It is a distasteful practice that is unfortunately common in our industry. Some call it “ambulance chasing” while others may call it “fire chasing.” The essence of the activity is that firms will hunt for property disasters and prey on victims of fires or floods.
How is this done? Information about a property fire or disaster is obtained by listening to emergency service (Police/Fire) scanners or through notifications from special smart phone apps.
Who does this? Many large (often franchise) mitigation companies use this practice along with some public adjustment firms. They have “marketing” departments on call 24/7 to take advantage of unfortunate situations.
What is the goal? Ultimately, “fire chasers” want to obtain business from the situation. By being the first-to-the-scene, these firms want to obtain the property owner’s signature on a work authorization form and start the work immediately to ensure they get the job for the fire, smoke, and water damage cleanup.
Does it work? Unfortunately it does enough of the time to see the practice continue in the industry. Property owners are under distress, anxious, and do not understand the whole scope. Often times they may feel pressured by the pursuing party and are not prepared to handle the situation.
Is it ethical? We will let you answer that, but let it be known that Soil-Away does not and will not participate in such activities.
What should I do? If you have a fire or property disaster in which emergency services are involved, rest assured that you will be pursued by these companies. Stand strong and decline their services. Would you hire an unfamiliar lawyer at the hospital after you have been injured in a car accident? The best thing is to build a relationship with a firm you trust BEFORE anything happens. Another step is to reach out to your local insurance agent. They can navigate you through the proper channels of claims processing.
Please note that Soil-Away is an approved vendor for numerous national and local insurance carriers. We ask you to consider connecting with Soil-Away today regarding an emergency property damage mitigation plan. You do not want to be caught off guard in the event of water, fire, or mold damage situation.