Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

To File or Not To File an Insurance Claim

4/22/2022 (Permalink)

An Insurance Claim Form Know more about when to File an Insurance Claim by following these Tips.

Smart property owners understand the benefits of having an insurance policy to pay for major repairs, following covered perils. Fire, water, and theft are just some of the issues that result in losses covered by your plan. If you experience major damage or losses to your place in North St. Paul, MN, it probably seems like a no-brainer to file a claim. That’s the point of carrying coverage, right? Well, you may want to step back. it really depends on your particular situation.

Filing an insurance claim may negatively impact your premiums, but the answer is not so cut and dried. Here’s what you should know.

Understanding an Insurance Claim

You pay a premium annually, semiannually, or monthly to your insurer in exchange for coverage of losses due to major events, such as water damage. While policy details vary between insurers and the insured, you’d file a claim for the following:

  • Repair, restoration, and reconstruction of the building structure
  • Repair and replacement of damaged or lost items
  • Medical and healthcare costs for injured persons
  • Death benefits
  • Other benefits such as temporary housing

Typically, an investigation is conducted by your insurance company to determine the cause, the extent of damage, and to confirm that it is covered by your plan.

Your insurer issues a check either to you or directly to the SERVPRO Franchise Professionals in North St. Paul, MN, restoring your property.

Exploring a Claim

No two claims are equal, and that’s primarily because there are other factors that your insurer factors when investigating a claim. These factors may cause your premiums to go up after filing. Some common factors include these:

  • Type of claim
  • Number of previous claims filed
  • Frequency of events that result in losses, such as weather events and the likelihood of a business or home flood
  • Credit rating

Some insurers view certain types of claims as problematic. Slip-and-fall personal injury, water damage, mold, and dog bites are examples of claims that may result in a premium increase. Some claims may cause your insurer to discontinue coverage, requiring you to purchase a high-risk policy with higher premiums and lower coverage limits.

Answering the Question

Should you file or not? That still remains to be seen. Because filing multiple claims can cause your rates to increase, your best move may be to file only when you’ve experienced a catastrophic loss. For example, if a wind storm takes off a few shingles, it might be better to pay for this out of pocket. Whether the damage is significant or not, It’s important to have a clear idea of what your existing policy covers well in advance of a problem. Keep in mind that your agent or representative may be obligated to notify your insurer of a potential claim.

Responsible ownership means having coverage to protect your property in the event of a loss or other damage. You’ve contracted with an insurer to pay premiums regularly for this coverage. Filing an insurance claim may cause your premiums to increase, especially if you’ve submitted multiple claims in the past.

It’s up to your insurance company to decide on a rate hike or to drop coverage altogether.

How SERVPRO Helps Adjusters and Clients

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

House insurance claim form. Our professional team is ready to help you with damage to your White Bear Lake, MN property.

SERVPRO knows that as an insurance adjuster it is your responsibility to provide fast, efficient, and accurate service to your customers. Our franchise professionals can help you make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO Helps Adjusters and Clients

We have built a reputation as an industry leader in water and fire cleanup and restoration for more than 50 years. Our franchise professionals are committed to acting with urgency when working with adjusters and clients to restore property while keeping costs low.

Why Choose SERVPRO?

Our restoration professionals have the training, equipment, and experience required to help with any insurance claim. Our franchisees are equipped to provide a variety of services:

  • Emergency response to claims
  • Pretesting
  • Claims inventory

What Are the Benefits of Working With Our Company?

Restoring your customer's property is our top priority. Your customers can rest assured knowing that our team is working quickly and diligently to limit the damage to their property. Our claims team knows that restoring property is preferable to replacing it. Pretesting helps keep claims expenses down which helps both the client and the insurance adjuster.

With more than 1,900 locations in the United States and Canada, we probably have a franchise located near White Bear Lake, MN. We provide 24/7 emergency service. Our claims team can save you some legwork by providing your customers with photos of important items and an itemized loss inventory. All of our professionals are trained to IICRC standards for water and fire cleanup and restoration and receive ongoing training at our state-of-the-art training facility. Training is also available to insurance clients.

In addition to making sure our staff is highly trained, we only work with highly-qualified vendors. We provide a two-year labor and one-year materials warranty on all of our work. You can expect quick response times from our customer service team and we work with vendors, so you can focus on closing your claim.

What Does Our National Accounts Division Do?

Our National Accounts Division keeps the lines of communication open between our franchise professionals and insurance companies. This helps maximize satisfaction for insurance companies and their clients. The National Accounts Division also makes sure standards are met by performing internal audits, running background checks on employees, and completing job files for proof of work. Our National Accounts Managers are available to provide guidance for insurance professionals.

What Are Our Performance Guidelines?

Whenever you contact our team, your referral is reported and tracked at every step of the process. Our franchise professionals must fulfill 21 requirements to qualify to receive insurance referrals. Our team always uses the correct equipment and drying validation according to IICRC standards. We can provide metrics to demonstrate the highest levels of performance and customer satisfaction.

What Training Programs Do We Offer?

Our National Training Center provides employee certification training for local professionals, new franchise training for new location owners, continuing education for agents, adjusters, and restoration professionals, and an IICRC training program. Continuing education programs are available throughout the United States.

From industry-leading service to training, our team is prepared to help in whatever way the insurance adjuster needs. We are committed to excellent service for you and your customers.

Tips for Keeping the Crawl Space Dry

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Crawl space. Maintain your crawl space dry in your White Bear Lake, MN, home to avoid further damage.

As an adjuster, it is likely that you frequently assess damage due to a wet crawl space in your clients' homes. Many homeowners don't think about the common ways that water seeps into this area at the base of their houses or what they can do to prevent this type of damage. Here are five tips you can share with your clients in White Bear Lake, MN, to help them protect their homes from extensive water damage in the crawl space.

How to Keep The Crawl Space Dry

Mitigate Damage Quickly

Flooding in any area of a home has the potential to affect the crawl space. SERVPRO's water restoration specialists understand the importance of quick, thorough assessment. They arrive on-site within hours to conduct their initial investigation:

  • Locate the source of the water loss
  • Inspect the surrounding area and assess damage
  • Track the flow of the water into other areas of the home
  • Create a task list for every part of the home that needs mitigation.

The response team doesn't just stop at the most obvious damage. This fast and thorough approach is the reason many providers select SERVPRO as a preferred vendor for their clients.

Improve Drainage

Sometimes water damage comes from outside the home. Improper or poorly planned drainage can lead to a wet crawl space. Every homeowner should inspect gutters and downspouts on a regular basis to make sure that they are not clogged and that the bottom of the spout is pointed away from the base of the house. It's also important to pay attention to the grading of the lawn. The slope of the grading should direct water away from the foundation so that it doesn't seep inside.

Turn Off Water Hoses Near the House

Even something as simple as leaving a water hose or the sprinkler system on too long can cause water damage. A running hose left in the flowerbed by the house can fill it up faster than the ground can absorb the water. Broken sprinkler heads must be replaced as soon as possible to prevent a flood in one particular area when it's turned on. Homeowners benefit from paying close attention to the effects of lawn care on their homes.

Repair Broken Pipes

Broken pipes in any area of the house can cause water to trickle down into the crawl space. Even if the pipe is repaired quickly, such a large water loss can cause more problems than are immediately apparent. Any time you inspect the damage at a client's home that was caused by a pipe burst, it's a good idea to also check all the areas beneath its location.

Have a Solid Foundation

Advise your clients to have their foundations professionally inspected at least once a year. Visible cracks may not appear for a while, and in the meantime, small fissures leave their crawl spaces vulnerable to flooding. Rain, snow, ice, and groundwater can all cause issues if they find a way into the home through the foundation.

A wet crawl space can have an effect on the entire house. Unmitigated water damage can cause issues that cost you and your clients a lot of money. By sharing these tips, you can help them prevent most of these problems.

A Country-Wide Disaster Recovery Effort

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Storm in North St. Paul, MN. SERVPRO is ready to respond Faster to Any Size Disaster

When major disasters affect communities, SERVPRO is ready to respond Faster to Any Size Disaster and will get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Each disaster recovery team in North St. Paul, MN, has access to heavy equipment and commercial-grade supplies through the support of corporate leaders nationwide. When many residential customers are affected by widespread flooding, storms, or other disasters, national operations managers offer vital support:

  • Seamless communication
  • Increased help through temporary labor
  • Strategic placement of additional equipment


Some of the best restoration professionals in the industry work with corporate teams to ensure timely mitigation and recovery.


Valuable Experience and Training

Residential customers throughout the country have been assisted through SERVPRO's storm response efforts. Teams of technicians have worked to help communities recover from California wildfires, hurricanes, major flooding such as the 2007 Chicago situation, and the Polar Vortex of 2014. There's a lot of reassurance possible with the knowledge that disaster recovery teams have dealt with all of the most common types of disasters.

Strategic Placement of Teams

Throughout the years, a network of storm response teams has been established to cover the country. These emergency response teams are ready to go every hour of the day and every day of the year, including holidays. Franchise professionals have also participated in training to prepare for unpredictable situations. This is particularly valuable when natural and criminal forces (such as major floods that force people away from their neighbors and leaving homes vulnerable to looters) combine to cause widespread uncertainty.

A Timely Response

A fast response is vital to preventing lasting storm damage. It doesn't take very long for building materials, upholstery, and carpeting to absorb floodwaters, along with any contaminants picked up by the water. If allowed to sit for more than a day or two, mold, mildew, and contaminants can cause long-lasting damages and destruction.

During large storms and their aftermath, SERVPRO corporate helps local franchises provide disaster recovery. Training in most types of emergencies is provided to franchise teams. Equipment and personnel are placed strategically throughout the country to ensure an appropriate and timely response from some of the best recovery technicians available.

Avoiding Higher Insurance Rates When Filing Claims

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Child in a flooded home. If you experienced significant flooding, contact a local mitigation company.

It is not uncommon for homeowners to worry about their insurance rates after having to file an insurance claim because of sudden water damage or a home flood. Unfortunately, regardless of the reasoning for the claim or loss, a rate hike is always a possibility after filing. However, some considerations may limit or exacerbate your risks.

3 Considerations To Limit Or Exacerbate Your Insurance Rates

1. Filing Too Many Claims

While your insurance company is there to protect you against financial losses due to unpredicted damages, they still do not want to pay out more than they have to. If you are a client who continuously files claims, then the insurer will likely raise your rates to reduce their expenses. Every insurer uses algorithms to predict the average level of payouts for any given year or client; when a client surpasses those expectations, an insurer must make adjustments to protect other clients and their interests. Unfortunately, some policyholders who file too many claims may even lose their policy.

2. Purposeful or Neglectful Damage

If the damage to your property is a result of intentional damage or neglect, then your insurer will almost certainly raise your rate. An intentional incident that causes an insurance claim may cause your insurer to see you as a financial risk to the company.

3. Accidental Damage

Most insurers will not penalize a good client when damages are accidental or unpredictable, especially if they do not routinely file claims. When an accident occurs, your insurer will want you to work with an accredited mitigation company in North St. Paul, MN, and they will follow the process closely.

While it is natural to worry about rate hikes after water damage, you still may need to file an insurance claim for extensive damage. Water loss can be costly, and many homeowners cannot afford to go it alone. If you experienced significant flooding, contact a local mitigation company to find out more about the restoration process and how to work with your insurer.

Understanding the Sewer Cleanup Process

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Public lavatory. Hire our professional team in White Bear Lake, MN, for an efficient and quick response.

One overflowing toilet in your client's building in White Bear Lake, MN, can cause a lot of damage. When business owners need sewer cleanup, they should have a reliable company they can call to mitigate the damage. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance providers because its technicians have the training, experience and corporate support needed to expedite the cleanup process efficiently.

Assessment

After a sewer backup, technicians must examine the damaged area to determine the extent of the issue. The initial report in SERVPRO's Claims Information Center outlines the information they find:

  • Cause of the problem
  • Number of floors affected
  • Tasks needed to complete cleanup
  • The estimated cost of full remediation and restoration

This report is available in the CIC as well as in a spreadsheet that can be sent to both you and your client. If more damage is discovered during the mitigation process, the assessment in the CIC is updated in a timely manner.

Mitigation

SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified. They go through detailed training, complete with hands-on experience before they perform sewer cleanup for clients. The mitigation process involves tearing out damaged materials, cleaning and drying the area to prevent secondary damage, and replacing missing materials with new ones. To receive referrals from the corporate office, a franchisee must meet the high-performance standards set by the company. When you make SERVPRO a preferred vendor, you can trust that you are getting premium service.

Insurance

As a provider, you know how important it is for businesses to be sufficiently covered for any problems that may arise. While SERVPRO specialists are among the best in the business, they are also insured just in case a problem occurs when they are cleaning damage from a flooded toilet. This gives your clients further protection during the cleanup process.

When a backup occurs in their buildings, business owners need certified sewer cleanup experts who can provide fast, efficient service. Learn why so many providers list SERVPRO as a preferred vendor.

3 Steps To Take When Your Water Heater Breaks

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

A professional repairing a water heater. A broken water heater can cause serious damage.

The average lifespan of a water heater is 10 to 13 years. A leaking water heater can result from damaged supply lines, internal rust, high water pressure, or sediment buildup. A water heater leak can damage the nearby walls and floor and may eventually cause it to stop working completely. If you have noticed a leak or suspect another problem, it is important to act quickly.

1. Turn Off Your Water Heater

If you notice signs that you have a broken water heater, such as strange noises, turn it off immediately. If the heater uses gas, turn the thermostat dial to the OFF position. For an electric heater, cut the power at the circuit breaker.

2. Stop the Leak

If you have a leaking water heater, stop the leak by turning off the water supply and then drain the water heater. Shut off the water by turning the valve near the heater clockwise as far as you can or shut the water to your home off at the main water supply.

Once the water is off, attach one end of a hose to the drainage valve and move the other to a safe place to drain the water. Open the drainage valve to drain the water and the pressure relief valve to prevent a vacuum from forming. If a large amount of water has accumulated from the leak, contact a water remediation company to dry out your home.

3. Rinse Your Water Heater

Once the heater is drained, open the water supply and flush it with cold water to remove any remaining sediment. If you have a failed water heater, you may need to contact a professional in North St. Paul, MN, to repair or replace it.

It is better to deal with a leaking water heater before it completely fails. Taking these steps can save you cleanup time and reduce property damage.

The SERVPRO Commitment to a Timely Response

6/24/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks parked. SERVPRO has a quick response for damage control.

With franchises located in White Bear Lake, MN, and many other locations around the country, SERVPRO provides local services with a secure foundation from national corporate offices. The company has more than 1,700 franchises with the goal of arriving faster to any size disaster, including the property damages that affect you. In fact, one of the primary goals of the company is to ensure that technicians are ready to respond to damages at any time of day, any day of the week.


Teamwork, Training, and Technology


As part of the company's commitment to restoration customers, SERVPRO combines top quality work with technology that streamlines the process of completing each insurance claim:

  • Emergency crews respond faster to any size disaster all day every day.
  • Consistent training is completed in compliance with top industry standards.
  • Partners have access to a comprehensive electronic claim system.
  • Franchises maintain preferred vendor status with insurance companies.

When damages threaten commercial properties, SERVPRO water, fire, mold, and storm damage restoration technicians are ready to respond. The faster teams arrive at damaged properties, the easier it is to keep insurance claim costs in check.


Local Ownership, Corporate Resources


Local ownership of franchises helps ensure that teams arrive at damaged properties quickly. It is an essential step toward making sure that property, inventory, furnishings, and other contents suffer the least damage possible. For example, when water damage occurs, the first 24 hours are crucial in determining how far damage penetrates drywall, carpets, and other materials. Emergency teams must be on hand when fires and firefighting efforts are complete to reduce the extent of secondary damages.


A Quick Response for Damage Control


SERVPRO franchises are committed to arriving faster to any size disaster when White Bear Lake, MN, property owners need any type of cleanup and restoration work. A quick response to fire, water, and other types of disasters means that the severity and extent of damages are limited, and this ensures that recovery costs are also kept within appropriate bounds.

How To Choose the Right Company for Your Water Heater Cleanup

5/1/2021 (Permalink)

Image of a damaged water heater and a person talking on the phone next to it. Contact a professional for water heater cleanup

Getting your home back in order when a leaking water heater floods your basement is no small task. There are several reasons to call the water damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO when you need water heater cleanup.

3 Reasons Why You Should Call SERVPRO For Water Heater Cleanup

1. Transparent Assessment

When you call the SERVPRO service line, the company creates an account for the job in the Claims Information Center. The CIC provides all the details of the cleanup process that you need:

  • List of services needed
  • Estimate of overall cost
  • Updates on necessary changes
  • Progress of cleanup


This easy-to-read report is available to both you and your insurance provider 24 hours a day. It makes keeping up with the failed water heater cleanup a breeze.

2. Local Service

No matter where you live, there is likely a SERVPRO branch near you. Each franchise is locally owned and operated, so you can rest assured that you are working with people who know North St. Paul, MN, well. They are likely to be involved in the community and have good working relationships with other local business owners. They can coordinate with the local plumber you hire to fix the leaking water heater to make the whole process more efficient.

3. Corporate Support

In addition to the local expertise they bring to the job, your SERVPRO technicians have the backing of a strong corporation. That means that if something goes wrong or they discover that the broken water heater cleanup job goes beyond the scope of their staff, qualified reinforcements are just a phone call away. It can set your mind at ease to know that your satisfaction is doubly guaranteed.

Not all restoration companies are the same. With SERVPRO, you get great local technicians with corporate support who work to keep you informed every step of the way. You can count on them to repair the damage from your leaking water heater and leave your home looking as good as new.

What Qualifications Should a Remediation Vendor Have?

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

Cartoon of shaking hands with letters stating "Recovery!" Recover from fire or water damage.

As you recover from a fire, flood or other disastrous issues, the last thing you want to worry about is if your restoration company is qualified. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to tell which vendors are good and which are bad. This is why you should ask your insurance agent what qualifications they require before hiring a remediation service. There are some things your recovery service should have.

4 Things Remediation Vendors Should Have

1. Quality Vendors

Not all vendors are the same, and there are some basic qualities that each vendor should have. These are:

  • Start to finish claims service
  • Comprehensive vendor program
  • Annual compliance checks
  • Knowledge of the industry
  • National Accounts qualification


You should find the remediation company in your White Bear Lake, MN, that has these qualities and more.

2. IICRC Certification

IICRC stands for Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. It is the industry standard for education and certification of restoration technicians. Companies like SERVPRO have this certification. Knowing that they are fully qualified to complete your project gives you added peace of mind and confidence.
This is the most trusted educational program for disaster recovery. They offer initial courses and continuing education for all types of damage, including flood, fire and storm damage.

3. Authorized by Your Insurance

In many cases, your insurance will cover remediation. If yours does, ask your insurance agent which companies they recommend. It is very often they have vendors that they know are qualified to perform your rebuilding work. Some insurance companies won't cover the work if you do not use a specifically approved and qualified cleanup service. Make sure you talk to your insurance agency before you start the restoration work.

4. Emergency Response Team

In many cases, disasters constitute an emergency. If a fire or flood happens during off-hours or the middle of the night, your recovery service should be there to respond. Some things can't wait.

Some insurance companies have their own qualities they prefer in a remediation company. Be sure to ask your insurance agent if you hire someone to help you recover from a major disaster.

How To Determine if Your Washing Machine is Moldy

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person plugging her nose when opening the washer, with green letters stating "does it stink?" Does your washing machine stink? There may be mold growth in the drain.

Mold grows in moist places, so it is no surprise that a washing machine is a prime place for it. These spores can sometimes hide, so you won’t always know they are there, but it is important to know if your machine in North St. Paul, MN, has any type of mold growth. Here are some ways you can determine if there is mold.

Call a Professional

Fungi is not something you should deal with yourself. Mold remediation experts have the proper safety equipment to handle different types of fungus that grow in homes. That is why it is always safest to call a professional if you believe there are signs of an infestation in your laundry room. The experts may be able to tell you what type you have and give you an estimate on the cost of cleanup. The mold in your laundry room could be due to:

  • Wet laundry
  • Cracks in the hoses
  • Machine leaks

Check for Strange Smells

If you start to notice a mold smell coming from your washing machine, you may want to look around for leaks as this could be a sign of growth. Washers that have fungi in them often cause dirty laundry to smell bad even after it has been washed. It is important to watch out for these signs so that you know when to bring in help.

Do an Inspection

It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your washer as it is a constant source of moisture. Look around and check for leaks and cracks in the hose. Check behind the machine to see if there is any mold growth. Front loading machines are more susceptible, so clean that style regularly. Checking the pipes and doing regular maintenance on your washer can help prevent mold, but always bring in help when needed.

If you think there might be mold in your washing machine, you should call a remediation expert right away. If left unattended, it might continue to grow and could end up costing you more in the long run.

Space Heater Safety Tips

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a white space heater Space Heater Safety

The small appliance you use to keep your feet toasty on cold nights in North St. Paul, MN, may seem harmless. A burned space heater, however, can lead to a bigger fire that causes significant damage to your home. Follow these tips to avoid such a disaster.

4 Tips To Avoid Space Heater Fires


Buy a Safe Product

Good fire safety starts with the machine itself. There are several safety features you should look for when buying a space heater:

  • Automatic shutoff
  • GFCI plug
  • Long cord
  • Certified testing seal


Buying a quality product with built-in safety mechanisms can help prevent fire.


Replace Filters

Dust that gets caught in any electrical appliance can easily lead to the need for the services of smoke cleanup professionals. The manual that comes with your space heater can tell you how often the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced. Make sure you heed the manufacturer's instructions to avoid having a burned space heater.


Give It Room

Your heater needs a lot of personal space. Make sure you keep a radius of three feet around it at all times but especially when it is in use. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Not only can its hot surface lead to burns, but if they knock it over while running, it can ignite flammable items on which it falls.


Turn It Off

A space heater is not meant to take the place of your home's HVAC system. It is designed to provide supplemental warmth on a temporary basis. Do not leave a space heater on when you leave the room or while you sleep. As a general rule, if you are not able to pay attention to it, it should be off and unplugged.

Extra heat is a nice luxury, but a burned space heater causes more problems than it resolves. Get the most out of your heater by following safety protocols carefully.

What does it mean to be #OneTeam?

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Jessica Performing Demolition Demolition in the basement of a Commercial Building

“We all started out sweeping out the back of the truck…” is a prelude to the #TeamValdez story that I have heard more times than I could count.

Sweeping out a van is something I could conceptualize – broom, van, done – I have in fact seen our guys do it every day. However, what goes on after the morning job board meeting and before the “sweeping out the van” has always eluded me. Sure, conceptually, I know what the production crew does, but practically, I have no idea.

What it means to be Team Valdez

#TeamValdeaz has always prided itself on being a true team, and with SERVPRO’s #OneTeam initiative and our new franchise purchase, I got he chance to (literally and figurative) get my feet wet. I have spent the last couple of weeks in Minnesota at our North St. Paul / White Bear Lake location and have learned more than I could have ever anticipated. While we have been staffing our crew here, I told our guys that #TeamValdez was #OneTeam, and to let me know what they needed – I had their back.

Well let me tell you, I got the chance to put my words to action. Just over a week ago, we received a commercial water loss, and I was one of the crew members that responded. I helped with stabilization, contents, and today – demolition!

#OneTeam means doing what you need and not letting your teammates do it alone, putting down the calculator, picking up the crowbar and hammer, putting on some demo tunes, and getting dirty together!

It has been so exciting and insightful to see the whole process, from getting the call to seeing the production side through, and has allowed me to gain a better big picture view to help in my everyday role with #TeamValdez!