Total Contents Solutions
In today’s economic environment, contents have become the largest and fastest
growing aspect of insurance losses. It is not uncommon to have the contents portion of
the claim to equal or exceed the building damage payouts. In addition, it typically
accounts for 90% of the claim’s average nine month cycle time to settle. The major
focus point for customer dissatisfaction with the adjustment process occurs during the
handling of the contents portion of the claim.
There are a number of reasons for the increased indemnity payouts. Today’s consumer
has more items in their possession ranging from clothing to electronics. There used to
be one or two televisions in a home. Today most homes have four to five televisions.
There are more synthetics and veneers used in products, making them more
susceptible to damage. The major reason for the larger payouts is that the majority of
policies today have replacement cost coverage for the contents rather than actual cash
value settlements clauses.
Because contents encompass such a diverse array of products and materials, each
requiring specials techniques to restore, it is not an easy task controlling the indemnity
dollars. Little to no investment has been made by the insurance industry for contents
handling. The major portion of investments being made by the industry are in auto and
property structural areas. This is surprising considering the payout of indemnity dollars
for contents rivals the amount spent on auto physical damage.
A lack of the diverse expertise needed, overly aggressive adjuster workloads, and a
process currently being driven by public adjusters and insureds have proven to be tough
obstacles to overcome. The increased complexity of the claim process and a
heightened focus on customer retention and indemnity savings has created a need for
contents specialty contractors.
It is a rarity today to find a “True” restoration contractor that specializes in restoring the
building and/or the contents. The typical restoration contractor is concentrating on the
building portion of the loss and cross selling the other services. They often rather
replace items than restore items. These contents and mitigation services are often sub-
contracted out or not a major focus of the company. The insurance industry should ask
if this is a wise choice given the challenges and impact of contents losses.
Claim Solutions Network (CSN) is a true specialty contents restoration company, with
sophisticated and dynamic protocols to better meet the distinct needs of the insurance
claims industry during this ever evolving claims environment. Our expertise in contents
restoration enables us to offer a total solution that provides a strategic edge for the
claims industry with indemnity savings and increase customer satisfaction.
CSN is taking an innovative approach to contents claims. We are looking at damaged
contents through the eyes of true restorers, saving items that were once thrown out.
The claim is viewed from a contents prospective, with restoration being our main
objective. The contents portion of the claims starts at the same moment the structure is
started. By specializing on contents restoration, potential savings are increased tenfold
along with superior customer satisfaction.
This innovative approach starts the moment CSN arrives at the loss site. The antiquated
process used by our competitors is to pack dirty damaged items and haul them to a
storage facility to be unpacked and cleaned and repacked at a later date. Our portable
cleaning process includes everything to clean and triage the damage right at the loss
site. This includes everything from portable power to wash sinks. By beginning the
process on site, items are triaged and determinations made immediately as to whether
the items can be restored. This eliminates further costs of packing, moving, and storing
items that cannot be restored. Additionally this allows the adjuster and policyholder to
prepare a replacement inventory quicker, rather than waiting months for items to be
cleaned. Most cleaning companies will take the dirty furniture to a warehouse to be
cleaned at a convenient time when their crews are between jobs. It is very comforting
for the contractor to have a rainy day plan to keep crews busy between jobs. This
method is not going to produce the most successful restoration results. As mentioned
earlier, smoke is corrosive and can easily damage a wide range of collections. This
damage is usually exacerbated if you touch the item with your bare hands — the
combination of finger oils and the acidic by-products can etch into finishes and metals.
Our on site cleaning process immediately halts the acidic effects of the smoke and
moisture greatly enhancing our restoration success rate.
When preferred or if additional restoration process may be required, CSN has a 10,000
square foot off site restoration facility. The restoration facility is equipped with a
Vortex Indirect Drying Chamber for furniture including drying racks for contents, photos
and documents. There is a full ozone & deodorization chamber used for odor control or
application of antimicrobial fogs. The facility includes climate controlled individual
storage units. Our competitors may often place items from multiple jobs in various
corners of a single warehouse leaving items open to damage or for items to become
misplaced or lost. Our secure individual climate control storage units prevent
atmospheric damage and keeps items from becoming misplaced. In addition, when the
policyholder may need to visit the facility for inspection or pickup, a professional
appearance greatly enhances the insured comfort level with the adjustment process.
Unlike most of our competitors, CSN is a true furniture restorer. Sometimes cleaning is
not enough. In those cases, CSN’s trained restorers can assess the damage at the loss
site and take appropriate steps to repair the items back to their pre-loss condition.
The next step after cleaning involves the application of CSN’s own Revitalizer
Process. The Revitalizer Treatment is a multi-step process that can counteract the
harmful effects of the fire, smoke, and water to the furniture. This may include treatment
in special furniture indirect drying chambers and ozone chambers. It includes an
application of Revitalizer Cream a proprietary blend of oils and waxes that enables the
restoration of the finish of many items previously thought ruined. The item is inspected
for any secondary damage that may be touched up. To complete the Revtializer
Process, CSN has developed a smoke odor sealing technology to completely seal
the furniture inside and out which encapsulates and permanently locks out odor. The
Revitializer Treatment Process, only available through CSN, provides the ultimate
Because CSN is a true restoration contractor concentrating on the objective of restoring
personal property, we are one of the few contents restoration companies with in-house
repair and refinishing facilities. CSN’s Furniture Refinishing Facility specializes in
restoring damaged furniture. Our staff of trained craftsmen can repair, touch up, refinish,
reproduce parts, restore antiques, and offer consulting services. There is no need for
delays with outsourcing this portion of the restoration. Items do not need to be packed
and shipped risking additional damage and delays. Decisions and estimates can be
prepared immediately. With the entire process from assessment, cleaning, restoring, or
refinishing being in-house enables CSN to truly provide contents solutions.
CSN has developed a Kitchen Cabinet Program encompassing new state of the art
repair techniques for kitchen cabinets and built-in cabinets that have damage from
smoke, fire, or water. Because many cabinets are just like furniture but permanently
attached to the structure CSN can apply some of our unique process to the restoration
of the cabinets. Whether they are made of solid wood or of process wood construction,
CSN has the ability to restore versus replacement. CSN can match colors, repair
damaged sections, and replace swollen particle board sides. CSN’s Kitchen Cabinet
Program is another Claim Solution.
CSN has seen an unfulfilled need in the total resolution of contents claims. We are
excited to now be able to offer, free of charge with our pack outs, an additional value
added service to our clients. We now offer as part of our service a detailed itemized on
site inventory of the un-repairable items along with our restoration estimate. In all
aspects of estimating and claims handling a detailed accurate scope of loss is the key to
establishing a fair settlement estimate for both the company and the policyholder.
Claim Solutions Network offers trained specialists to perform their Field Scope
Service (FSS) who prepares a detailed scope of the contents loss. While the adjuster is
working with the insured on the building and loss of use portion of the claim, the FSS
specialist can devote their entire attention to working on the contents inventory.
Particular attention is given to mitigating the contents damage immediately. Items are
segregated for potential restoration and arrangements made to begin mitigating the
damage. The FSS Specialist will proactively investigate the loss site, recording an
inventory and photos of the contents establishing a benchmark of the loss at an early
stage. Having proactive interaction with the policyholder throughout the inventory
process assures an accurate accounting of the contents by an unbiased party. The loss
is frozen at an early stage. This innovative approach sets the basis for significant
severity benefits along with greatly improved customer satisfaction. The Field Scope
Specialist takes notes, photographs, and records a digital inventory to capture the
details of the loss upon initial inspection. They also pay special attention to quantity,
quality and condition of the contents. In addition, all contents mitigation and restoration
vendors can be coordinated by the Specialist while on site. All of the information from
the fieldwork is extremely important in the final estimating process. By having one
source accountable for the preparation of the contents inventory duplication and missed
opportunities are eliminated. The transcribed inventory includes description, quality
rating, and condition rating of the individual items. The detailed itemized inventory then
can be shared with the insured to provide age and their cost estimates. This accurate,
timely scope can be used by the insurance company or any other vendor to establish an
accurate replacement cost and actual cash value settlement based upon an accurate
scope. This process gives a true representation of the actual incurred loss and
maintains the integrity of the claim. This allows the claim to be resolved in a timely and
fair manner. Rather than waiting for months to obtain an inventory of destroyed items,
the contents claim can be resolved in days or weeks.
It only takes one step to set one apart from the crowd. Claim Solutions Network, Inc.
has taken multiple steps with innovative approaches enabling us to offer total content
claim solutions. We think if you analyze how you are handling contents claims now you
will truly see how CSN can fulfill your needs completely, saving you indemnity dollars
and enabling you to offer superior customer service. As you can see, CSN is truly
committed to offering contents solutions and staying a step ahead in the total resolution
of contents claims. Contact us for more information on how we can partner with you to
offer your policyholders superior service and save indemnity dollars at the same time.