Unpacking the Myth: Will Filing an Insurance Claim Always Raise Your Rates?
Filing an insurance claim incase of an emergency to help restore your property back to pre loss conditions.
Insurance is a crucial financial safety net that provides protection against unexpected events such as accidents, theft, and damage to property. However, some people hesitate to file a claim, fearing that it might raise their insurance rates. This is a valid concern, and understanding how filing an insurance claim affects your rates can help you make an informed decision.
The short answer is yes, filing an insurance claim can raise your rates. Insurance companies use several factors to determine your premium, including your driving history, credit score, and claims history. If you file a claim, it signals to the insurance company that you are at a higher risk of making future claims. As a result, they may increase your premiums to offset that risk.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you have a policy that includes accident forgiveness, your first accident may not raise your rates. Accident forgiveness is a feature that some insurance companies offer that allows policyholders to file a claim without their premiums increasing.
Another factor that can affect whether your rates will increase is the amount of the claim. If you file a small claim, such as a broken windshield or a minor fender-bender, your rates may not increase as much as they would for a larger claim, such as a totaled car or significant property damage.
Additionally, some insurance companies may not raise your rates if the accident was not your fault. If you were involved in an accident where the other driver was at fault, your insurance company may not penalize you for filing a claim.
Overall, whether your rates will increase after filing a claim depends on several factors, including the amount of the claim, your claims history, and the terms of your policy. To minimize the risk of a rate increase, it's essential to consider whether the claim is worth filing in the first place.
If the cost of the damage is less than your deductible, it may not be worth filing a claim. In this case, it may be better to pay for the damage out of pocket to avoid a rate increase.
In conclusion, filing an insurance claim can raise your rates, but it's not always the case. Insurance companies use several factors to determine your premiums, and filing a claim is one of them. To minimize the risk of a rate increase, it's essential to consider the amount of the claim, your claims history, and the terms of your policy before filing a claim.
Actions to take with a Gas Leak
When your property suffers a gas leak, prevent fires by calling the professionals immediately.
Identifying a gas leak can be tricky. If you suspect a gas leak turn off the source immediately. You may want to call the A gas leak can cause an explosion and fire to your property. . You should never light a match or turn on any electrical switches in the vicinity of a suspected gas leak.
Identify the source of the leak.
If you suspect a gas leak, the first step is to identify the source of the leak and avoid it. If you smell gas, get out of the building immediately. If you hear a hissing sound, it's likely that there is a natural gas leak in your home or business.
Do not light a match.
Do not light a match or turn on any electrical switches in the vicinity of the leak. The ignition of natural gas is extremely dangerous and can result in an explosion that could cause serious injury or death. If you suspect you have detected a gas leak, leave immediately and contact emergency services from outside your home or office building.
Basement and crawl spaces.
Because natural gas is heavier than air, it tends to settle in low spots like basements and crawl spaces where there are cracks in foundations, making these areas more likely places where leaks can occur. This means that if there's a leaking pipe underfoot while walking through those areas inside a house then this could cause serious injury if someone steps on it accidentally while going about their daily routine without knowing anything was wrong beforehand.
Never attempt to turn off gas by yourself if there's an odor in your home, follow the gas company's emergency procedures and wait for them to arrive before entering your home again.
Although natural gas is a safe and efficient fuel source for your home, it can be dangerous if not handled properly. If you suspect a gas leak in your home or business, act quickly by following these steps. If your in need of professional help give SERVPRO a call immediately.
When to Use Mold Remediation
Mold remediation can be a big job, but it’s worth it to prevent the problems it can cause.
Mold is one of the most common household problems. According to many experts, mold is present in a little over half of all homes in the United States. Mold can be detrimental to the structure of your home and your belongings. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about when you might need mold remediation and how that process works.
When to Remediate Mold
Mold remediation is necessary when mold growth is present in a building or on surfaces. Mold can cause problems and damage to the structure of a building, so it is important to address it as soon as it is discovered. Some common indicators of mold include musty odors and visible mold growth. If you suspect mold in your home or business, it is important to have a professional assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action for mold remediation. This may include cleaning, removing contaminated materials, and addressing the source of moisture that is allowing the mold to grow.
Delaying mold remediation can lead to a number of problems including property damage. Mold often destroys the material it's growing on by breaking down its structure through enzymes and acids produced by the fungus itself; this makes wood rot faster than normal, which will eventually result in structural collapse if left untreated for too long—and that can cost thousands of dollars in repairs!
Time for Mold Remediation Process
The answer to this question is, unfortunately, not a simple one. There are many different factors that affect how long it takes to clean up the mold.
If you have a small problem with mold growth and you respond quickly to the problem, then it may take as little as a few days for your mold remediation contractor to remove all traces of contamination in your house. However, if you have a large amount of damage or infestation then it could take several weeks for everything to be cleaned up properly.
Use SERVPRO to combat mold.
If you suspect that mold is growing in your home or business, it's important to have it removed right away. You can rely on SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn to help with all of your mold remediation needs. SERVPRO's team of certified professionals is ready to assist you:
- We'll survey the affected area and identify any potential sources of moisture.
- We'll work with you on our plan for removing the mold, and then complete the job using safe and effective methods.
- Our professionals will clean up any left-behind debris so that everything is back to normal (or better!).
Mold remediation can be a big job, but it’s worth it to prevent the problems it can cause. When you have SERVPRO professionals on your side, you can trust that they will be able to help you with all of your needs. So if you suspect there may be mold in your Woburn home or business, contact us today so we can come out and inspect!
Top 5 Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Water has ruined the ceiling tiles in this commercial building.
5 Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Water damage is among the most common types of property damage in the United States. Water damage can happen at any time, and it’s a problem that requires an immediate response. If you don't act quickly, mold growth can occur on damp surfaces and cause serious damage to your commercial property.
1. Leaking Plumbing
Leaking plumbing pipes are one of the most common causes of commercial water damage, so you'll want to be able to spot them in your building. Leaks can develop anywhere in a plumbing system—from faucets, toilets, and the water heater, to branches and drains. The first step in diagnosing a leak is determining where it's coming from by checking each fixture individually. If you find a small amount of water around one area more often than others such as near a sink, it could indicate that there's a problem with your plumbing system.
2. Degraded Water Lines
Water lines can get old and degrade. As the water flows through your system, it picks up minerals from the soil in your pipes. These minerals build up over time and form scale, which can cause clogs to form inside your system. You might also see rust stains or notice that the water pressure has dropped significantly since you moved into your building.
If you have plastic piping instead of metal pipe in some areas of your building, this can increase the chances that mold will grow inside those pipes as well as on any wet surfaces near them. It's also possible that there's a crack somewhere along these pipes.
3. Blocked Drains
It’s important to note that blocked drains are a problem that can be caused by many things. For example, toilet paper, hair products and other household products can get stuck in the drain. However, there are also ways to prevent this from happening in the future.
If you notice that your drains are beginning to get clogged up regularly, consider using some drain cleaner every now and then so that you keep them clean and clear at all times. If you find yourself with an especially stubborn blockage in your sink or shower drain. then it might be time to contact a professional plumber for assistance.
4. Faulty Appliances
Faulty appliances can cause water damage, fires and electrical problems. If you have a faulty appliance, it may be time to replace it with a new one.
Here are a few types of damage that can occur due to faulty appliances:
- Water Damage: Faulty appliances can leak or burst due to wear and tear. This can lead to extensive water damage in your commercial space.
- Fire Damage: A faulty appliance is more likely to catch fire for numerous reasons. If this happens, call the fire department immediately! SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn can assist with all the fire damage cleanup and restoration once the fire has been put out.
- Mold Damage: If water damage event due to a faulty appliance occurs on your property, then mold can begin to grow almost immediately in the moist environment created by standing water. Calling a professional water cleanup crew as quickly as possible can prevent a mold infestation from breaking out.
5. Malfunctioning Roofs
Leaking roofs are a common cause of commercial water damage. Roof leaks can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor installation and maintenance, age, bad weather and more. If you notice signs that your roof is leaking (such as water stains on walls or ceilings), it's important to act quickly before the damage worsens.
Be sure to call SERVPRO for water damage restoration services if you need help with any of these issues. Our team is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to help you get your business back up and running after a water damage event.
Is a Frozen Pipe Burst Covered by Insurance?
Frozen pipes and insurance coverage.
Do Insurance Policies Cover a Burst Frozen Pipe?
Freezing pipes are a common issue in homes during cold weather. Frozen pipes cause flooding and can lead to mold growth and secondary damage to your home if they aren't dealt with quickly. Fortunately, most standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover damages from frozen pipes (although coverage varies by company). Here's what you need to know about this type of claim so that you can act fast if your pipes freeze!
Frozen pipes are a common issue in the winter, and they can happen any time the temperature falls below zero.
The cold weather prevents water from flowing through your pipes as it normally would—which means that if you don't take care of them, the water will eventually solidify into ice and burst them apart. This is why it's so important to prevent frozen pipes in the first place.
To avoid this unfortunate scenario, we recommend checking on your plumbing regularly during freezing temperatures and taking steps to keep water flowing freely through your home's network of pipes. Below are some general tips for keeping your plumbing safe from freezing damage:
1. Use insulation around exposed parts like faucets or fixtures that might freeze up during cold spells (or wrap them in towels).
2. Place containers of hot water throughout your house; these act as heat traps by absorbing excess heat from appliances or rooms before releasing it into other parts of your home.
A frozen pipe can lead to flooding and all the associated home damage, including water damage and mold growth.
This is because when a pipe bursts it causes a sudden release of liquid that can cause secondary damage like leaks and cracks in your flooring, walls, or ceilings.
It's important to remember that you should never try to thaw out a burst water main on your own by using an open flame. In fact, this can make things much worse as it could cause further damage to your home or even start a fire!
Most standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover damages from frozen pipes.
If you have a separate water damage or flood insurance policy, then the damage is likely covered. But if you don't have a specific water-related coverage, a frozen pipe burst could be considered an excluded peril under your homeowners insurance policy and not be covered.
Here are some things to consider:
- Some policies include language that specifically excludes damage caused by freezing temperatures. You can't just assume that a broken pipe will be covered; you'll need to check with your agent or company representative first. In fact, one of our readers wrote in asking whether their frozen pipe burst would be covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy—and it wasn't!
- Keep in mind that even if freezing weather isn't an excluded peril under your specific policy—or if its exclusionary language doesn't apply—your insurer may still deny coverage for other reasons (like when there's been no proof of loss). Make sure to keep good records so that any claim can be processed quickly.
If you have a pipe burst due to freezing, you need to act fast to reduce secondary damage and your claim cost.
First, call an insured plumber. If it's an emergency, they'll come right away. Don't try DIY repairs. Your insurance company will penalize you for any self-repair attempts that cause damage or additional claims down the road.
Second, shut off water to the affected area and cover it with a tarp until a professional can arrive and make repairs (if possible). This will keep things dry while waiting for help from an insured plumber.
Most insurance companies will cover frozen pipes, so it's important to know what's covered by your policy.
If you wait too long to report the issue and get your pipes thawed out by a professional, your claim could be denied. If this happens and there was no coverage for damage caused by freezing in your policy, you'll have to pay for everything yourself—and that can add up quickly!
So, if you've got frozen plumbing problems on your hands and want to avoid the hassle of filing an insurance claim or paying full price for repairs yourself, here's how to handle the situation.
We hope that this article answered your questions about frozen pipes and insurance coverage. If you have any other questions, or if you need help filing a claim, we’re here to help!
Electronics Cleaning After a Fire
Don't try to clean your electronics yourself.
Cleaning Up Electronics After a Fire
If you've been through a fire, you know the stress that comes with it. But did you also know that cleaning up electronics after a fire can be one of the most dangerous parts of the process? If not done correctly, it's possible to damage your electronics—and even worse, expose yourself to harmful chemicals. That's why we recommend hiring SERVPRO of Burlington/Woburn! We have experience working with fire damaged electronics, and we use state-of-the-art cleaning equipment and processes to ensure your devices are safe and clean before being returned to you (or resold).
Cleaning electronics after a fire.
- Clean all components of the device.
- Inspect all components such as keyboard, mouse, and monitor for damage.
- If any of these are damaged, replace them before you proceed to the next step.
- Take care not to touch anything with your bare hands. Use gloves or cloths instead.
Why SERVPRO of Woburn/Burlington?
SERVPRO of Woburn/Burlington is a local, family-owned business that has been serving the community for over 30 years. We have the experience and expertise to handle any size fire, and we’re always available 24/7. We are also certified by IICRC (International Institute of Certified Raters).
Electronics cleaning equipment.
If you have any electronics that have been damaged in a fire or flood, it’s important to clean them thoroughly. Using the wrong cleaning supplies could damage or destroy your device. Here are some specialized electronics cleaning tools and equipment:
- Water damage restoration equipment. This may include drying fans and dehumidifiers, which help remove moisture from the air.
- Electronics cleaning tools. These can be used to gently wipe down surfaces without scratching them or using too much force, which could cause further damage to circuits inside of them.
- Electronics cleaning agent.
Electronics cleaning process.
- If possible, turn off the device and unplug it.
- Remove the battery if you can. If not, it's okay to leave the battery in place while you're cleaning.
- Remove any memory cards or hard drives that were in use at the time of the fire.
- If possible, remove all external casing from your devices (like a computer monitor).
- Use a vacuum to remove any dust/debris from inside these devices before cleaning them with water as well as gently wiping down their exteriors with a damp cloth
Don't try this at home!
Don't try to clean your electronics yourself. Not only will you likely damage the device, but you could end up hurting yourself in the process. Don't use water or a wet cloth to clean anything—the moisture can cause corrosion and can damage sensitive components inside your devices. Similarly, don't use a hairdryer or an iron as this can also lead to overheating and other malfunctions of your product that are difficult if not impossible for us repair technicians to fix at home.
If you have any questions about the process of cleaning electronics after a fire, please feel free to contact us at (781) 935-8222. We are happy to answer any questions and provide more information on this topic.
Things to Do After a House Fire
Fire damage in Burlington, MA
After a house fire, life can be extremely confusing. Your home and belongings may be gone, but there are some things that you can do to make you feel more in control.
Inspect Your Home
Once the fire department and other officials have cleared your home, you should walk through your home to see what is damaged. Believe it, or not house fires are not necessarily a total loss. Granted, you will have to throw away some things, but a lot of your home might remain undamaged or just damaged by smoke.
Decide What You Want to Toss Out
If your home is not completely damaged by fire, you will need to remove items from your home. Some items are unsalvageable due to high heat or smoke exposure. The things you have to throw out are:
- Food both in the refrigerator and in the cabinets
- All types of prescription medicine
- All types of over the counter medicine
- Anything burned or melted
Due to the high heat that a fire creates, these items are actually dangerous to try and use after they have been in a fire, even if they were not burned or close to the blaze. They are much safer to throw away than they are to try and continue to use them.
Decide What You Want to Keep
This is a bit tricky. Some items will not recover even after being cleaned by a fire damage specialist in Burlington, MA. Many of these items will be touched by the fire or have extensive smoke damage. The company that does your fire remediation will help you decide which items are salvageable.
Inspecting your home and going through the items you need to throw away is the first step to recovering from a house fire. It might not be easy, but it can give you a sense of accomplishment while you are dealing with the emotional damage a fire can cause.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold Damage?
It is important to purchase this type of policy just to make sure your property is covered
Homeowners insurance can protect your residential property from a lot of different disasters and types of damage. Despite how common residential fungus growth is, many insurance policies still don't cover mold damage directly. Read on to see whether your home in Woburn, MA, is protected against mold damage.
When You Are Covered
The majority of insurance policies cover mold damage if, and only if, the damage was caused by a covered peril. A covered peril is essentially any type of disaster or damage that the insurance policy already covers. Here are a few examples:
- Falling objects
- Frozen pipes
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Vandalism or other types of malicious mischief
- Lightning Strikes
- Fire Damage
Because each insurance policy is different, it's important to check yours to see which types of accidents are actually covered. If the fungus growth is a direct result of any covered perils in your policy, then you're covered. However, if the mold is a result of your personal carelessness, or if you leave it unreported for too long, then you have to pay for the damage yourself.
When You Aren't Covered
There are a few loopholes you can employ if your specific policy doesn't cover mold damage. If you want to be absolutely safe, you always have the option to purchase a separate mold insurance policy. This is a separate policy endorsement that adds mold coverage to your existing homeowner's insurance policy. Depending on your home's specific mold risk -- this is determined by where you live, how often you typically deal with mold damage, and other various factors -- you may end up paying between $500 and $1,500 annually for separate mold coverage.
Fungus growth is a very common occurrence that the majority of homeowners do have to handle at some point. It may be beneficial to purchase a separate policy endorsement to make sure that your property is covered, just in case your existing policy is reluctant to protect you. If you do discover mold damage in your home, you should contact mold remediation experts immediately.
How Does Ozone Treatment Remove Cigarette Smoke Odor?
Yes! Ozone treatment is relatively quick.
Even after quitting smoking, the odors from this noxious practice may linger. A professional air-purifying service can apply ozone home deodorization treatments to remove all traces of cigarette smoke from your home in Winchester, MA.
What Is Ozone?
When the two atoms comprising a standard oxygen molecule come in contact with ultraviolet sun rays, electrical lightning charges or other naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, they can be split apart. The separated oxygen atoms gravitate toward intact oxygen molecules and attach to them, forming ozone molecules with three oxygen atoms.
How Does Ozone Eliminate Odors?
Think of ozone's third oxygen atom as a wanderer seeking new opportunities. The same third atom that previously attached to a two-atom oxygen molecule will abandon it in favor of a nearby odor-producing molecule. It binds to the new molecule in a chemical reaction that neutralizes the odor while allowing the molecule it leaves behind to return to its original oxygen form.
Among the reasons for using ozone home deodorization to counter cigarette smoke odor are:
- It reverts to breathable oxygen.
- It does not leave behind any residue.
- It does not involve harsh chemicals.
- It can sterilize the air.
How Does an Ozone Generator Make Ozone?
Ozone generators instigate the oxygen atom-splitting process in one of two ways. The corona discharge method generates a high voltage that passes through a material resistant to electrical currents, resulting in a sustained electric arc that splits the oxygen molecules. The other method involves using wavelengths of ultraviolet light to split oxygen molecules.
Does Treatment Require Evacuation?
Yes! Ozone treatment is relatively quick, usually lasting about 12 hours, depending on your space's square footage. During treatment, and for a few hours following, you should plan to evacuate your home, taking your pets and plants with you. The air in your home will not be breathable until the oxygen molecules revert to their former structure after the treatment ends.
Whether you are dealing with odors from cigarette smoke or a fire, home deodorization can remove smells from your house.
Prepare Your Building Exterior From Storm Damage
A regular building inspection is to check on the state of your exterior maintenance.
Conducting exterior maintenance has many benefits for your company and property. A building that looks nice appeals to customers and instills pride in employees. Regular maintenance can be a good way to manage costs, budget for larger expenditures and extend the lifespan of roofs and siding. An aggressive maintenance program also has the potential to prepare your properties against the ravages of powerful storms. A sturdy exterior structure holds up better in high winds, heavy rainfalls and ice and snow buildup. When a big storm heads for Wilmington, MA it's good to know your building is prepared.
The Importance of a Building Inspection
Keeping your building maintained at a high level takes effort and planning. One of the keys to this is a regular building inspection to check on the state of your exterior maintenance. An inspection can be handled in the following ways:
You can conduct the inspection yourself.
The inspection can be turned over to reliable employees in the maintenance department.
You can hire a professional storm damage team to perform the inspection.
You can schedule an inspection on a monthly, semi-annual, or yearly basis.
You can break down the inspection into several sections for roofs, walls, structures, and the grounds.
The building inspection can highlight flaws in your company's level of preparedness. Missing shingles in the roof, cracks in the foundation, and areas of poor drainage should be addressed immediately.
The Benefits of Being Prepared
This can limit your expenses, prevent insurance premiums from rising, and keep your business open. Your employees will benefit from the sense of personal security and the likelihood of job security. Eventually, a storm will hit Wilmington, MA. When it does, the quality of your exterior maintenance program is an important factor in determining the amount of storm damage your business property takes.