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Why Your General Liability Policy May Not Cover Mold Exposure Claims

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on drywall Mold drywall in Wildwood, MO

Why Your General Liability Policy May Not Cover Mold Exposure Claims

A rapid increase in mold insurance claims has prompted many insurance companies to make changes to their general liability policies. As a result, it may be wise to consult an insurance professional in Wildwood, MO, about how mold exclusions may affect your commercial liability coverage.

Existing Exclusions

Before recent policy modifications, several exclusions were sometimes applied to a mold claim. These exclusions include:

  • Pollution
  • Business risk
  • Owned, occupied or rented property

Pollution Exclusion

Courts have often disagreed about whether mold infestations are equivalent to the sort of discharge, dispersal or release of pollutants that pollutant exclusions were written for. There has also been some dispute over whether mold can be considered equivalent to the industrial chemicals and other substances generally considered to be pollutants.

Business Risk Exclusion

Many mold insurance claims involve allegations that mold developed in an enclosed building due to defective workmanship. Business risk exclusions have sometimes been used to exclude mold damage resulting from defective workmanship.

Owned, Occupied or Rented Property Exclusion

Landlords and building owners are sometimes sued by tenants for property damage and mold remediation costs that result from mold exposure in their buildings. Existing exclusions for owned, occupied and rented property are sometimes used to deny these claims, but are not always found to be applicable.

Mold Exclusions

Due to the inconsistent application of existing exclusions, many insurance companies decided to endorse commercial general liability policies to explicitly exclude or severely reduce coverage for claims that arise due to mold exposure. One such exclusion is the Fungi or Bacteria Exclusion Endorsement that was filed by ISO. This exclusion expressly excludes cleanup and mold remediation costs, as well as personal injury arising from mold exposure from coverage in a commercial general liability policy with this endorsement attached.
As a result of these common exclusions, your general liability policy may not cover damages that result from mold exposure. However, you may be able to purchase additional coverage for mold insurance claims.

The Vital Role of Business Interruption Insurance

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Causes of business interruption insurance Make sure that your business interruption insurance coverage is in place before repairs begin

The Vital Role of Business Interruption Insurance

When business is running smoothly, managers may not think much about the value of business interruption insurance. When disasters strike, however, that safety net becomes very important. Some of the events that could prompt the need for this specific coverage include

  • Fire
  • Flooding
  • Earthquakes
  • Power outages
  • Vandalism

You'll need to work with your insurance provider to determine what is covered and the extent of coverage, but even a little bit of insurance protection is better than nothing at all.

The Risk for Financial Losses

A business fire can damage many of your assets. As you work through the process of cleanup, repairs, reconstruction, and other factors of reconstruction, you may be at risk for heavy financial losses. When your doors are closed, you won't bring in the same profits you would if you were operating as usual. You may also lose valuable customers if they seek out your competitors who were unaffected by the disaster.

Survive Interrupted Daily Operations

Business interruption insurance makes it possible for you to protect your business while your property is in the recovery process. Some of the things that interruption insurance covers include making payroll, monthly debt payments, and certain recovery costs.

Choose Professionals Who Value Your Time

For the best results, work with fire cleaning and reconstruction professionals who understand the time constraints of your insurance policy. All the work involved in cleaning up fire and smoke damage, removing odors and residue, repairing and rebuilding where necessary, and bringing your property back to pre-disaster condition takes time. You need to work with professionals who are aware of the potential for financial losses you face.

Don't Wait for Trouble

Choose a Ellisville, MO, commercial fire and smoke cleanup company that offers a full range of services within a tight timeframe. Make sure that your business interruption insurance coverage is in place before repairs begin. For the best results, consider the risk of disaster before you ever need any of these services.

3 Unexpected Storm Damage Risks

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Roof collapsed in a building, many pieces of ceiling tiles on floor, floor wet Collapsed ceiling in a Ballwin, MO building

The average homeowner has a narrow idea of what storm damage involves. Downed tree limbs or cracked windows are some of the main concerns. But storm damage can be surprisingly varied, and include things like burst pipes and even standing water. Learn more about some of the more surprising types of storm damage - is your Ballwin, MO, home ready?

What Causes Storm Damage?

There are many different storm types, and unsurprisingly, many different types of storm damage. Regardless of the elements of the storm, there are a few features that are almost guaranteed. Those elements include the following:

  • Heavy preciptation
  • High winds
  • Temperature shifts

These and other elements can cause some surprising types of damage.

Plumbing Damage

Plumbing storm damage can be unexpected but highly destructive. Heavy rains can push debris into outdoor drains, blocking them from working and setting the stage for household flooding. On the other hand, low temperatures can cause frozen pipes, which eventually become burst pipes. These are just a few ways a storm can wreak havoc on your plumbing.

Electrical Damage

Lightning strikes can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a home. That’s because a strike can disable the computers, security systems and smart devices that are increasingly common in the average home. In the case of a smart home, a lightning strike can cause particularly debilitating and critical problems.

Roof Damage

Few homeowners consider how vulnerable their roof can be in a storm. But impacts from downed limbs or even hail can create dents and holes in your roof. Meanwhile, wind gusts can blow off shingles or even lift weaker parts of your roof in extreme cases. Each of these can let water in and create a chain reaction of problems.
Storm damage comes in many flavors. Being prepared for all of it - from burst pipes to lightning strikes - is key to keeping your home secure. Work with a local storm cleanup expert to identify your home’s specific storm risks and take action.

Does Certification Matter for Professional Mold Remediation?

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Close up of grew mold growth. It doesn't take long for mold to begin affecting the stability of wood, drywall, and other organic materials in your home.

There are many standards established for professional mold remediation and cleanup professionals. Many individual technicians and remediation companies earn each appropriate mold certification through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification organization. By earning these certifications, professionals have proof that they understand and are qualified to complete specific tasks. Some examples include

Fire Restoration standards
Water Restoration training
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning training
Applied Structural Drying certification
Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
Restorative Drying for Loss Control

If your Chesterfield, MO, home has been affected by mold, would you prefer technicians who are certified mold cleanup professionals and who have completed one or more of the available training sessions? Each element of education and experience improves the technician's ability to return your home to its pre-mold condition.

Why Ask About Certification?

The purpose of a mold certification is to protect consumers and to serve as a guarantee that the company or technician holding the certification has met established standards. Those professionals who have passed examinations have shown that they met those standards and that their work will be in compliance with those standards of certified mold remediation.

Does Certification Really Matter?

As a homeowner, should you care whether you have certified mold remediation professional working on your mold problem? Sometimes, in an attempt to save money, homeowners contact the lowest-priced company available. Unfortunately, this generally leads to more expensive damages and repairs down the line. Working with certified professionals gives you the assurance that the technicians and the completed work will be held up to established standards. In other words, are you willing to pay more for the confidence that your home and family are safe from the effects of mold damage?

Contact Certified Professionals

It doesn't take long for mold to begin affecting the stability of wood, drywall, and other organic materials in your home. As soon as you suspect an issue, contact certified mold removal and remediation professionals for help.

Renter’s Insurance : Does it Cover Home Fire Damage?

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Close up of fire sprinkler. It’s important to confirm you are covered, regardless of the fire source.

Residential fires can cause significant property damage, not to mention the stress and upheaval for the residents. If you have had a fire in your Chesterfield, MO, home or apartment, you have many questions to answer, including whether your fire damage will be covered. Having some details about renter's insurance may help you understand your options.

Fire Coverage Basics for Renters
Fire insurance can look very different from one policy to another. Here are the basic categories you will see in most fire policies for renters.

Personal Property – Reimburses you for your personal property losses
Liability – Allows your policy to pay others who sustain loss or injury from a fire in your residence
Natural Peril – Mandates you be covered if your fire was started due to a natural disaster or severe weather event
Mandatory Evacuation – Allows you to be reimbursed for living expenses should you be forced to evacuate your home
Loss of Use – Provides reimbursement expenses if you need to move out of your home during fire cleanup and restoration

While these categories will generally be consistent, the coverage may vary for certain details. These variables can affect your bottom-line coverage considerably.

Fire Policy Exclusions and Variables
When weighing a renter's insurance policy, you can start by comparing the deductibles and coverage limits for the various categories. Your policy will cover some portion of the fire damage remediation work, but you may find varying provisions about how your property loss values are reimbursed. Replacement-value coverage is far superior to current-value coverage. Without the replacement-value designation, you may be left with a damaged nine-year-old sofa, reimbursed at a fraction of its replacement value.

You may find some policies have special exclusions for the cause of the fire. It’s important to confirm you are covered, regardless of the fire source.
Whether you are shopping for renter's insurance or evaluating your current policy, these details may help you understand your choices. If you require fire restoration in your home, the better you understand your policy, the more informed you will be while navigating the remediation process.

What To Know About Flushing a Water Heater

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance When flushing your water heater it’s important to turn the heating element off before you begin

How to Perform a Water Heater Flush

If the water heater in your Chesterfield, MO, home is making odd sounds it may mean there is sediment in the water tank and it’s time to flush the unit. Before performing a water heater flush there are several important things to take note of.

1. It’s important to Turn the Heating Element Off

The first step to a heater flush it to turn the heating element off. This is done both to help reduce the possibility of injury to you, and to prevent any damage to the tank that can occur when the metal is heated without any water inside. Electric heating elements can be turned off by disconnecting the electricity, while for gas units the pilot light will need to be properly put out.

2. You May Need Several Flushes

When rinsing out your water heater it may take several flushes before the sediments is completely removed. This means you may need to turn the water valve on to help rinse the tank, and then off so the tank can drain several times. During this process it’s also important to ensure the drainage hose is directed to an area that can handle the flow of the draining water.

3. Remember to Inspect It

After you drain the tank during the water heater flush, but before the final refill, you may want to take the time to inspect the heater for potential damage. It’s also a good idea to check over the area around the tank to look for any sign of water damage. These may include discoloration or loose, soggy flooring. If you do notice signs of a problem it’s best to contact a water damage restoration service.
When flushing your water heater it’s important to turn the heating element off before you begin. It may also take several flushes to rid the tank of sediment. Finally, remember to take the time to inspect the heater and the area around it for any problems, and call a professional if water damage has occurred.

3 Tips for Preventing Sewage Backup

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

Close up of foot pressing a pedal to open cap of garbage bin For paper products, such as feminine hygiene products, or paper towels dispose of them in the waste bin

3 Tips for Preventing Sewage Backup at Your Home

Your home's sewage line is one of its most unpopular yet crucial components. It plays a very important role — and you hope you never, ever have to think about it. To keep sewer cleaning off your "to do" list, follow these three tips for preventing sewage backup at your Clarkson Valley, MO, home.

1. Dispose of Waste and Other Materials Properly

When it comes to clogged pipes, two of the biggest household offenders are grease and paper products. Aside from toilet tissue and other paper items that are specifically designed to be safe for your home's plumbing, these items should never be thrown or flushed down drains.
To safely dispose of grease and cooking oils, allow them to air-dry and solidify. Then throw them in the trash. Allowing them to cool and thicken in your pipes can cause a backup.
For paper products, such as disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, or paper towels and cloths, simply dispose of them in the waste bin. While most of these items will dissolve over time, it's a long time, and it can swiftly lead to clogged pipes.

2. Take Care of Your Sewer Line

It may be the city's job to take care of the sewer system, but it's your job to take care of the sewer lateral that connects your home to the citywide sewage scheme. If your line is corroded or cracked, it can cause sewage issues in your home.

3. Go Plastic

Whether it’s a tree root, mineral build-up, storm damage after flooding, or just a simple case of corrosion, older pipes are generally far more susceptible to break-ins and breaking down. Upgrading to plastic pipes before your vintage plumbing bites the dust can help you avoid potentially costly repairs in the future.
While it may be impossible to completely prevent a sewage backup from ever occurring at your home, keeping these three tips in mind can greatly reduce its chances. In the event that you do need sewer cleaning, a local water damage restoration company can expedite the process and ease your mind.

Types of Floodwater and What They Mean

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Dishwasher spilling water A spill from the dishwasher could be considered Category 2

Different Types of Floodwater and What They Mean

Dealing with a flood in your Eureka, MO, business can be overwhelming. As you survey the resulting damage, you may find yourself wondering what your next steps should be. Calling water damage repair professionals is crucial in the aftermath of a storm or flood. However, you should first understand the specific type of flooding you’re experiencing so you can receive the proper help you need. Here are the different types of floodwater and what they mean.

Clean Water

The first category involves clean water, which refers to floodwater that is considered clean and suitable for humans to drink. Clean water may come from the following sources:

  • Tap
  • Appliances
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Melted snow
  • Rain

If you notice water coming from any of these places, it is likely clean for now. However, after forty-eight hours, clean water is more likely to come into contact with surfaces or objects that are contaminated in some way. If this occurs, the clean water may turn into gray water, which poses a greater threat to your business.

Gray Water

Gray water is a more harmful form of water that can appear after a flooding incident. Unlike clean water, gray water is at least partially contaminated and is not suitable for consumption. Gray water typically comes from bathtubs, showers, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines. While the water from a kitchen sink may only contain grease or fats, bathroom sink water can contain traces of excreta and other waste.

Black Water

This third category is the most serious type of floodwater that can seriously harm your business. It includes sewage and wastewater that comes from the toilet. If left untreated, this water can cause severe damage to your building. Be sure to take action immediately if you notice this form of floodwater anywhere on your property.
In the aftermath of a flooding incident, it’s crucial to know what kind of damage you’re facing. Whether your business has signs of clean water or gray water, any form of flood damage deserves immediate attention.

Water in Your Ceiling Lights Can Be a Serious Matter

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water in light fixture One thing you never want to see in your home in Wildwood, MO, is dripping water in light on your ceiling

One thing you never want to see in your home in Wildwood, MO, is dripping water in light on your ceiling. Almost everybody knows that water is a conductor of electricity, which could create a dangerous situation for your family. What should you do if this happens?

No Touching

Once you notice water pooling or dripping from a light fixture, avoid the temptation to shut off the light switch. Water and electricity is a dangerous combination, so be sure not to touch anything so that you don't give yourself an electric shock. Instead, your next steps should be:

  • Find your breaker box and shut off the electricity.
  • Test a different switch to confirm that it's off.
  • Locate the main water line and turn the shut-off valve.

Fix the Leak

Before you think about replacing your fixture, you'll want to find and repair the source of the leaking water so that you don't ruin another light. In order to ensure a thorough inspection, you're better off calling a water damage remediation company than doing it yourself. That way the leak itself and all resulting ceiling damage is taken care of in one go. It should also be done quickly, so you don't have to go too long without electricity.

Replace the Fixture

In addition to their expertise in all things electric and wiring, you should contact an electrician to install a new light fixture so that you can be sure it is indeed safe to do so. You may even consider asking for waterproofed wiring, to help mitigate any future water in light disasters. Who knows, this might even be a good opportunity to try out a new style, or replace all your other fixtures, as well.
The most important thing to remember when you find water in light, is to not do much of anything on your own. It's all about bringing in the experts to handle it for you. Remember, it's for your own safety!

3 Reasons You Should Board Up Your Home After a Fire

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A picture of the outside of a house boarded up Board up home in Ellisville, MO

3 Reasons You Should Board Up Your Home After a Fire

If your Ellisville, MO, home has been damaged in a fire, then you will likely need to have repairs done. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to board up the house. This is needed when the fire has affected significant portions of your home and there are missing areas in the walls and roofing. It may be needed for broken doors and windows as well. The following are some reasons why this should be done.

1. Keep Out Unwanted Visitors

When your home is damaged in a fire, it makes it easy for both people and animals to make their way inside. This can result in theft of your valuable items. Animals may cause further damage by chewing or clawing at your belongings or the walls. Having board up services done will help keep out unwanted visitors of all kinds.

2. Prevent Damage From the Weather

If your house has severe damage, then it can take a while to complete repairs. Emergency board up helps to prevent further damage during this process. If it is not done, heavy winds can blow dirt, leaves and debris into your home, and rain can cause a lot of additional water damage that will extend the needed time for repairs.

3. Ensure Insurance Coverage

In many cases, your insurance company will require mitigation to be done to keep the time and cost of repairs at a minimum. If you do not do this, your claim could end up being denied. Along with board up services, mitigation can include removing water, relocating damaged items and cleaning up soot and smoke damage.
If your house has been damaged in a fire and you need to have it boarded up, contact a fire damage remediation company right away. They will be able to perform this service as well as others you may need. They can clean and sanitize the area and may be able to salvage damaged belongings.