At Casualty Recovery Group, we understand the emotional and financial stress that can occur due to fire and smoke damage in your home or business. That’s why your first call afterwards should be to us.
Once a fire loss occurs it is crucial, and a duty, for the home or business owner to do everything in their power to prevent further damage. This usually starts with a board up and roof tarps to secure the building from weather and further damage, followed by a perimeter cleanup of broken glass, nails and debris so no one could get hurt. If cold weather has set in, the water system may need to be drained and winterized to prevent pipes from freezing; anti-freeze will be poured into toilets and drain traps to help accomplish this. If the power has been knocked out, an electrician will need to come in and hopefully restore power and provide temporary lighting. If the heating system is not damaged it can be serviced or a temporary heating system can be installed to help dry out the building and prevent further damage. These are just some of the things that we can help with immediately following the loss producing occurrence. These services are covered and paid for by the insurance company and are the insured’s obligation to perform. The insured will not be required to pay for these services until they are reimbursed by the insurance company.
The next step would be to bring in any drying equipment that would be needed to dry out the building, once again preventing any further damage. We will then meet with the insurance adjuster and determine any other emergency measures that may be needed such as opening up certain areas that may have wet insulation behind walls, setting up rescue mats to dry out hardwood floors, or wall cavity drying. Our technicians are certified by the IICRC to perform these services to exacting protocols.
We will also agree on the salvage of clothing items that will go to a dry cleaning plant that specializes in the restoration of clothes using the latest in modern methods. Of course many items may be a total loss and we will inventory those items separately. Additionally, we will agree on the of salvage furniture items that will need to be packed out to our 12,000 square-foot, climate controlled warehouse for cleaning and storage. These items will be returned once the building has been repaired. A complete inventory list of what is taken will be provided to the owner.
At this point our estimator(s) will meet with the adjuster to determine the “scope of loss”. This will be a complete line item list showing in detail the quantities and unit costs for everything that was damaged by the fire. It is done using the latest software estimating system used by insurance companies. It is to your advantage having us there to ensure nothing is missed and all is properly recorded for estimate entry.
Once we have agreed on the scope of damage, we can then sit down with the insured and discuss how the building will be repaired to either its pre loss condition or in many cases certain changes or upgrades will be worked out. Certain policies provide for “Code Upgrade” or “Ordnance and Law” coverage which would pay for (up to the covered limit) code upgrades cited by city inspectors.
When an agreement has been reached on how to repair the building we will apply for the building permit and begin the repair process. Weekly on site meetings are set up to review progress and a construction schedule is set. Remember, the insurance company wants you back into your home ASAP as well and will give a time limit for repair work to be completed.
On most losses the owners will be relocated to temporary housing by a professional relocation company used by the insurance company. Once the repairs have been completed and the city inspectors have signed off for occupancy we can move the owners back into the building.