Joe Taylor Restoration Blog

Continuing Education for Insurance Professionals

insurance professionalsAs previously mentioned on our Facebook page, the Independent Insurance Agents of Palm Beach County (IIAPBC) and Joe Taylor Restoration (JTR) are offering a one hour continuing education (CE) course on October 19, 2017 for insurance professionals. We aim to help our partners achieve their CE credits before the recently extended deadlines.

According to the Insurance Journal, in order to help accelerate Hurricane Irma recovery efforts across the state, Florida’s CFO, Jimmy Patronis, recently announced an extension of CE deadlines for licensed insurance professionals in Florida.

CE deadlines are set by the licensee’s birthday month, and any licensee with a deadline in September, October, or November will now have an extended deadline of December 31, 2017, to complete their CE requirements.

As of Sept. 25, more than 500,000 insurance claims had been filed following Hurricane Irma, totaling estimated losses of more than $3 billion. Of those claims, 470,000 remain open, which the Department of Financial Services said further proves the “necessity of allowing insurance agents, adjusters and customer representatives to focus on their post-storm work.”

The extension applies to all insurance professional licensees that require continuing education, including insurance adjusters, agents and customer representatives. No form or application process is required to be approved for this extension. The Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Agent & Agency Services is updating its online database to automatically reflect the updated deadline.

We, at JTR, know how hard all insurance professionals have been working post-Irma, and we are glad that the state of Florida has allowed an extension for continuing education. If you are in need of CE credits, or you just need a break from Hurricane Irma fallout, come join the IIAPBC and JTR on October 19th for some food and a lot of valuable information- you can even enter to win the raffle! Just follow the directions on the form below if you would like to attend. However, if you have to miss this one, we would love to host you at another one of our CE courses. Please contact us if you have any questions about this or future CE opportunities. We would love to see you all at a CE!

insurance professionals

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Hurricane Irma Damage and Restoration

It has now been two weeks since Hurricane Irmahurricane irma damage,
the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic, tore through several Caribbean islands, went up the west coast of Florida, affecting the entire state, and then battered South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and a few other states before finally dying out. Hurricane Irma damage is severe in many places hit by the storm, including some of the areas that Joe Taylor Restoration services for water and mold damage restoration.

hurricane irma damageAs soon as it was safe to go outside on the east and west coasts of Florida, our technicians got to work. We had calls flood in from property owners requesting help with water damaged homes and businesses. As FPL began restoring power to thousands who lost power during the storm, we started deploying equipment and doing our part to provide restoration for the residents of South Florida affected by Hurricane Irma damage.

hurricane irma damageBecause of hard work and expert planning, we have had all the personnel, equipment, and supplies we have needed to help our customers with Hurricane Irma damage. We have received to our warehouse multiple shipments of additional fans, dehumidifiers, and other necessary tools in order to continue to serve South Florida. We are so proud of every member of our team, who has worked tirelessly to make this effort happen so successfully.

Because of the nature of water and flood damage, most buildings that were affected by Hurricane Irma that were not addressed immediately are now experiencing mold damage. We are here to help with that too! If you have now found mold where there was a leak in your roof or around a window, or if you have discovered water or mold damage unrelated to Hurricane Irma, contact us right away. We are ready, willing, and able to respond to your restoration needs.

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Preparing for Hurricane Irma

hurricane irmaFollowing on the heels of Hurricane Harvey that devastated Texas, is Hurricane Irma, currently barreling toward Florida as a category 5 storm. We, at Joe Taylor Restoration, are watching the storm closely, praying for those who have already endured its wrath, and hoping the storm takes a hard eastern turn back out to sea.

However, if Hurricane Irma does make landfall in our coverage area, we are ready to serve. Heed the evacuation warnings, and prepare as best as you can with your loved ones. Stay safe throughout the storm. And after it subsides, if you find yourself with flood or water damage, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Contact Us

Phone: 888.814.1455

Email: claims@jtrestoration.com

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The Dangers of Flooding

dangers of flooding

A home damaged by Hurricane Harvey remains surrounded by flood waters, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Rockport, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

What is currently happening in Texas is nothing short of catastrophic and heartbreaking. At least 20 people have already lost their lives in the storm and subsequent flooding, and countless people who have been evacuated to shelters are left wondering if their homes and other belongings will even be there when they return. Adding insult to injury, though the storms will pass and the flood waters will recede, the dangers of flooding will not quickly diminish. According to The Washington Post, they will linger for quite some time.

Short Term Dangers of Flooding

Short term dangers of flooding include, of course, drowning and flood water injuries caused by debris and wild animals, such as snakes, being present in the water. Infectious disease is also a major concern as flood waters overflow sewage systems, exhume corpses, and run through and over all kinds of terrain, picking up illnesses such as tetanus, MRSA, and E. coli. Power outages, access to medication, mental illness, and insect infestation are all included as short term and, in some cases, serious long term dangers of flooding.

Long Term Dangers of Flooding

Although not the only long term danger, one of the most significant long term dangers of flooding is mold. Behavioral scientist Mary Hayden, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who assessed damage in Galveston after Hurricane Ike, said flood evacuees may not realize they could spend two or three weeks away from home. In a waterlogged, overheated home, mold can run rampant in that time.

The Washington Post reported that two months after Hurricane Katrina, CDC investigators found mold in the walls of half of 112 water-damaged homes. The worst symptoms from routine mold exposure — some amount of mold is in the air we breathe every day — are typically allergic reactions and are rarely fatal but can exacerbate other health problems. Post-Katrina mold, however, was implicated in the deaths of four Southern University at New Orleans professors — all of whom worked in the same storm-damaged building. All died within a few months of one another.

The economic impact of mold and water damage also can be severe. “That’s a whole consequence that people really don’t consider,” Hayden said. “It’s devastating on all levels.”

Here to Help

All of us at Joe Taylor Restoration are extremely saddened by the events taking place in Texas. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We hope that a disaster of this magnitude never strikes South Florida. However, if it does, we are ready. And if it doesn’t we are still here to help with both major and minor flood damage to your property. If you find yourself dealing with mold after flood or water damage, contact us right away. We will get rid of the fungal intruder. And we will also prevent additional damage to building materials, while protecting the health of all those involved, putting your mind at ease as best we can.

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Water Damaged Roof- Davie, Florida

water damaged roofCovering most every building, both commercial and residential, is a roof. Fortunately, when it does its job, it serves to protect the building, its contents, and its inhabitants. But unfortunately, a roof can begin to leak. Whether it’s because of age, cracked shingles, improper skylight installation, or any number of other causes, one can suddenly find themselves standing in a puddle of trouble under a water damaged roof.

A guest house, like any other kind of house, has a roof that might start to leak. The issue with a guest house, though, is that the property owner might not visit it very often. The owner may not realize that the guest house has a water damaged roof, until guests from out of town request a bucket to catch the rain water dripping from the ceiling.

Such was the situation Joe Taylor Restoration responded to recently in Davie, Florida. A certain professional athlete was making plans for friends to come and stay in his guest house during the upcoming season. As is typical for this time of year, rain and thunderstorms had been making an almost daily appearance at his residence. The athlete thought nothing of it, assuming the roof was intact. But when he opened the guest house to make preparations for his friends, he found a soaked living room, bathroom, and closet, all thanks to a water damaged roof.

In this case, not only did the guest house require roof repair and water restoration, but also mold remediation. Joe Taylor Restoration discovered mold growth in several places as a result of the high levels of moisture that had been left unchecked for a period of time. But that is for another blog post. The good news is that after the dehumidifiers, air movers, HEPA air scrubbers, and our technicians did the job, the guest house was deemed dry, and the next phase of the restoration project could begin.

A roof over your head and your property is a wonderful thing when the roof is serving its purpose. But when it starts to leak and becomes a water damaged roof, it can be a disaster. The key is early detection. The earlier a roof leak is detected and repaired, the easier the restoration process will be. If your property has experienced water damage due to a roof leak, call Joe Taylor Restoration right away. One call will result in the expertise and considerable resources necessary to remedy the situation and restore your property to its original condition.

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Mold Remediation Process

Because mold grows where there is moisture, mold grows almost everywhere! It can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets and can be carried indoors. Then, when it lands in an area with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding, it can really thrive and even get out of hand.

mold remediation processThat’s when, because mold will stubbornly stay put, and because there are many potential health risks associated with it staying, a property owner needs to call in rofessionals to perform mold remediation. But what can a property owner expect the professionals to do? What exactly is the mold remediation process?

Though the mold remediation process can vary depending on the type of mold and the extent of the damage, most often, the key to the success of the process is identifying the source and removing the mold. In identifying the source, moisture problems must be determined, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible- ie. the leaking window must be sealed, or the broken pipe must be fixed. Then, the mold remediation process can commence.

At times, the process begins with the help of a third party indoor environment hygienist. These professionals provide a pre-remediation protocol when necessary, including a scope for proper removal of various types of mold.

But in any case, Joe Taylor Restoration utilizes a three-phase mold remediation process to remove mold from a home or business:

  1. First, our certified technicians properly contain the affected area to prevent the contamination of any unaffected areas.
  2. Next, by utilizing specialized equipment and High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) Filtration, we remove the mold from any and all surfaces, including the ceiling, walls, floors, furniture or other contents, and even the air.
  3. Finally, we restore the property to its pre-loss condition by employing a micro-cleaning process that will further remove any remaining mold spores present in the structure or the air, and applying a biocide to further sanitize the affected areas.

When the mold remediation process is complete, an independent environment expert is called in to perform a post-test on every job. This test ensures that the mold has been eliminated at the source, and will not have the opportunity to spread.

At Joe Taylor Restoration, our goal is to get rid of the fungal intruder, prevent additional damage to building materials, and protect the health of property owners and other inhabitants while we do so. We are licensed and insured for mold remediation, and our years of experience have proven time and again that our mold remediation process is the most effective. If mold has found its way into your home or business and taken up residence there, contact the mold remediation experts at Joe Taylor Restoration.

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Florida Insurers Respond to Unchecked AOB Abuse

AOB abuseYesterday, the Insurance Journal published an article titled Florida Insurers Place All Options on Table to Address AOB Abuse. In it, the author focuses on Florida’s home insurers as they implement rate increases, initiate coverage changes and nonrenew policies as a direct result of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse.

Since lawmakers reneged on enacting reforms again this year, insurance carriers are now taking matters into their own hands. They are raising rates for homeowners’ policies across the state, but say that will not be enough after several years of the unchecked AOB abuse.

Citizens is leading the charge in also submitting a series of policy changes to the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) that it hopes will reduce claims costs for nonweather water losses.

Among the major policy changes is a $10,000 cap on water loss repairs for customers who decide not to participate in Citizens’ Managed Repair Program.

Other policy changes include expanding obligations to third parties that accept an Assignment of Benefits. Currently, contractors who accept an assignment are not bound by the same obligations, including allowing Citizens adjusters to inspect a claim in a timely manner or providing proof that a loss has occurred.

Additionally, Citizens as well as other insurance companies are exploring managed repair and/or using preferred vendor programs to guide homeowners to providers that do not use AOBs. “Preferred vendor programs are definitely helpful because an insurer is not going to use a vendor that turns around and sues them – it gets rid of that motivation to have an attorney enter the agreement,” said Mcfadden of The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Many insurers in the state are watching and waiting to see what happens with Citizens’ proposals, and will base their own requests to OIR on what is approved for Citizens.

It is disheartening that the Florida Legislature failed to address the crisis in water damage claims abuse for the fifth year in a row. But it is encouraging that there are reputable restoration companies, like Joe Taylor Restoration, who assist their customers with integrity and seek to educate them about AOB abuse. Joe Taylor Restoration is a preferred vendor for over 45 insurance carriers in South Florida, servicing legitimate water, fire, mold, and biohazard related losses for people in need.

 

Related article- Insurance Journal: Florida’s Citizens Requests Rate Increases, Policy Changes for 2018

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What’s Your Personal Brand?

personal brandWe live in an ever increasingly connected world, where work-life balance is more off balance than balanced, and the line between the personal and professional is forever blurred. And because this is our world, it is imperative that individuals step back and consider a few things- namely your personal brand.

Social media has become both a good and a bad thing. Good because we are able to tell our story for free to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people, but bad because it is very difficult to truly disconnect when we need time “off.” Additionally, I see many young people who forget that they have work associates connected to their social sites and post things that are simply unprofessional. I think the key thing to keep in mind is that for better or worse, each one of us is building an image, or “personal brand.”

Recently, I read an article published in the Harvard business review titled: Handle your stress better by knowing what causes it. In the article, the author discusses a term called “fundamental attribution error.” The author describes the term this way: “fundamental attribution error refers to our tendency to judge others by their behavior and assign it to their character, but to judge ourselves based on our intent. Essentially, we make assumptions about people’s motives and blame them for their actions. When they exhibit a behavior we don’t like, we label it as a character flaw.”

As I was reading this it immediately struck a nerve with me. It seems that this is how society at large operates now, the news/media being one the of biggest culprits. I introduce the above term within this article because it is important to realize that people will judge us based on a picture, quote, etc. and, unfortunately, we mostly don’t get the benefit of the doubt.

Ok, so at this point I know that many people are thinking, “why can’t I just be myself?” The answer is that you can, but you also need to be aware of your audience, particularly if you are in sales or another profession that relies upon others having a positive view of you. Your mother and best friend are going to understand your social media posts because they know you, but the new client that you just “friended” probably won’t because they don’t. If clients or work associates don’t know you well, they may see “questionable” posts and assume things, even attaching negative attributes to your character.

Ask yourself: what type of personal brand am I building? Is that brand reflective of who I am as a person, or how I want to be recognized and remembered? The reason we pay more money for a certain brand in the marketplace is because of how it makes us feel, and the same is true for people in the workplace. Professionals often earn more money based on their personal brand- so what’s yours?

-Written by Aaron Getty

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Commercial Water Damage Clean Up

commercial water damage clean upOnce again, Joe Taylor Restoration has saved the day and done an expert job with commercial water damage clean up! The building in peril this time was a multi-level condo project that was on the verge of completion. The builders were preparing for inspections, just days away from getting their Certificate of Occupancy for the building, and they did not want the water event to delay their timeline. They also did not want to spend more money replacing wet materials that could be salvaged.

Enter, Joe Taylor Restoration. Upon arrival, our technicians observed that this water event was truly quite an event. Reportedly, the loss was a kitchen faucet leak in one of the units. And that one little leak resulted in standing water or elevated moisture levels on 6 floors and in 31 condos! Not to mention the substantial amount of standing water that was discovered in the hallways.

A job this large would normally take a substantial amount of equipment and a minimum of 5 to 7 days to dry. However, because of the construction timeline and upcoming inspections, the builders requested that the entire structure be dried in 3 to 4 days! Impossible you say? Not when Joe Taylor Restoration is doing the commercial water damage clean up.

commercial water damage clean upJTR promised to do everything in our power to have the building returned to pre-loss condition ASAP. We immediately employed additional equipment and man power to get the job done faster. During the dry down, all affected areas were continuously inspected, and our equipment was constantly positioned and re-positioned to promote airflow to specific affected areas, creating maximum drying efficiency.

The result? A complete commercial water damage clean up done in just 4 days!! At the end of which, JTR was able to confirm the following:

1. The affected areas were, in fact, returned to a pre-loss condition- the moisture condition of the building before the loss occurred.

2. The extremely high levels of moisture located in the affected areas were successfully reduced to no-risk levels.

3. The current moisture level in the affected areas would not support active microbial growth as a result of this water loss.

A third party industrial hygienist also provided a detailed report on all the affected areas, and confirmed a pre-loss condition had been reached. All parties involved were in agreement, and the builders were thrilled that they had not lost time and additional money on replacement materials.

If you are the owner of a business and a water loss occurs on your property, whether it happens during or after construction is complete, while the building is inhabited or not, contact Joe Taylor Restoration. We are experts at commercial water damage clean up and will see to it that your building is returned to it pre-loss condition ASAP.

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Rain Water Damage South Florida

Into every life, a little rain must fall. Or in the case of South Florida residents right now, A LOT of rain. Record-breaking waves of rainfall drenched South Florida this morning as flooded neighborhoods kept people in their homes and slowed traffic during the early commute. That was after a very rainy weekend and start to the week. So far, it looks like June doesn’t realize this is the sunshine state, and many property owners could be experiencing rain water damage South Florida.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Collier and Hendry counties until 8 p.m. today (Wednesday). A flood warning also was in effect this morning for northeastern Broward, and a flood advisory was issued until the afternoon for Miami-Dade.

Rainfall totals in several areas broke records, according to the National Weather Service, and rain is expected to continue. Fort Lauderdale broke its past record of just under 2 inches of rain with 4.78 inches of rainfall Tuesday, and West Palm Beach sailed past a 3-inch record set in 1904 with 4.18 inches of rainfall. Miami nearly tied its prior record for rainfall on Tuesday, coming in just shy of the 2.16 inch record set in 1964.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/weather/article154781224.html#storylink=cpy

According to ABC News and officials at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, all that rain resulted in 298 flight delays and 11 cancellations on Tuesday. Miami International had 37 delays and five cancellations. In addition, the Sawgrass Mills Mall was closed today due to flooding. The weather service reported that as of 9 a.m., 10.23 inches (26 centimeters) of rain had fallen over the previous 48 hours in Sunrise, where the mall is located.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/heavy-rain-causing-flooding-flight-delays-south-florida-47883822

We, at Joe Taylor Restoration, can’t help with a delayed flight, unfortunately. But we can help if you are one of the property owners currently faced with rain water damage South Florida. If the deluge of rain has begun to leak through your roof, you have water coming in your front door, or water’s invading in some other manner, contact us immediately. We are well staffed, geared up, and ready to help with your water emergency.

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