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I was contacted to evaluate a neighbor’s home for rebuilding after a recent toilet failure and flood. The home was new to them and they had fortunately bought a home warranty program that covers this sort of thing up to a point. While away on vacation, the toilet flooded the area. Upon return they contacted the home warranty company and the plumber arrived.

Upon evaluating the flood, he said that this was a flood and he would have a flood mitigation company come out, and that she should also file a claim with her insurance company.

They arrived and began drying things out. They had a contract signed and did some demolition. The adjustor arrived the following day and wrote the client a $62 check to have the thing rebuilt. In tears, the client called the drying company who told her not to worry and delivered her a $500 check to offset her deductible.

This is where she became seriously suspicious. Where did that money come from? She had not offered to have them rebuild.

What is the relationship between the players?

Something stinks

Something stinks

I contacted the adjuster and voiced my concern that the mitigation and demolition was not completed, and that the adjustment did not adequately cover the rebuilding costs.

That is also when I noticed that the mitigation company is not a contractor in Idaho. They have no company registration and therefore are a mystery. Why had the plumbing company referred them? Something was definitely fishy!

I advised my neighbor to cash the check immediately and sit tight. I believe that the home warranty company is in the dark about this scam. I believe that there is collusion between the plumber and the water damage folks that arrived, and I believe that the homeowner’s insurance company knows that this is going on and chooses to look the other way. Writing a $62 check and walking away is a pretty painless way to brush the problem under the rug.

Get a second opinion

Get a second opinion

I pointed out that there was still water trapped under and around the toilet, so the adjuster sent out a second, and this time reputable, contractor that did some minor tear out and dry out again. Heated words were exchanged by my client over the home warranty’s choice of plumbers and the collusion between the second rate plumbing outfit and their association with the shady non registered company.

Bottom line is that the reputable insurance company is doing things right, and my client will ask questions before taking the advice of strangers. This is my advice to you as well: when in doubt, get a second opinion. If the hair on the back of your neck is standing up, or your gut says to be cautious, follow your instincts and heed that advice.

Levco has teamed up with a professional mitigation company and recommends you use a professional remodeler for rebuilding after any sort of insurance claim. We do this work regularly and would be happy to help, call us now.

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261

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