What is a Water Restoration Technician?
An IICRC-accredited Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) is an individual that completes a course designed to provide basic education for technicians in the science and practice of water damage restoration. They will be educated in basic containment, extraction, and basic mold procedures. This will equip residential and commercial maintenance personnel or technicians with the knowledge to understand the procedures necessary to deal with sewer backflows, water losses, and contamination such as mold.
You might be surprised that the Water Damage Restoration industry does not have specific regulations and requirements for Water Damage Restoration companies on who they put on your property. And insured should find out when a Water Damage Restoration company tries to contract with them if the technicians that will be performing the work have a WRT Certification in Florida from an accredited school.
When you suffer a water loss that prompts you to file an insurance claim having the right people on your property from the start is essential. An insurance claim needs to be extensively documented and photographed in detail from the start. Experienced Public Adjusters knows that insurance companies are not always working in your best interest. The more you have to document the loss the better for a successful and expedited claims process.
You need to know when it is time to recommend a Florida Licensed Mold Assessor and when the Water IICRC/Mold Protocol comes in your have to have the insured or your client understand their duties after a loss to mitigate their home from future damages. A Public Adjuster should know every Florida Statute pertaining to 1st party property claims. One of the most important Statutes is Florida Statute 468.8411 which defines Florida Licensed Mold Assessors and Florida Licensed Mold Remediators. It explains that if the is 10 square feet that is discovered and it does not have to be continuous it just has to be 10 square feet then once a protocol is written by a Licensed Florida Mold Assessor then it has to be remediated by a Florida Licensed Mold Remediator.
We would suggest you ask any Water Damage Company a few questions before you sign any legal document. Furthermore, we would also suggest that you should always review any legal contract with an attorney if you have one at your disposal.
- Will a WRT Certified Technician be performing the work on my property? Do you have a WRT Certificate to show me for each technician?
- How will you be documenting the work that you will be performing? Do you have protimeters, thermal imaging cameras, moisture maps, hygrometers/ humidity meters, individuals to come out daily to check moisture levels and move equipment as needed to best protect your property from future damage which is usually a duty of the insured after a loss (Stated in your insurance policy).
- If there is visible mold discovered at the time of loss they should know not to use fans. They should be using dehumidifiers and HEPA machines only.
- Does the company do criminal background checks on their employees?
- Does the company drug screen their employees and have a drug free workplace policy?
- Is the company trying to earn your business claiming to also be a mold remediation company? Ask them who at their company has a valid mold remediators license by the State of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You can search the state database to verify by clicking on this link. https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp
- Is the contract they are trying to get you to sign a direction to pay? Work Authorization? Or an Assignment of Benefits contract? There is no guarantee that an insurance company is going to pay the bill. And most policies have a $3,000 limit for emergency services. If you sign a “Direction to Pay” contract it is possible that if the carrier does not pay their bill in full that a Water Restoration Company is going to put a mechanics lien on your property. If the Assignment of Benefits Contract is used and is written in accordance with the new HB 7015 law that was enacted and signed into law by Governor Desantis in 2019 then you will be protected by a “Hold Harmless Clause” which means that they will take on all the risk of being paid and you are not liable if they are not. However, that does not mean that the damage they do to your home during their process is going to be granted coverage by an insurance company and that they will pay to put your home back together. Again, I will express how important it is to have an attorney review any contract you sign.
- Also, you want to make sure if you are signing an Assignment of Benefits contract or better known as an AOB contract that its specific to the scope of work they are being authorized to complete. A full Assignment of Benefits contract without detailing the specific scope means you will be turning over all proceeds paid by the insurance company in most cases. Do you really want to trust the quality of the rebuild of your home to someone who is paid by the insurance carrier directly? What control does this leave you to make sure the quality of work meets your standards and that it actually gets done? We have seen so many people sign these contracts and then we get copies of the invoices they sent in and were paid for and the line items on the invoice were never replaced. For example, a roofing contractor will replace your roof and bill for new decking, soffits, and fascia boards but only replaces your roof. Now you have wood rotted fascia boards and wood decking underneath a brand new roof that still needs to be replaced.
An Experienced Public Adjuster has extensive knowledge of the insurance claim process and industry. In our opinion, the first call you should make is to one of our Experienced Public Adjusters for a free onsite consultation and review of your claim and insurance policy to provide you guidance and help you navigate these treacherous waters. We understand how much stress a loss can affect your family and your decision making. We are representatives of the public and licensed as Public Adjusters by the Florida Department of Financial Services to protect and act in the best interest of the insured.
Your first phone call when suffering a loss should be to an Experienced Public Adjuster. Call us today! We have offices throughout the Unities States from Florida to North Carolina, and From North Carolina to South Carolina. In Florida, we have offices in Naples, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Daytona Beach, Merritt Island, and 3 offices in Orlando.