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FAQs About Electronic Claims

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

man repairing hard drive in service center. Repairing and fixing service in lab. Electronics repair service concept. When your business suffers storm, water, or other damage, submitting a claim to your insurance agent electronically can speed up the payment process.

Electronic Claims Frequently Asked Questions

Getting paid promptly is a concern for many business owners who need to file an insurance claim. One way to speed up this process is to use electronic claims. This gives you a more streamlined process so you can focus on hiring a disaster remediation company and getting your business back to normal.

Why Should You Submit Claims Electronically?

Filing an insurance claim electronically has many benefits. These include:

  • Minimal disruptions to your cash flow
  • Track claim status
  • Increased accuracy and fewer claim rejections
  • Less paperwork
  • Decreased time spend filing

How Do You Submit Them Electronically?

There are several options for submitting an insurance claim electronically. The most common are full- and self-service claim systems. A full-service system has you submitting your documents through a third-party provider. You are only required to submit your policy and loss information, and the claim will be generated for you.

A lot of business owners worry about the cost of using one of these services. However, submitting your claims through a full-service electronic provider is not terribly expensive. Instead, they take a small percentage of your claim money.

An alternative is to use the self-service claim system, which means submitting your claim to your insurance company through a customer portal. Most insurance companies today have their own software, so this is a free option. However, even though you submit your documents through this portal, you may still need to have an adjuster visit your site and inspect the damage.

Whichever method you choose, you will still be able to receive your funds quickly, so you can hire a restoration company, such as SERVPRO, and start restoring your business in Kiawah Island, SC.

Submitting a claim to your insurance agent electronically can speed up the process of getting paid after your business faces a disaster. It is a convenient method that has many benefits and can be completed in different ways.

Candle Safety at Home: 5 Tips To Prevent Fires

4/30/2022 (Permalink)

candle in bathroom on the bath tub To keep your home in safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions.

Candle Safety At Home: 5 Fire-Prevention Tips

Candles can be the perfect addition for relaxing at night, setting the mood or freshening the air. That said, using them does not come without risks. Between 2014 and 2018, candles caused approximately 7,610 residential fires. To keep your home in Johns Island, SC safe from a potential candle fire, you should understand the dangers as well as proper handling instructions. To prevent the likelihood of needing to call a smoke cleanup team after your next bubble bath, consider these five safety tips.

1. Stay Nearby or Blow Them Out

It is better to be safe than to be sorry. If you plan on leaving the room, make sure you blow out any burning flames. You never know who could pass by or what could happen that might accidentally start a fire.

2. Keep Flammable Items Away

Even if you are in the same room, you need to keep anything flammable at least one foot away. Be especially mindful of materials like paper and cloth to avoid a candle fire.

3. Use Candle Holders

When you use a candle without a holder, it can easily tip over. A sturdy holder or non-flammable container can prevent this from happening.

4. Avoid Using Around Children or Pets

It is also wise to ensure small children and pets stay clear of any areas where you have candles burning. In addition, consider where you keep matches and lighters. While your cat probably will not figure out how to use them, your son or daughter might.

5. Do Not Use Near Oxygen

If anyone in the house uses oxygen, candles can be extremely dangerous. For this reason, you may want to look into artificial options that do not have flames.

While many residential fires occur because of candles, they do not have to be unsafe. Fortunately, there are simple safety measures that can allow you to enjoy comfortable lighting and pleasant smells at home without starting a candle fire.

Under What Circumstances Is Commercial Flood Insurance Required?

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. While flood insurance is often optional, it is often a wise investment. A flood's losses can be devastating to a business.

In What Situations Is Commercial Flood Insurance Required?

For many businesses in the U.S., flood insurance is an optional affair. It is not required and it is up to the company to decide if the risk/reward calculation makes sense. The management team will consider many items when making this decision:

  • What would the premiums cost?
  • How large could the losses be in a flood?
  • How likely is a flood in a specific area?

A company in West Ashley, SC, might gamble that the risk of a flood is low and that they do not need the extra insurance. If the company is right, it will save by not paying premiums and it can put this money to other uses. If the company is wrong and it is hit with a devastating flood, the company could potentially lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mandatory Flood Insurance

In some situations, a commercial enterprise must purchase insurance against floods. The parameters for this requirement include the following situations:

  • The company is located in a high-risk floodplain
  • The company has a mortgage with a federally regulated or insured lender
  • The lender requires insurance for floods

The reasons for this requirement are many and fairly complex. However, it boils down to the fact that both lenders and government entities do not want to have to bail out companies that rack up large expenses and losses in a flood.

Helpful Commercial Insurance

Businesses cannot take the risk of not having a primary insurance policy that covers storm damage, fire damage and other perils. In the case of significant damage, the primary policy will pay for a variety of losses as well as the cleanup efforts of a qualified restoration company. In the long run, the services of trained technicians will likely save money by making necessary repairs to get the company back on its feet again.

While flood insurance is often discretionary, it is frequently a worthwhile purchase. The losses from a flood have the potential to cause great hardship to a company.

4 Causes of Water Damage

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

Water piping tube installed externally along the bathroom wall to supply water for a heater. It is a good idea to inspect your water systems on a regular basis for signs of oxidation deterioration o pH loss, for example.

4 Water Damage Causes

If you run a business in Charleston, SC, water damage can be a major hindrance to your operation. Whether you are dealing with a pipe burst cleanup or mitigating the impact of a supply line leaking, you want to address the problem as soon as possible. A trusted water restoration specialist can handle the water cleanup quickly. In the meantime, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these four common factors of water damage.

1. Clogged Pipes

Everyone has experienced the reduced trickle of water when something gets lodged in a pipe. Fishing out the offending item gets it flowing normally again. However, a deeply lodged clog can cause a buildup of pressure in the pipe and even a burst. Because water can spill out rapidly, a pipe burst cleanup can be a major undertaking.

2. Extreme Weather

If the water in your pipes drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it will freeze. Water expands approximately 9% when frozen, sometimes forcing it to rupture the pipe it is contained in. Having your pipes insulated or heating their space can mitigate this risk.

3. Corrosion and Deterioration

Pipes and supply lines lose their integrity over time for a variety of reasons, such as pH imbalances, rust buildup and stretching. It is a good practice to regularly inspect your water systems for any of these defects.

4. Loose Hardware

Sometimes the problem is as simple as a loose nut on your supply line. If this is the case, tighten the nut where the leak is found. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can cause the threads of the nut to crack. If the leak persists, applying a pipe joint compound may fix the problem. Otherwise, you need to replace the hardware.

When you run a business, you want to be ready for any scenario that may occur. Being aware of these common causes of water damage can help you avoid a costly and unpleasant supply line leak or pipe burst cleanup.

4 Tips for Avoiding Winter Storm Damage

3/17/2022 (Permalink)

cloud of a storm Preparing for a winter storm is much easier if you have planned ahead. Call SERVPRO if you need help with it.

4 Winter Storm Damage Prevention Tips

The winter season brings joyous festivities such as company holiday parties, end of year celebrations and beautiful snowfalls in Ravenel, SC. However, along with the snowfalls comes the threat of a heavy winter storm, and if you are caught unprepared, these can wreak havoc on your business and can cause costly damage. Here are four tips for avoiding damage during a storm.

1. Plan Ahead

Preparing for a winter storm is much easier if you have planned ahead. To protect your business, you should create a disaster readiness plan that outlines what to do if a disaster occurs. This plan should include instructions for safe evacuations and a list of emergency contacts, including a storm restoration service.

2. Insulate Your Building

Good insulation is important for keeping your building and its plumbing system warm. The temperature should remain above 55° F to prevent a pipe break, which can lead to flooding and water damage. Show your staff how to control your utilities, such as shutting off the main water valve in case of a flood.

3. Inspect Your Roof

You should routinely inspect your building’s roof to ensure that all shingles are in good condition and firmly nailed down. Heavy snowstorms can cause snow and ice to collect on your roof, which can cause storm damage and leaks if your roof has any wear and tear.

4. Watch the Weather

Keep an eye on your local weather channel and stay abreast of incoming storms and severe weather alerts. If a major storm is looming, keep your employees safe by allowing them to leave work early or work remotely before the storm starts, or provide a place onsite or nearby to stay if driving conditions become treacherous.

A snowy winter can be fun and beautiful, but if you are unprepared, a winter storm can lead to costly repairs. Staying alert of the weather and planning ahead are important for keeping your employees safe and preventing damage.

Best Disaster Recovery Company

3/3/2022 (Permalink)

Best Disaster Recovery Company listed on the website. We are so grateful to be recognized as the Best Disaster Recovery Company in Charleston 2021!

Each year, the Charleston City Paper recognizes a variety of service-based businesses in the Charleston area. Highlighting these businesses in this way helps give Charleston residents easy access to credible and reliable businesses across the city. We highly encourage you to check our Best of Charleston 2021 to find some of the best that Charleston has to offer!

We are very proud to announce that our SERVPRO of South & West Charleston team recently won the Best Disaster Recovery Company from the Charleston City Paper's Best of 2021!

We are so grateful for the recognition we received and will continue to work hard to be the best disaster recovery company in our community! 

Day or night, in rain or sunshine, our highly trained team is always available to help after a disaster strikes your home or business! 

Do You Have This Certain Type of Pipes? You May Be in for Unnecessary Sewer Cleanup

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

New gray and brown drain pipes isolated over white As water and flood damage specialists, we are prepared and ready to serve you at a moment's notice. Call us when you need it!

Do You Have Any Of These Particular Pipes? It's Possible That You'll Have To Deal With An Unneeded Sewer Clean-up.

If the pipes in your commercial building were manufactured between 1978 and 1995, you may be in for some imminent sewer cleanup.

Polybutylene pipes were used during that time period in place of copper pipes. They were less costly and easier to install. What's not to love? Well, there's a reason manufacture stopped in 1995. However, PB pipes are still commonly found in sewer systems that may lead right into your place of business.

Do You Have Polybutylene Pipes?

There are a few problems with this particular type of pipe:

  • They are chemically reactive, breaking down when exposed to common cleaning agents.
  • PB pipes can become brittle and crack over time.
  • This can lead to leaks, backing up the sewers.
  • These pipes are sometimes uninsurable.

To determine if you have PB pipes, you need to do a little digging.

Leave the physical excavating to the experts, but if you can find a pipe coming out of the ground near your building's water heater, sink, or toilet, you can check for classic signs of a PB pipe. It will most likely be blue, black, or gray and one-half to 1 inch in diameter. These are good indicators that you have PB pipes in your sewer system.

However, there may be visible copper pipes and poly pipes hiding underground, closer to the water meter. If you don't want to go full-on detective mode on your pipes, it's OK to contact a sewer expert. Especially if there are any signs of sewer backup, such as a flooded toilet, it's advised to contact these professionals as soon as possible.

How Can You Prepare for Sewer Cleanup?

Preventing water damage from sewer backup issues starts with finding the right insurance coverage. It's harder, but not impossible, to cover PB pipes. Once you find adequate coverage, you will need to find trusted, insurance-preferred remediation experts in Charleston, SC, to have on deck if and when disaster strikes. Even if you have this type of pipes, having a restoration plan makes for easier, cheaper sewer cleanup.

Helping Clients Get the Restoration Services They Need

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

Truck from a restoration company SERVPRO is available 24/7, 365 days a year to help with any size fire or water loss. Even if you just have a question, call us and we will answer you!

Assisting Clients In Obtaining The restoration Services They Require

A strong storm can damage a large area in a short amount of time. When residential clients need storm restoration services, it is in their best interest to choose a company that responds to their call for help quickly and provides all the information they need for insurance claims.

By choosing a company that has broad corporate resources and a reliable local franchise in Charleston, SC, homeowners can save both themselves and their insurance company money.

Fast Response

A national call center that operates 24 hours a day is well-equipped to delegate quick storm response to people in affected areas. As soon as the company receives a call, they put the following actions in motion:

  • Contact local franchise
  • Open file in Claims Information Center
  • Dispatch extra equipment to area if necessary

The earlier storm restoration begins, the less chance there is of secondary damage to the home in question. A company that's Faster to Any Size Disaster saves time and money by limiting the amount of remediation that has to happen.

Detailed Reports

The CIC is a helpful tool for homeowners and insurance adjusters. As soon as the flood damage is assessed and an estimate of the total cost for restoration is created, the report is stored in the corporate database. When the customer file is accessed, all the information needed for the claim is right there. The adjuster can use it to corroborate his or her inspection.

The homeowner can use it to get a complete list of the items that need to be replaced or repaired and how much the process is going to cost. A comprehensive report of the damage gives the insurance company the information it needs to process the claim in an efficient manner.

When storm restoration is needed, it doesn't need to be delayed. A company that responds quickly and provides a detailed account of the problem is helpful to both the homeowner and the insurance company.

Establishing a Furnace Maintenance Schedule

2/14/2022 (Permalink)

Fragment of the interior of a country house. The iron furnace is heated. There is wood near the stove. The need for fire cleaning can be avoided if you schedule any necessary repairs before turning the heater on.

Creating A Furnace Maintenance Program

As the weather starts getting colder, you will probably start wanting to switch from air conditioning to the heater in your home. To ensure that you can do so safely, however, you need to perform preventative maintenance on your furnace before you use it as well as having it professionally inspected at the end of the cold season. Fire cleaning experts recommend the following steps to get your furnace ready for regular use.

Clean

The first thing you want to do is to make sure your furnace and all its components are free of dust, which can ignite a fire when the heat is turned on and leave you looking for smoke cleaning services. The three main components to clean are:

  • Filter
  • Motor
  • Blower

Check the filter to see if it is clean. If not, change it. In fact, it’s a good idea to change the filter every month when the furnace is running continuously. Inspect each component inside and remove dust with a toothbrush or some other fine-toothed cleaning apparatus.

Repair

The need for fire cleaning can be avoided if you schedule any necessary repairs before turning the heater on. For example, if the belts look brittle or torn, they need to be replaced. Both the blower and the motor have belts, and all of them need to be strong for the furnace to work properly.

Lubricate

Many furnace motors are sealed by the manufacturer with the necessary lubrication already included. Some, however, have oil ports, and these motors require the occasional addition of lubricant. It doesn’t take a lot of motor oil to keep the furnace running smoothly. Just add a couple of drops to each port, and that should do the trick. A well-oiled motor is a happy motor that keeps your furnace operating efficiently throughout the colder months.

It’s smart to check your furnace before its first use of the year and after its last use. It is easier to keep it clean and well lubricated with intact parts than it is to hire fire cleaning experts in Johns Island, SC, when dust and grime cause sparks.

Rethinking Infrastructure: An Urban Answer to Flooding

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

water barrier of sand bag to prevent flood Instead of relying on emergency sandbags to keep water away from your building’s foundation, you could have barriers built right into your property.

Rethinking Infrastructure: A Flood-Resistant City

Land development gives an air of progress, opportunity and innovation. A possible byproduct of development in Charleston, SC, however, could be an increased vulnerability to high water. Many modern cities are putting structures in place that help prevent damaging floods that could cost millions of dollars in repairs. By building these items into their infrastructure, they protect their cities and the businesses within.

Gates

Cities with waterways can benefit from a movable gate system that can be closed when conditions indicate that floodwater could become a threat. These gates may feature certain elements to stop flooding. They include:

  • Computerized walls
  • Sensors for automatic closure when water gets too high
  • Hydraulic gates that can operate even if the power goes out

By blocking excess water to the portions of rivers and canals that border the cities’ business and industrial districts, business owners have little need to fear the rise of high water when storm season hits.

Tunnels

Many cities have intricate systems of drainage tunnels that direct water away from structures into areas that can handle it without causing any damage. These tunnels often serve a dual purpose. In addition to redirecting excess floodwater, some of them are part of a hydraulic system that pushes barriers into place to slow or halt the flow.

Barriers

Many buildings in flood-prone areas are built with caution in mind. Flood mitigation experts suggest that, instead of relying on emergency sandbags to keep water away from your building’s foundation, you could have barriers built right into your property. Motorized barriers are not only easier to operate but also easier to put away once flood prevention is no longer necessary.

Low-tech options have historically prevented flood damage to some extent. As engineering innovations improve, however, many cities are beginning to rely on more consistent ways of combating high water. Through a combination of gates, tunnels and barriers built into city infrastructure, as well as individual commercial buildings, major flood issues could become a thing of the past.