Here’s why you should make sure that your water damage restoration company is insurance-approved.
Sooner or later, every homeowner will find themselves needing an emergency cleanup.
Whether it’s a kitchen fire or a burst pipe, Murphy’s Law holds true: If something can go wrong, it will. Fortunately, we have insurance and damage restoration companies to help deal with the mess.
If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, you might already know that there’s a big difference between a good water damage restoration company and a bad one. Is there a way to distinguish between them before you let them into your home?
Is Your Water Restoration Company Insurance-Approved?
Why would you want a water damage restoration company that’s insurance company-approved? Does that mean they’re in kahoots?
Unfortunately, it comes down to a much bigger problem: fraud.
Just like any other, the damage restoration industry has its fair share of con artists, scammers, and downright fakes. In the worst instances, they’re not even capable of repairing the damage. But the best case scenarios aren’t much better.
How Damage Restoration Fraud Works
Here’s how it works: the pipe under your sink bursts after you pull out of the driveway. By the time you come home after a long day, your stuff is sitting in two inches of water. You call a water restoration company to pump out the standing water, dry everything out, and repair any damage. They make quick work of your kitchen and you’re back in business before you know it.
The problems start when they bill your insurance company.
Your insurer calculated your premiums (and everyone else’s, for that matter) based on estimates of how likely you are to file a claim and how much that claim is going to cost.
To simplify things, say the insurance company estimated that your type of claim should cost about $100 (again, we’re simplifying!). But the restoration company you called is a bit too greedy, so they ask your insurance company for $500.
Your insurance carrier has no choice but to pay (after all, the work is finished), but now they’re paying through the nose on your claim. And while an isolated incident might not pose too big a problem, it's a different story when there’s lots of shady restoration companies doing the exact same thing.
What You Can Do
The good news is that homeowners can play a role in putting a stop to this.
Your insurance company knows which vendors charge fairly and do good work. They don’t want to keep paying for a problem that keeps coming back. So they thoroughly vet and keep a list of their preferred vendors.
By only working with companies that your insurance company trusts, you’ll be doing your part to keep prices low for everyone.
What Does the Vetting Process Include?
The insurance companies do a lot more than just call the phone number and see if you answer. There are a lot of hoops that a water damage restoration company needs to go through before it is seen as trustworthy.
License and Certification
The first step is making sure that the company is properly certified and licensed to perform emergency disaster recovery services.
Some general contractors have been known to bill themselves as a water damage restoration company, despite having no knowledge or experience in this field. Construction and damage restoration are two very different things.
The next step is to check for insurance and surety bonds.
As any homeowner can tell you, insurance coverage can be pricey. A company with enough insurance is likely one that is invested in their business and takes their job seriously. A company with umbrella insurance (that is, coverage that goes beyond a standard policy) stands out in their field.
Another important consideration is workers’ comp insurance. In Florida, any construction business with even a single employee must carry workers’ comp coverage on their employees.
A company is only as good as the people who keep it going, which is why the vetting process includes background checks and drug screening on the owners and employees. They also run a credit check on the company and ask for past tax returns.
Finally, they check whether the company vehicles are wrapped/branded and whether company employees and staff have a uniform. This tends to show a sense of professionalism and communicates that the company plans to operate for a while.
A fly-by-night company wouldn’t spend the time or money on creating a logo, much less having it put on a car.
Work With The Best!
The insurance vetting process is a strict one, but Axel Works is proud to have passed it to be an approved vendor for leading insurance companies.
Hiring a water damage restoration company isn’t a situation anyone wants to find themselves in, but if you do happen to be in this predicament, know that Axel Works is a company you can trust!
Now only are we experienced in the full spectrum of disaster cleanup, we are Florida owned and operated, so we’re familiar with the specific risks that threaten our state. And with our Rapid Emergency Response, we can be on the site 24/7/365.