven years. We understand how stressed out our customers feel when they’re suddenly faced with water damage. If they’re also trying to fix the problem on their own, they’re probably also feeling overwhelmed. It take a ton of knowledge, training, experience and the proper tools to do this work well and to get the desired results. Ultimately, we find that our customers are better off focusing on the things they do best, and let us do what we do best. Our customers definitely come out ahead in this equation! Less stress, less work, better results, less expense in the long run. It’s a no-brainer!
Sometimes fate plays a role in helping solve problems. One of our recent jobs was in a home in Buena Park. The home owner had discovered water damage. We were working in another home, next door to the first man I mentioned. There was a shared wall between the two homes and the water damage in the first home spread through that wall into the next unit where it damaged the living room, bedroom and of course, the shared wall in question.
Knowing that the first home owner was pleased with our work, we were asked to do an inspection and write an estimate for the second home owner. Cesar Arcila, one of our Project Managers, was dispatched to meet with the prospective customer and complete the requested estimate. On receiving approvals, Cesar called in the rest of his project team and got started on the water damage restoration work.
To dry the unit, the crew removed drywall from the living room and the bedroom. We were able to dry the laminate flooring in the living room and the bedroom carpeting in place.
As he’d suspected he would be, the home owner was very happy with the work we performed in his home. We were fast, efficient, highly experienced, knowledgeable, and we were able to completely dry out his home while also saving the floors.
Find out more about SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills. Visit our Testimonials page and read the comments that other satisfied customers have left regarding their experience with our team! http://www.SERVPROanaheimhills.com/testimonials
Staying Safe From A Storm If You’re Caught Outdoors
Lightning strikes the tallest object in the area. Taking shelter under a tree may not be the best idea.
The safest place to be in a storm is usually indoors, but sometimes we are caught in situations where that isn’t an option.
In the event that you are caught outdoors, here’s a few quick tips to follow:
Don’t stand under trees. Lightning usually strikes the tallest object in an area; don’t be under that tree when lightning blasts a giant branch off its side!
Stay away from high voltage powerlines. Don’t get whip-lashed by a live powerline.
No protective structure in sight? Make a bee-line for your automobile, especially if yours has a metal roof and sides.
If a metal sided/ roofed car is not in sight, get to a lower elevation. Higher elevations are more likely to get zapped than lower elevations are.
Avoid being in situations where you are the tallest object. This could include open meadows, athletic fields, golf courses etc. Remember, the tallest objects in an area are practically ‘lightning targets’. Don’t be one!
If you feel a staticky sensation in your hair, it could be that a lightning strike is imminent. In this case, assume a crouched position transferring your weight to the balls of your feet with your shoes touching. Next, tuck your head and cover your ears (make yourself as small as possible). This will improve the odds of avoiding a direct hit. When the staticky sensation passes, make a ‘bee line’ for the nearest car or building.
Get Off that Landline!
Did you know? Lightning can send an electric surge through those phone wires and straight into the receiver, which, by the way, is uncomfortably close to your ear, hand and face. Shocks from landlines are the number-one source of lightning injuries.
Lightning has been known to travel through telephone wires. Shocks from landlines are actually the leading source of lightning-related injuries.
Stay Away From Water!
Electricity is an excellent conductor of electricity, so keep a distance from lakes, ponds, swimming pools and even showers and bathtubs. Avoid touching water taps during a lightning storm; the metal pipes that lead to your sinks and tubs also conduct electricity.
Playing it Safe While Driving
What if your car is not entirely composed of metal? This seems to be more the rule than the exception these days,. While making your car lighter and more fuel efficient, those non-metallic materials actually increase the risk of electrical shock when it rains. In the event that the car is hit, the current may pass through the vehicle’s electrical systems, the GPS, cell phone chargers, car door handles, foot pedals, steering column and steering wheel.
The most important rule to follow in this case is “Hands Off” the radio! The best advice in a situation like this is not to touch anything metal in the car’s cabin during the storm – including the radio.
Also, while it’s fun to make that ‘rooster tail’ with your car when you drive through deep water, it’s
The Sun Will Shine Again
No storm lasts forever, and those golden rays are going to shine again. If there’s been any structural damage to your property, you want to get on it immediately. Don’t delay – that will just make the damage worse, especially if you’ve got wooden floors or wood paneling. Likewise, you don’t want to give mold a chance to settle in. All mold needs to thrive is moisture and fibers for a food source.
There’s a lot to restoration; unless you’re very experienced, it’s probably better to call your friendly neighborhood restoration heroes at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills in to help. We’ve been serving the Orange County community for eleven years and have become the #1 SERVPRO franchise in California during this period by staying true to our values.
We’re there when you need us. In many cases, we’ll be at your door within an hour of your call.
No one knows restoration better than our team! We’ve learned that most customers are relieved when they understand what’s happening at each step in the restoration process. We take the time to make sure you understand what’s going on .
You can count on us. Word of mouth customer promotion of our business has been very important to our success. To keep that going, we know we’re only as good as our latest job. You’ll always receive our very best work.
Respect for your property and possessions. You can trust us to carefully move, and cover everything in our work area to protect what you’ve worked so hard for.
Find out more about what our customers have said about our work by visiting our testimonials page: http://www.SERVPROanaheimhills.com/testimonials
Need immediate assistance? Call us at 714-776-6222.
We’ll make you feel “Like it never even happened”!
SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills Helps a Yorba Linda Business Owner with a Mold Problem
When a home owner's plans to install a hardwood floor turned into a 'oldies but moldies' hit parade, SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills got things back in tune
We do a lot of mold remediation work at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills. We’re experts in it and our reputation has been built on our knowledge and ability to achieve results.
Recently, a Yorba Linda business owner had contracted to have hardwood floors installed in his business. When the installers arrived and started lifting the old flooring, they discovered something they were not prepared for or equipped to resolve; a nasty black mold culture covering the concrete slab underneath the old floor.
As it worked out, SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills has enjoyed a long relationship with the owners of the flooring company and, on the owner’s referral, we were invited to the job site to provide an inspection and write an estimate.
Our project manager, Edgar, has over fifteen years of experience and his knowledge and he was able to quickly determine the most efficient and effective way to permanently remove the black mold growth. Upon acceptance of the estimate, the rest of the project team was dispatched to the work site. They quickly removed any damaged areas of flooring and then used special liquid biocides to clean up the mold that had been growing underneath the original floor. A containment system and engineering controls including HEAP air filters were used to clean the air in the affected room without allowing mold spores to travel through the air to any other parts of the commercial structure. This thorough remediation process successfully ensured that black mold would not be a cause for any possible health issues among the company’s employees or anyone else who might visit the business in the future.
The team at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills always feels rewarded when a project goes well. Of course, there’s a sense of pride in a job well done, and when – as in this case – the customer takes the time to write us a positive review on Yelp, there’s that additional sense of gratification.
We have a great team here. We enjoy helping our customers, and we enjoy working with each other. We’re all of the same mind. The customers’ needs come first. We do our level-best to deliver on our promises every time. We only do great work, and we stay at a project until the job is complete. Our reputation in Southern California has led to our position as the #1 SERVPRO franchise in California and we’re not about to slow down now!
Learn more about our work. Visit our testimonials page: http://www.SERVPROanaheimhills.com/testimonials
Need immediate assistance? Call us at 714-776-6222.
Professional Storm Damage Restoration
After a storm, you need an ally on your team. Call SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills and we'll make you feel 'Like it never even happened'!
Storms can lay some heavy damage on your home or commercial structure. It’s frustrating that there’s no way to control the weather; however, what CAN be controlled is how you respond once the damage is done. This blog hopes to make the right path clear to follow so you can get on with better things once the storm is over.
The most important decision to make – and its one you can make even before a storm hits – is to rely on professionals that are trained, experienced and trust-worthy to get you through the worst. SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills has been helping home and business owners with water damage restoration for over eleven years.
Here’s how we approach storm damage restoration work at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills.
After the storm and resulting water damage, a SERVPRO Project Manager will come and thoroughly inspect your property for signs of ground water, roof damage, and wind damage. Outside of Southern California, other companies will also look for signs of ice or hurricane damage. The Project Manager uses what he knows to develop a custom restoration plan designed to Once they know the full extent of storm damage in question, a Project Manager from SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills can craft a home restoration plan to put the home or business back into a livable/ workable status again.
- Restoration Plan
Among other details, the storm restoration plan will detail the equipment that will be utilized during the restoration effort. If there is standing water, a flood pump will drain any category I, II or III water left behind by the storm. Other common tools of the trade include air movers (industrial strength fans), air scrubbers (HEPA filters that clean the air to single digits among millions). If situations require it, we also erect containments which seal off areas or entire rooms in order to prevent mold from invading otherwise ‘clean’ areas through the use of engineering controls.
Property owners are likely to find these times scary or anxious. It can be overwhelming. We know that nothing works to calm the nerves like a little added understanding of what’s happening to correct a bad situation.
Our customers find that we take the time to explain everything as we move through a restoration process. This begins at customer intake, in our control center, and proceeds through the initial inspection and various restoration project stages until we’ve succeeded.
Find out more about our work at SERVPRO of Anaheim Hills. See what our customers have said about our work: http://www.SERVPROanaheimhills.com/testimonials
Need immediate assistance? Call us at 714-776-6222.