Saturday 19th of May 2018 08:33:08 PM
Our home experienced a water loss due to plumbing in the upstairs kitchen. Paul Davis Restoration (a preferred network provider of USAA) was hired for the emergency water mitigation. During the water mitigation process, USAA continuously stated that coverage for temporary accommodations would be reviewed and despite our offer to reimburse our tenants for staying in a nearby hotel, they stayed on the premises during the water mitigation which was in the middle of winter. The temperatures in the home reached a sweltering heights of 100 degrees or higher with humidity. Our tenants were informed to keep the central air system turned off during the water mitigation. The water loss was so severe, the water could be seen draining into ducting vents in the floor in the kitchen. Our tenants informed the Paul Davis Restoration water mitigation crew of this, as we did as well after our tenants informed us. There was one fan blowing in the vicinity of the central air system equipment. We inquired as to whether or not the service panels were removed and the air handler inspected for standing water during this time. It was not. We were told their equipment would pull the water out of the air from the air handler. Our tenants also noticed that Paul Davis Restoration didn't remove the vinyl flooring from underneath the cabinetry. All they did was remove the kick panels from underneath the cabinetry and place fans in that direction. After Paul Davis Restoration removed all of their water mitigation equipment, we inquired as to when restoration would begin.Paul Davis Restoration was also hired to do the restoration of our home. We waited for restoration work to commence, but nothing happened. After about a month of waiting, of which during this time our tenants continuously informed us of the continued state of the property (that they were walking around on nothing but subflooring) and USAA continuously informing us the coverage for temporary accommodations was being reviewed, we started following-up on what our restoration contractor from Paul Davis Restoration (Peter **) was saying. He informed us he was waiting for the company who was going to fix the cabinets and was going to come in and do the work to detach them. However, we were informed by our USAA claims representative, Felicia ** that Paul Davis Restoration was supposed to detach the cabinetry. We found out that nothing had been done or ordered in the entire month after Paul Davis Restoration had pulled their water mitigation equipment from the home. We then caught Paul Davis Restoration lying to us about why the progress had been delayed. I had called up the companies they stated they were waiting on and found out the orders for their services had only been requested that day. So we fired Paul Davis Restoration and brought in another contractor, who immediately informed us that they hadn't cut enough of the damaged drywall out (which was also verified by a 3rd party mold remediation company that same week). Needless to say, once we got the kitchen cabinetry removed and the vinyl pulled up, we found mold.USAA denied accountability, even though their preferred network provider was supposed to be held to a 3-year guarantee on workmanship. Paul Davis Restoration also denied liability (at first). We also found mold in the venting and the air handler at a later time also failed due to an electrical short from standing water from the loss, as determined by a COL inspection. USAA wanted us to have the entire air handler unit and heat pump detached and shipped to their inspectors in Georgia to determine the cause. We contacted a couple of other insurance agencies, such as State Farm to see how they manage such situations, which led our formal request for USAA to pay for the COL inspector in the area that State Farm utilizes. They agreed, but never paid him. They stated he never furnished him with the appropriate paperwork. Due to the COL inspection stating the loss and compromise of the central air system was due to the water loss, we requested USAA cover the costs of repairing or replacing it. We had a previous estimate done by an HVAC company in the area, who estimated around $3,500 in repairs. USAA wouldn't agree to them, despite the COL inspection results, and only 50% of the cost at that. The units weren't even 10 years old, but the warranties weren't transferable. USAA only covered $260 of the repairs to the HVAC, of which in the end cost us $5,600 for a new air handler and heat pump due to catastrophic electrical failure caused by the shortage induced by the water that had entered the unit. Paul Davis Restoration also claims they aren't accountable for its loss or the increased mold spores in the ventilation resulting from the standing water and allowance for excess moisture build-up in the system. We hired a mold remediation specialist to take lab samples, which required their services. We weren't surprised to see the increase in the estimate from the new contractor than was received by Paul Davis Restoration. Paul Davis Restoration’s was only about $12,000 where as the new contractor's estimate was roughly $30,000. USAA then informed us a USAA adjuster would need to come out to determine the cost of the repairs. We requested a 3rd party insurance adjuster, so one was hired from IAS, whose estimate was very close to that of the $30,000 estimate. It makes you wonder what sort of relationship there is between USAA and Paul Davis Restoration. It doesn't stop there though. National Restoration was hired by USAA to repair the cabinetry. They came in and simply refurbished what was there without detaching it; trying their best to make it look as though it was fixed on the surface by applying veneer over the damaged pieces. However, when our new contractor went to install the new flooring, they found that the structural supports and foundation of the cabinetry had not been repaired at all and the water damage was quite visible. It took us several months arguing with USAA to get them to have it done properly, in which case we chose to replace the cabinets ourselves with stock cabinetry from Lowe’s. The cabinets in the condition they were in made the home uninhabitable by state standards. However, despite our various attempts at requesting USAA to allow us to get another contractor to replace the cabinets was futile. It went on for almost five months before they said they would cover the cost of the replacements; however, not after they brought in the same company who messed it up the first time to make a new estimate to cover the cost of the replacement or repair which was lower than their original cost of replacement. The thing about these types of cabinets is that they are glued together, which makes repairing them impossible. Coincidentally, the difference in cost in replacing them was right around how much National Restoration originally charged USAA to the shoddy repairs in the first place. The cabinets were old and the lowers couldn't be repaired or replaced, without replacing the upper cabinets as well. Despite the matching clause in our insurance coverage, which would require USAA to pay for the repair or replacement of the uppers as well to match the lowers, they denied us that coverage, which is why we did it ourselves. We traded our own labor for the replacement of the upper cabinets to match the lowers. Fair? Legal? I don't think so. When we finally got the go ahead to have the damaged cabinets removed, we gave Paul Davis Restoration right to cure. In which case, they came out the next day to remedy. However, they didn't put up any sort of barrier to prevent the spread of mold spores throughout the house (of which incidentally, our current tenants were allergic to the common mold spores found in such situations; diagnosed by a doctor due to symptoms at the time). Paul Davis Restoration didn't even treat the entire affected area, although they said they did. We had to call them back the next day, as our tenants informed us they had only removed and treated an area behind one section of the cabinets. They came back the next day, same thing; they didn't detach all of the cabinets and left a section remaining untreated. At that point, we were out of time and authorized our new contractor to remedy the mold behind the remaining section. Paul Davis Restoration is claiming they are not at all liable for the charges our new contractor imposed upon us for the mold remediation services provided. I felt that calling them back the second time was more than enough of an opportunity to comply with right to cure and we needed to get the new flooring installed that day. So now we are left with a bill from installing a new central air system because USAA wouldn't pony up the dough and they won't even enforce their 3-year guarantee to their preferred network provider which doesn't even come up on any list in our area as a network provider for that area. It's enough to make your head spin. What recourse does anyone have against such large companies as USAA or Paul Davis Restoration? Even with irrefutable proof and supporting documentation from tenants and professionals in the same field? How is it that an insurance company can bid lower than what it costs to repair or replace such things and get away with it? All I can say is stay away from these three companies. They have way too many deceptive and unfair trade practices to account for.