“Hey boss, what do we do with all the stuff?”
Experienced adjusters shudder when they hear those words because it means that the restoration crew does not have a contents division and sees all the insured’s valuables as “stuff” that is in the way of completing the structural repairs.
If you have been one of our readers for the past few years you may recall the story of the two workers who were seen tossing fabulously expensive statuettes across several feet of a parking lot in order to speed up the pack out. Two of the sculptures were shattered and had a combined worth (we are told) of $30,000.
Everything from a grand piano, to a pool table, to a bookcase filled with rare volumes, have become obstacles to the construction workers who just want to get to the walls, floors, and ceilings that are presently being blocked by the owner’s assets. And that is a recipe for disaster.
For example, one of the worker’s stacks a set of fine china in a box (but has no idea how to cushion it). On the drive to the storage area, the truck hits a couple of bumps and when the box is transferred from the truck to the facility, an odd noise is heard – the plates, cups and serving ware is now china confetti.
A trained contents valet would have packed every piece individually and might even have used more than one box to ensure that the weight of the items themselves did not add to the hazard. As it is, the restoration manager has to file a claim to reimburse the owner for the damage.
The owner is livid because china was a gift from his grandmother and was hand-painted in Europe during WWII. It is irreplaceable – and worse, the manager discovers that there is no company insurance to cover the loss. So the company will have to pay for the set itself.
We have read about a single china collection that is worth more than what was being charged for the entire contents restoration service.
The insured declares that he is suing the adjuster’s firm for not having properly vetted the contents company and the adjuster (who had nothing to do with the entire affair) is now dealing with a confrontational client.
Real contents organizations see to it that their personnel are well trained and well experienced. The contents managers are often certified in multiple fields and no one gets to be a contents manager without extensive experience.
When you hire a genuine contents restoration business, you will find that they are fully insured (when a moving company worker drops a watermelon and a $1000 computer – and both are destroyed, the moving company pays more for the watermelon, because they pay by the pound)!
If a restoration valet drops a computer, they pay to have the computer restored or replaced.
When you hire a real contents division, ask, “What sort of training does your manager have? How much experience with content? What sort of insurance do you carry for damaged contents?”
With legitimate contents professionals on the job, you can rest easy – they don’t cost, they save on virtually every job.