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Will Filling an Insurance Claim Raise My Rates?

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance application form The decision to file an insurance claim is a personal one.

Filing a Claim and Your Insurance Rates

If you've ever had a home insurance claim, then you know that it's stressful. But there are also a lot of questions: Will my rates go up? What if they raise them by more than 10%? Will they even cover the damages? Luckily, it's possible to find answers to these questions and more.

Should I File a Claim?

If your Hudson, WI home has been damaged and you're unsure whether or not to file a claim, there are some things you need to know. The most important thing is to know what your insurance policy covers. You can find this information in the fine print of your contract or by calling your insurance company directly and asking specific questions.

Once you've made a decision about filing an insurance claim, it's also important to understand how filing one might affect your rates. Some insurers offer lower premiums if they don't have to pay out too many claims, while other companies raise their prices when they do have to pay out more money on claims

Will My Rates Go Up?

You will want to know if filing a claim is going to raise your insurance rates. This is one of the most common questions people ask when they have any sort of damage incident. 

If you have an at-fault accident, then there's no guarantee that your rates won't go up as a result. But if you were not at fault for the accident, your insurance company should not raise your rates because of it.

It all comes down to how your insurance company evaluates the damage and pays out on claims. Some companies use their payout amounts as guidelines for what kind of coverage they should offer in future years - so if they pay out more money than usual in one year, it might mean lower premiums in subsequent years (and vice versa).

How Much Will It Increase?

The cost of the claim and how many claims you've filed in the past are factors that determine how much your premiums will go up.

The amount of coverage you have on your policy also helps determine how much your rates will increase. The more insurance you have, the more risk you're taking on by filing a claim—and insurers take this into account when they set their prices. If you're at fault for an accident, then filing a claim could result in higher premiums because it was your fault that caused damage to another person's property or injured them. If there were no injuries involved with filing an accident report with your insurance company, then there should not be an impact on your premium costs whatsoever with most providers (but check with yours).

If someone else caused damage to something that belongs to you then it would likely be considered their fault, which means they'd pay any related costs associated with repairs or replacement parts instead of reducing the value of what they damaged while driving under influence (DUI). Filing claims can also cause premiums to rise if multiple ones occur within short periods; however, some companies offer discounts when customers file multiple claims within 12 months but only if they don't exceed 50% after deductibles are taken into consideration first!

You should compare insurance companies and their rates before you decide to file a claim.

It's very important to take the time to do your research and compare insurance companies before you decide to file a claim. Many people don't realize that their rates will go up because they filed a claim, which can be a major financial burden. You should know how much your insurance policy will go up after the claim, so that if the increase is too high, you may have to look into other options.

Water Damage Claims

How to file a claim for water damage.

1. Contact your insurance company. Typically, you'll call the number on your policy or on the back of your ID card. Tell them about the damage and ask for written instructions on how to proceed with filing the claim. (Those can also be found online.)

2. Have SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley come out to assess the damage. We’ll let you know if they think it's safe enough to stay in your home while repairs are made, or if we think you need to relocate temporarily. 

If you're not sure whether filing a claim will affect your rates, ask your insurer. If you do decide to file a claim, it's important to look into how much that might cost.

If your insurance company doesn't cover all the damage done by the burglary, or if they don't pay at all, then you'll have to pay for repairs yourself and keep paying for your policy.

The decision to file an insurance claim is a personal one. You should weigh the costs and benefits before deciding whether or not filing a claim will affect your rates. The best way to do this is by comparing insurance companies' rates and coverage options. If you're considering filing an insurance claim, make sure you know what's involved in the process so that you won't be surprised by anything unexpected!

How to Take Care of a Flooded Furnace

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

Furnace flood A furnace flood in Star Prairie, WI.

Ways To Take Care Of a Furnace Flood

A broken pipe in your business facility could lead to flooding and damaged appliances. If water reaches the basement, the furnace might be flooded and require repairs. Here are some ways to take care of a furnace flood in your Star Prairie, WI, business.

1. Shut Off Water and Power
The first action you should take is to turn off the water to prevent more flooding. Then, cut off the power to your building before entering a flooded area. If you don't know how to do so or feel it's unsafe, call a licensed electrician for assistance.
You will also want to contact a water mitigation agency to help remove water and dry out the facility. Mitigation technicians can identify hazards and assess the building and its contents for water damage. Once the water is removed, salvageable structures and appliances can be cleaned and repaired.

2. Get the Flooded Furnace Inspected
A furnace is more vulnerable to water because it rests, often completely unprotected, on the building foundations. After a flood, it's essential to have your furnace checked for damage by a licensed professional. Unresolved damage from a flood may pose the following hazards:

  • Carbon monoxide emissions
  • Fire
  • Mold contamination

Don't try to use your furnace before having it inspected. It may seem all right on the surface, but there could be interior damage undetectable to an untrained eye.

3. Begin Furnace Flood Repairs
Minor damage to the furnace will require repairs such as air duct cleaning or component replacements. Some water mitigation companies offer a furnace maintenance package that includes vent cleaning and air filter replacement. If the damage is too severe, the entire furnace may have to be replaced.
A furnace flood in your business facility is not just an inconvenience but a potential hazard. Get your furnace inspected and maintained right away following water exposure.

Fire Damage and Water Damage

10/15/2022 (Permalink)

Two firefighters with a hose shooting water at a building on fire Commercial fire damage

Fire Damage and Water Damage

Fire and water are the most common causes of damage in homes and businesses, so it’s important for you to know how they differ. Fire can cause severe damage to your structure or business, but water damage is a byproduct of fire. The more water used, the more water damage there will be to your structure. Water damage comes from sprinklers as well as fire hoses used by first responders. As an example: In a typical residential fire (where only one room is on fire), firefighters use about 5 gallons of water per minute while fighting the blaze; however, if they have to fight off flames in two separate rooms at once—or if they must ventilate the area after putting out a blaze—then they might need 10 times that amount of water per minute!

Fire damage is not just damage from burning.

Fire can cause smoke, heat, and water damage. Smoke can cause damage to the structure and contents of the building. Heat from fire can destroy walls and other structural components of your home. Water used to extinguish a fire often damages ceilings, floors, walls and other components of your home or business.

Water damage is a byproduct of fire damage.

The water used to put out the flames will make its way into your home, causing severe damage to any property it touches.

The more water used, the more water damage to the structure.

When a fire breaks out in your home or business, you need to call 911 immediately and evacuate everyone from the premises until firefighters arrive on scene and take control of the situation.

Once firefighters have extinguished any flames and cooled off hot spots with hoses, it’s time for cleanup. This step involves mopping up remaining water from floors and walls with towels or rags so that dirt doesn’t get into wet places on carpets or drywall ceilings; if it does get there, though, don't worry—it's easy to fix when drywall is still damp (just use joint compound).

Recognizing signs of hidden fire damage

If you suspect there might be hidden damage after an emergency situation like flooding due to broken pipes or sewage backups caused by heavy rains during Springtime months when sewage systems overflow due to saturated ground conditions after winter thaws have melted snow away; this could cause problems with sewer lines during cold spells where temperatures drop at nightfall causing frozen pipes which then burst open spewing sewage across basement floors where mold spores begin growing upon contact with moisture within minutes!

Firefighters use up to 5000 gallons of water to put out a fire in some cases.

The amount of water used to put out a fire can vary widely, depending on the size of the fire and how much water is available. Firefighters may need to call in backup from other departments, and they will often bring in tanks of water from nearby lakes or rivers. If you measure your home's square footage as 1000 square feet (SF), then a firefighter would use about 100 gallons to extinguish your fire. For example:

  • A one bedroom ranch-style house with 700 SF would require 70 gallons
  • A 5 bedroom home with 3200 SF would require 320 gallons
  • A large commercial building with 20,000 SF would require 2000+ gallons

Call SERVPRO for help with your fire and water damage in your structure or business - 715-381-2266

If you have fire or water damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO. SERVPRO is a national company with local people who can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our experience and training in fire and water restoration we will restore your property quickly and efficiently so that it's ready for use as soon as possible. We are an industry leader in disaster response services and have state-of-the-art equipment which allows us to respond faster than any other company servicing the area. We offer our clients guaranteed maximum protection against losses through the most comprehensive insurance contract available today. If you need assistance with your insurance claim call 715-381-2266 to get help right away!

Common Plumbing Issues in Commercial Buildings

10/5/2022 (Permalink)

toilet paper put in Flush.used paper clogging the toilet A blocked line can cause many other issues, including toilet overflow.

Plumbing Problems in Commercial Structures

Whether you rent space or own a commercial building, you need to understand these common plumbing problems. Some, such as a blocked sewer, are relatively easy to deal with, while others, including broken pipes, require considerably more intervention. Here are some typical situations that you might face.

Foundation Shifts and Cracks

Over time, foundations shift and can crack. This can lead to a number of issues:

  • Incoming and outgoing pipe breaks
  • Outgoing sewage line breaks
  • Flooding
  • Wall and floor damage

Although all of these are fixable, you can only do it at considerable expense. In some cases, your business insurance might cover these. You will have to check your policy.

Blocked Sewer Lines

Many things can obstruct the sewer lines. Everything from flushing the wrong item down the toilet to a piece of concrete falling into an outgoing line at the street level can contribute to this problem. No matter what precipitates it, you need to quickly take care of it because a blocked line can cause many other issues, including toilet overflow.

Broken Pipes

Like a sewer blockage, broken pipes can be disastrous for a business. A blockage may even cause a pipe to burst. When a pipe breaks, it can cause flooding problems. In the case of severely damaged pipes or flooding, you need to call a water remediation company in Glenwood City, WI. These specialists can quickly and effectively clean your business before the water causes other issues such as mold and mildew.

Deteriorating Lines

Depending on the building's age, you might have copper, concrete or even steel and cast iron lines. All of these are subject to deterioration. As pipes decay, they can seep or leak, causing mold, mildew and other serious problems. Periodic inspection of these lines is necessary to keep them functioning properly.
Take care of a blocked sewer or broken plumbing problem immediately since they can ruin your business and building. Although you can't always prevent them, staying alert can help get these difficulties fixed before they interrupt your normal operations.

How To Clean Black Mold in Commercial Air Ducts

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Dust around air duct. So regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk.

Air ducts are a haven for black mold. When is the last time you had your ventilation system professionally cleaned? As a commercial business owner, you know that costly repairs can seemingly come out of thin air. This time, they're coming out of your air vents.

Signs of Mold Overgrowth in Air Ducts

Watch out for these classic signs of vent contamination:

  • Black, dusty, hard-to-remove patches around air vents
  • The musty smell upon turning on the AC
  • Itchy, watery eyes and sneezing

It's always possible that mold overgrowth goes undetected. For this reason, it's best to remain vigilant and keep clean ducts.

How To Clean Ducts

Cleaning an air ventilation system is not an easy task. For this reason, it's best to consult a professional right off the bat. Attempting this feat alone is not only time-consuming, but it could be harmful to you and your clients in the building. If not done properly, attempting to remove black mold may accidentally exacerbate the issue. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take instead.

Contact an expert in Prescott, WI.
The right mold remediation professionals will verify that mold is indeed present.
Cleaning will begin, and if spread to insulation, insulation will need to be replaced.
The professional team will use the correct cleaners and tools while disinfecting your commercial air ducts.
Once done, now it's your turn: prevent mold regrowth!

How To Prevent Mold Regrowth

Step five is arguably the most important step. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent black mold from reappearing will save you and your commercial business tons of time, money, and stress. In order to stop the fungus from thriving, you need to first locate the source. What is causing the mold to prosper? Air vents are naturally a breeding ground for mold, so regular duct maintenance can mitigate this risk. Make sure the AC filters are changed out periodically. Reduce moisture and humidity in your commercial space. Use natural air circulation when possible, like opening a window. Keep the aforementioned tips in mind, and mold won't have a chance to damage your livelihood.

3 Mistakes to Avoid During a Workplace Fire

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

People escaping through an exit door To keep the fire from spreading, instruct your staff to use only emergency exit doors

What Not to Do During a Workplace Fire

 Making sure fire extinguishers are accessible and smoke alarms are maintained are crucial steps to take as an employer. If a fire does erupt in your workplace, it’s natural for people to panic. Unfortunately, this can lead to common mistakes that aggravate the situation. To ensure everyone makes it out of the building safely during an emergency, here are a few safety guidelines to remind your staff of during fire training.

Break Windows

Smoke inhalation is a threat to those inside the building. In an effort to access fresh air, some people might open windows or break the glass. However, when oxygenated air from outside rushes in, the intensity of the fire will build more quickly.

As smoke and heat rise, everyone should stay close to the ground and crawl to the exits to avoid fumes. If exits are blocked, put wet towels under the doors to keep out the smoke instead of opening windows.

Fail to Use Emergency Exits

Fire extinguishers. When a fire starts, people might try to evacuate the building the same way they got in. However, you shouldn’t open any doors leading to the main corridors, especially if the handles are warm to the touch. Flames could be on the other side of these, and opening them could feed more oxygen to the fire and expose people to smoke.

To keep the fire from spreading, instruct your staff to use only emergency exit doors, stairwells, and fire escapes.

Forget to Alert Others

When they hear the fire alarm protection system, some people may think it’s just a test. If they don’t smell smoke or feel the heat, they might fail to take action.

To protect everyone in the workplace, people who see the flames or smoke should yell “fire” to alert others that it is not a drill. Those trained to use fire extinguishers can try to control the blaze while others call emergency services for help. If anyone in the workplace has mobility difficulties, assign someone to ensure they can get out safely during your safety plan design.

3 Ways SERVPRO Helps Insurance Adjusters and Their Clients

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers drying an exterior wall SERVPRO's professionals take pride in their customer service.

SERVPRO Offers Three Ways to Assist Insurance Adjusters and Their Clients

The restoration experts at SERVPRO are committed to satisfying their customers. Local and national professionals work as a team to help manage the disaster recovery process, from restoring damaged property to working with an insurance adjuster. While the company's headquarters builds and maintains relationships with insurance companies, it is the local representative that will assist onsite in Prescott, WI. Here are three ways that these experts aid adjusters and their clients.

1. Arrive Quickly To Begin Helping
First, this franchise understands that when an accident or natural disaster damages a business, the owners want and need assistance as soon as possible. The company has over 1,900 locations across the United States and Canada, which enables its restoration professionals to arrive at a disaster site in under four hours. Additionally, this time frame holds day or night because these professionals are available to respond 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

2. Inventory for Information
Once on the scene, professional cleanup workers immediately address emergency issues, such as shutting off water and gas lines. After deeming the site stable, the restoration crew works its way through the property and carefully makes a list of every item, noting the degree of damage. In addition, SERVPRO’s employees will photograph expensive items. These photographs of the inventory will help insurance adjusters determine how much their clients will receive for the losses.

3. Pretest To Reduce Insurance Claim Issues
SERVPRO’s restoration philosophy includes pretesting, which asserts that it is better to restore than replace because repairing damaged goods is usually less expensive than buying new ones. After pretesting, SERVPRO’s local representative can work with the adjuster and its client to save money for everyone involved.
SERVPRO's professionals take pride in their customer service. Helping insurance adjusters make their clients whole again is just one way that these franchises contribute to their communities.

The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

air movers placed on a hallway Drying equipment is placed to avoid further damage.

The Top 3 Challenges Posed By Large Losses

A devastating natural disaster such as a tornado or other severe weather events can result in a catastrophic loss of properties throughout Baldwin, WI. Find out more about the three main obstacles property owners and insurance agents must overcome in order to achieve a timely recovery.

1. Many Properties May Be Affected

Adverse weather such as flooding or a tornado can affect an entire neighborhood, town or city. When these events occur, local restoration franchises and independent remediation firms may all have their resources strained to the limit. The difference among these service providers is that franchises in a national company can share staff and resources to meet sudden spikes in demand for mitigation, cleanup and restoration.

2. Insurance Response Can Be Limited

Insurance agents and adjusters in a region affected by severe weather, or any other disaster resulting in catastrophic loss, may also have claims from many clients to inspect. As a result, it may not be possible to visit every affected property before mitigation is needed to limit the severity of the damage. Relying on a restoration company that arrives on-site within hours and thoroughly documents conditions makes it possible to start alleviating the destruction sooner.

3. Property Owners Must Act Quickly

The severity of storm damage can increase significantly over the hours following an incident. It is important to extract water within 24 to 48 hours to prevent serious mold problems. A local restoration franchise that is part of an extensive network can ensure that mitigation and cleanup measures stay on schedule.

Each of these factors has the potential to hold up recovery from an incident that causes catastrophic loss in Baldwin, WI. Property owners and insurers can avoid delays by relying on a restoration company that has over 1,700 locations across North America. Affiliated local and regional franchises can work together to provide mitigation, cleanup and restoration services after a large loss.

3 Proactive Ways To Minimize the Risk of Commercial Plumbing Issues

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet, toilet paper on toilet bowl. Clogged drains are easy to recognize and easy enough to fix.

The Risk of Commercial Plumbing Issues

When you encounter plumbing problems, you could be looking at small problems or big ones. A clogged drain, for instance, is not the same as a broken pipe. Businesses in Baldwin, WI, and across the country would benefit from employing proactive methods of looking after their plumbing systems, diminishing the potential for future issues. Here are three proactive ways to ensure your commercial plumbing system keeps working properly. 

1. Check Your Drains Often
Clogged drains are easy to recognize and easy enough to fix. When you see water beginning to back up in the toilets or sinks, you could employ a chemical or chemical-free solution, a wire hanger or a plunger. Typically, you'll pull out whatever's creating the clog, or the solution will flush it through the rest of the system.

2. Utilize Appropriate Water Pressure
If the water pressure in a building is too high, it could lead to broken seals, damaged fixtures and leaks. High water pressure applies stress to the pipes, but you can monitor it by attaching a hose bib gauge to your outside spigot. You're looking for water pressure between 40 and 80 psi. If you get readings above 80, you may want to install a pressure reducer.  

3. Find a Plumber Who Is Versed in Various Plumbing Problems
Eventually, your plumbing system will alert you that something is wrong. The rule of thumb is the faster the fix, the better, but plumbing systems are complex, and most of their components are hidden. A trusted, experienced plumber can recognize issues quickly and prevent a small issue from affecting the rest of the system. If, for instance, your water bills are higher than normal and there are soft, mushy spots on the lawn, you may or may not consider a broken water main, but your plumber will likely pin it down immediately.
In the event of broken pipes or high water pressure, you'll need water damage restoration professionals. In the meantime, employing a proactive approach to your commercial water system can reduce your risk of experiencing plumbing problems. 

Steps To Replace Your Leaking Toilet

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Bottom of a toilet seeping water A leaking toilet in New Richmond, WI.

How to Replace a Leaking Toilet

Replacing a toilet is not always necessary, but sometimes toilet repair is not enough to fix your leaking toilet. Inspect for water damage on the walls and floors before replacing your toilet. If you discover there is damage, contact a water damage restoration company in New Richmond, WI, so professionals can handle the remediation. Once you’ve determined there is no water damage, you can replace your toilet following these steps.

1. Remove the Old Toilet
Turn off the water to the toilet using the shutoff valve. Flush the toilet to drain the water from the leaking toilet. Continue to hold down the handle until the water no longer drains. Sop up the remaining water in the tank with a towel or a sponge. Use a cup to remove any water left in the bowl. Disconnect the water-supply tube. Take off the caps of the closet bolts and remove the nuts. Lift the toilet off the floor and place it aside on plastic or cardboard.

2. Prepare for Installation
Scrape off the old wax gasket. When putting a new wax gasket on the closet flange, make sure it is centered. Apply plumber’s tape or a light coating of pipe-joint compound to the fittings on the water-supply tube.

3. Install the New Toilet
Lift the new toilet by the bowl near the seat hinges. Carry it over the flange and set it on the wax gasket aligning it with the closet bolts. Press down firmly on the rim of the bowl. Place the washer and nuts over the closet bolts and tighten until snug. Repeat pressing on the bowl and tightening the nuts until the nuts are no longer loose. Cut the bolts using a hacksaw and replace the caps.

4. Attach the Water Supply
Connect the water-supply tube to the toilet and the shutoff valve. Turn on the water and flush the toilet a few times. Prevent another leaking toilet by pressing on the bowl and tightening the nuts again. Use the toilet for several weeks, then retighten the bolts.
Allowing professionals to tackle any water damage is advised, but following these steps will ensure a properly installed toilet.