The people involved and their role in handling the disaster
When disaster strikes, many people are involved in the case. Here is the list of the main people involved and what they do.
- Insurer: The insurer (or the broker, as the case may be) is who you can deal with first if you are the victim of a disaster.
- Independent claims adjuster: Independent claims adjusters are professionals certified to analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding disasters (e.g., fires, theft, accidents) for a claims adjusting firm. These firms are hired by insurers to manage cases on their behalf. They work for multiple insurers.
- Internal claims adjuster: Internal claims adjusters are professionals certified to analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding disasters (e.g., fires, theft, accidents). They work for insurance companies.
- Broker: This is an independent company that acts as an intermediary between an insurance company and the consumer.
- Damage restoration company: This is an independent company assigned to restore an area damaged by a disaster.
Minor work you can do yourself
Dealing with mould patches
All residences contain mould spores just waiting for the right conditions to grow. What are the right conditions?
- Lack of ventilation
- Food in the form of organic material (e.g., paper, wood, jute fibre, dust)
Most of the mould found in a home is the same type found in bathrooms. It is on the surface, so you can simply clean it up without demolishing the wall.
However, do not take the presence of mould lightly, because over time it can damage building material and even the structure of your residence. Also, depending on the type of mould found in the home and the health of the occupants, mould can trigger allergies or even make people sick. So take basic precautions before cleaning up mould. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to contact a GUS professional.
Do not use bleach. It is corrosive and dangerous if used improperly, and you don’t need it in this case. Here is what you do:
- Dilute some dish soap in a pail of water.
- Wear rubber gloves and a dust mask like the type painters use.
- Dip a cloth in the pail, fold it in four, wring it out, and wipe the surface. Rinse the cloth in the bucket frequently. When you don’t see any more mould, it’s all gone.
- Rinse the surface with clean water.
- Paint the surface if it was yellowed by the mould.
- If the extent of the damage is more severe or if you aren’t certain about the results, contact a Groupe Urgence Sinistre specialist, who will be glad to help.