As the temperatures throughout Texas dropped well below freezing, many of you encountered burst water and sprinkler lines. For those who unfortunately experienced frozen and burst water lines at their business, there are a handful of steps that you should follow to ensure the damage is properly fixed and fully covered by insurance.
First, it is critical that as soon as you become aware of problems, you immediately assess and begin remediation of the issue. If the damage is limited to one or a couple of rooms, you could attempt to remediate the issues using the on-staff maintenance man. Many times there is an inclination to let the dust settle before beginning to repair the damage and more often than not, people seek to minimize their out-of-pocket costs by piecemealing subs manage the remediation yourself. If a large portion of your hotel is flooded, now is not the time to wait and it is certainly not a situation where you want to worry about cost-savings on the front end. Ultimately, time is not a luxury when pipes burst and your property experiences water damage. Moreover, only a professional is going to be able to immediately implement the proper remedial measures, but they too are the best equipped to assess the breadth and scale of the damage you need to repair. Any effort to cut corners to save money early on will only end up costing you more money in the end when the insurance company denies the extent of your claim or finds you at the fault of additional damage.
Secondly, once the remediation company is identified and deployed to your property, it is advisable to engage the services of a public adjuster. They can help you navigate your way through the claims process and better position you to increase the claim value. They also lend credibility to the process and can push back when the insurance company inevitably attempts to limit the number of proceeds they approve.
Lastly, once the first two steps have been undertaken, you would be well-served to engage PLG. While the public adjuster can get you much of the way there, only an experienced attorney can truly help maximize the amount of money the insurance is going to pay you. We understand the complexities of the claims process but more importantly, we are able to hold the insurance company legally accountable in the event they shirk their responsibility to take care of their insured.
Remember, you as the insured are duty-bound to mitigate your damages when able. As such, the first step above is the most critical and to the extent you elect to delay and/or spare expense, it makes everything more difficult for you, the public adjuster and the attorney. The goal is to get what you deserve and following the steps above will get you the best chance at success.
For further questions and updates please check our website or contact one of our Attorneys, at PLGLitigation@patellegal.com