August 11, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
New guidelines offered up by the DRC Trade Show Services for insurers, adjusters and contractors are being released via a national roadshow. DRC struck a committee of indoor environmental professionals, building science engineers and restoration contractors to address what was seen as a void in mold handling practices the need for more standardized documentation, explains committee member Kyle Urech of Disaster Kleenup Canada. While there are a number of mold remediation protocols, none gave a standard for documentation.
The guidelines, which are available in CD and paper formats, cover the complete mold remediation process including investigation, evaluation, control and restoration/prevention.
The key aim is to avoid the kind of litigation being witnessed in the U.S. as a result of mold claims. As well, Urech notes, it is much cheaper to deal with a water claim in the first place than to have to deal with a mold claim later because the original remediation did not hold up.
Along with sample forms and letters, the toolkit also includes information on identifying and understanding mold, and web site which can be passed on to insureds seeking more information. There are also examples of what insurers/adjusters can expect to receive in reports from experts.
The documentation is as important, if not more, in cases where a claim is being denied, as when it is completed, stresses committee member Peter Braund, a lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais. “10, 20 years ago you could get away with a two to three line denial letter. The better practice now is to explain the reasons if you don’t handle a denial properlyan insurance company is potentially exposed to a finding of punitive damages in a bad faith claim.”