After your home or commercial property suffers any type of damage, you should contact the property insurance company if you plan to make a claim. Arranging for an inspection by a mitigation and restoration service should be the next step you take. Days may pass before an insurance adjuster arrives on-site to assess the damage, especially if many structures in the surrounding area have been affected by a major disaster such as a flood, severe storm, or wildfire.
United Water Restoration maintains a network of damage cleanup and restoration services across North America. A single call will connect you to the most qualified professionals who specialize in the type of damage your property has sustained. Companies in our network arrive on-site to inspect damage within hours and will provide a detailed estimate of cleanup and rebuilding costs as soon as possible. Take the following steps as soon as you become aware of property damage.
Schedule an Inspection
Technicians from a local or regional restoration company will often be able to arrive on location within hours, which is usually faster than an insurance adjuster. After you call United Water Restoration, expect a prompt call back followed by an inspection on the same day.
Trained experts can provide a more accurate assessment of the extent of damage to a property than an insurance adjuster and can also avoid causing a significant amount of additional damage during this process. In cases of major water damage or fire damage, these specialists will also identify risks of ongoing damage or structural damage that should be mitigated as quickly as possible.
It is important to take photographs or record videos that clearly indicate the damage a property has suffered. A restoration technician is better able to identify which aspects of damage are most important to document. You should be sure to capture the appearance and condition of areas that have sustained damage before cleaning up or allowing any work to take place.
Provide documentation to your insurer along with clear descriptions of any mitigation measures that have been taken. You may also want to list partial and full losses, gather proof of purchase for ruined contents, and try to find and turn over recent photos or videos showing the condition of the same area before the damage occurred.
Residential and commercial property owners should try to do all they can to mitigate damage. After fire damage, mitigation may involve boarding up breaches or holes in the walls or roof to keep out debris and precipitation. Water damage may call for pumping out standing water or drying areas saturated with clean, treated water from a pipe break. Other types of damage may call for expertise and the use of specialized equipment.
Insurers factor in mitigation measures when processing and settling a claim. If a property owner has allowed damage to worsen since the initial incident took place, more aspects of damage may be considered uncovered perils. Acting quickly to limit damage can support the settlement of a claim that covers more cleanup and restoration expenses.
Get an Estimate
There are several benefits of an inspection by a trained technician, including accurate identification of the damage that is present. Technicians gather information used to calculate an estimate that can be provided to a property insurance company. An estimate can also give you the information necessary to determine how much damage your insurance policy will cover. While it is important to plan ahead and anticipate the costs of a partial or full loss when taking out homeowners or commercial property policies, endorsements and riders, it is impossible to anticipate the specific types of damage a structure will suffer. An accurate estimate can be helpful for determining how much an insurer will cover and whether any out-of-pocket expenses are necessary to clean and restore a residence or commercial building.
Contacting United Water Restoration as soon as possible after the damage occurs allows for a timely inspection followed by documentation and mitigation. Having a technician visit and inspect the property prior to an insurance adjuster may limit the degree of primary and secondary damage. An accurate estimate that accounts for the full extent of damage and cleanup and rebuilding measures may also be helpful for processing and settling an insurance claim.