The Fungus Among Us

The amount of household accidents, flooding and wind damage is increasing yearly.  The claims and clean-up is best handled by companies the insured can trust.  Although many of us do not recommend companies, many insurance professionals have the experience to know who is right and who isn’t.

moldguy

As an example, it was a little cape cod, just off the main road, inhabited by an older man.  He had no family around, not helpers or nurses coming to see him.  His closest relative was states away.  According to the mail left in the house, he died in late August.

In January, after four or five snow storms, we had a week of temperatures in the high seventies.  It was then the neighbors noticed the nauseating smell coming from his house.

By that time, the pipes had burst, walls had collapsed, and the body had decomposed to practically nothing.  But the pension checks and most of his payments were still being made due to banking technology.

The one relative he had arrived to settle the estate, but how to clean up that house.   Thank fully, the homeowners policy was still active.  It was at that time that we required two types of remediation.  They are as follows:

BioHazard

You will not find or see a commercial, advertisement, or social media mention about these guys.  However, they are everywhere.    It’s hard to know which company will do the best job for the right price.  Nearly all homeowner’s policies cover this type of loss.

All states and locals have guidelines, certification and licensing for this type of business, so it’s best to make sure to get the certificate of insurance.

The stories of wrong choices abound.  Considering blood borne illnesses like Hepatitis or HIV are out there – if the company does not clean up human waste properly, residents can become sick contact or inhalation.  This could lead to more medical bills and monies spent on another contractor coming in to clean the same area again.

As a former claims adjuster, there are companies in my area I do not recommend or even mention if asked because of prior experience.    Any biohazard guy will tell you – a businessman could get rich doing this job.

Mold Remediation

Ever since that landmark case in Texas years ago, mold has become a buzzword for the insurance community.   It is everywhere, some good and some bad.

Any expert in remediation will have substantial training and be familiar with mold removal.   Much like the biohazard companies, mold remediation companies have guidelines to adhere to in addition to the certificate of insurance.

Most policies have a fungi/mold endorsement with $5000 to $10000 of coverage for remediation.  Some carriers do offer more coverage for more money.

Again the fraudulent companies can be slippery.   So with either type of company checking the state consumer affairs division for any complaints would be wise.

Further, most of the good guys have other services as well – like payment plans and financial assistance for those with no insurance or high deductibles.  Additionally they will have a construction company either within their business or work directly with a contractor in the area – almost two for one.

That can cut down on costs for the insured – which is always good.   Perhaps, if you have an insured still living – then you’ll want to discuss loss of use with them and encourage them to save the receipts.

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