Getting Paid For Flood Clean-Up

Monday, April 14th 2008, 5:19 pm
By: News On 6

Flood damage causes many people to face expensive repairs.  A Tulsa restoration expert says don't forget to pay yourself.  That's right.  The News On 6's Steve Berg reports your work could be worth money.

They say insurance companies will often reimburse homeowners for do-it-yourself cleanup and repairs.  But, you have to keep a list.

After a flood, people might move out damaged furniture or tear out ruined flooring, because they think they're just getting ready for the cleaning crews.  But, Jeff Cooper with Oklahoma Disaster Restoration says insurance companies often consider that reimbursable work.

"If you're having trouble meeting a deductible or something, they can maybe apply your labor toward that deductible and knock some of that off, said Jeff Cooper with Oklahoma Disaster Restoration.

In fact, he says if you check with your adjuster, you might be able to bill your work through the clean-up company, which tends to be a more generous employer.

"An insurance company may pay minimum wage for something, and if we bill it, we can bill at our rate and get a little more money for them that way.  But, again, you have to run that through the adjuster because some of them don't like to do it, but some of them work with you real well," said Jeff Cooper with Oklahoma Disaster Restoration.

He also says you'll have better luck with insurance companies with a good, daily log of your work.

"Whether it be pulling out wet carpet, moving furniture, tearing out drywall, whatever, just keep a good accurate record of the time that you spend and what you do," said Jeff Cooper with Oklahoma Disaster Restoration.

This is all assuming a person has insurance.  But, do-it-yourself work might be even more important for people with no flood insurance.

"Ya know anything you can do like that to lessen the labor burden on the professional is going to cut your bill down pretty significantly," said Jeff Cooper with Oklahoma Disaster Restoration.

If you do it yourself though, Cooper says to be sure to always wear rubber gloves, use disinfectants, and be careful not to touch your face or mouth.