Guide to Understanding Insurance Compliance in Damage Restoration

Insider’s Guide to Understanding Insurance Compliance in Water and Fire Restoration

Insurance compliance in the restoration industry is a critical aspect that ensures service partners meet the standards set by insurance companies.

Pre-Work Expectations

Before any restoration work begins, restoration companies must adhere to specific pre-work requirements established by insurance companies. These include:

  1. Make Safe Within Strict Timeframes: Restoration companies must promptly respond to the initial contact and secure the site to prevent further damage. This could involve extracting water, installing drying equipment, placing containment over mould, removing carpet and contents where they pose a health hazard.
  2. Provide an Assessment Report: Within a strict timeframe after the initial contact or make-safe appointment, a detailed assessment report must be submitted. This report should outline the extent of the damage, the proposed remediation plan, and an estimated timeline for completion.


Work Expectations

During the restoration process, there are several key requirements to ensure the property is fully remediated. The specifics can vary depending on the nature of the damage, but generally include the following:

  1. Water Damage Remediation:
    1. Extraction and Drying: By adopting IICRC standards, the first step in water damage remediation is to remove the water and install drying equipment. The goal is to dry the area completely using air movers, dehumidifiers, and other specialised equipment.
    2. Carpet and Material Removal: If the carpet cannot be dried, or if the water damage is classified as Category 3 (which may involve sewage water), all affected materials must be removed and disposed of per IICRC S500 guidelines. This includes carpets, underlay, and smooth edges. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used during this process to ensure safety.
  2. Smoke Damage Remediation:
    1. Surface Cleaning: Following the IICRC S520 standard, every surface affected by soot must be thoroughly cleaned. This includes walls, ceilings, and any other surfaces that may have been contaminated. Specialised cleaning agents and techniques are employed to ensure effective soot removal.
    2. Addressing Water Damage from Fire Hoses: Similar to water damage protocols, any water damage caused by firefighting efforts must be addressed. This involves extraction, drying, and potentially removing and disposing of unsalvageable materials as outlined in the IICRC S500 standard.
  1. Specialist Trades Engagement: Depending on the extent of the damage, specialist trades such as hygienists may be engaged. The IICRC S520 standard recommends engaging a third-party hygienist to verify indoor air quality post-restoration and to ensure there are no lingering health hazards, such as mould developing.


Post-Work Expectations

Once the restoration work is completed, there are several post-work requirements to ensure compliance with insurance standards:

  1. Audit and Assessor Spot Checks: The property may undergo spot checks by auditors and assessors to verify the quality of the restoration work and to review documentation.
  2. Final Reporting: A final report must be submitted, documenting all work completed and any findings from the post-work inspections. This report provides assurance that the property is fully restored and safe for occupancy.


Steamatic Australia meets and exceeds Insurance Compliance in Water and Fire Damage Restoration

Steamatic Australia, a leader in restoration disaster recovery in Australia and New Zealand, strives for excellence in insurance compliance. By remaining adaptable and adhering to IICRC guidelines, Steamatic ensures it meets performance targets and any additional requirements set by insurers. This commitment results in high-quality, reliable services, benefiting both property owners and insurers.

Disclaimer: Variations Based on Insurer Instructions

While these general guidelines provide an overview of the core aspects of insurance compliance in restoration, always refer to the specific instructions and requirements provided by the insurance company for each individual case. It’s important to note that specific expectations can vary based on the instructions provided by the insurer.