Today water restoration companies depend on insurance companies a lot and in return some of them are killing the water mitigation contractor. There are some great contractor’s across the country that get told by the insurance companies and software estimating companies how much they can charge for their services. This industry has a lot of the same issues with insurance that doctors do.
To illustrate this, I recently did a job for an insurance company and everything was great until the adjuster and I started talking about the invoice. He didn’t care that I dried it by industry standards, sized my dehumidifier to the job correctly and used axial fans. I even had an industry instructor with me the day I started the job. This adjuster told me that his company only allows him to pay for small lgr dehumidifiers, centrifugal fans not axial air movers, and even though I dried the carpet and pad in place he says they have to pull the carpet up and remove the padding.
Now this was a fresh water leak from overhead and I got to it within 24 hours of it happening. I completely dried the structure with the carpet, pad and baseboard intact and he will not even acknowledge this on his estimate back to the insurance company. So no matter how you dry a house with this company they always write their estimate saying the same things, which really doesn’t make sense to me.
The point to this story is that even with over 30 schools in our industry that have flood training houses, industry standards and lots of scientific data supporting the way I dry there are still insurance companies that are forcing water restoration companies to dry with the same techniques and equipment we used thirty and forty years ago. These methods cause more structural damage because thorough drying cannot be accomplished and more structural items need to be removed and replaced. This drives up cost and inconvenience to the insured.
Luckily, I had completely and thoroughly dried this customers before and so she knew that what I was telling her was true and that I could do what I said I could do. This particular insurance company has tried in the past to tell me these same things. The sad thing is that most other water restoration companies will let them dictate to them on how to either dry the structure or how to bill for the job. This hurts the entire industry and sets the industry back years. If we can ever get these insurance companies to insist that water restoration companies use the latest equipment and drying techniques on all jobs then the entire industry will not only prosper but the insurance companies will be able to reduce their cost.