Flames Race Through South Tulsa Apartments
A small fire that began in a single unit quickly spread to adjoining apartments; the end result is four units that are almost completely uninhabitable.
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STEP ONE: SECURING THE PREMISES
Most insurance policies state that it is the owner’s responsibility to secure the premises after a loss, and since insurance companies lose money when they pay claims, they often use the unsecured-property loophole to reduce the payment or deny the claim altogether. A “keep out” sign is hardly sufficient in these cases, so owners must often do things like:
- Seal Entrances: Because the smoke often corrodes the drywall, using a hammer and nails to stretch a slate of plywood over a window may cause extensive damage. Furthermore, such self-help efforts may or may not satisfy the persnickety insurance company.
- Deter Trespassers: On-site security may be necessary in a few cases, but more often than not, a temporary fence and an occasional security drive-by usually convince would-be trespassers to look elsewhere.
- Mitigate Damages: Waterlogged carpets must be dried, the air must be cleared, and other measures must be taken.
Professionals should always secure damaged premises, to help ensure maximum insurance payouts.
STEP TWO: RESTORATION
Time is of the essence, because every day a structure is closed, a commercial landowner loses money. So, the decision of who to call may be one of the most important choices in the entire process. Some companies have considerable resources but lack contractors with considerable local experience, and some firms have the opposite problem.
In addition to being good contractors, restoration workers must be good negotiators as well. Regardless of what their agents imply, almost all insurance adjusters want to do the absolute minimum. Restoration contractors must not only explain what they are doing, but also why they are doing it and what the result would otherwise be.