One person's polar vortex is another's business opportunity, as ServiceMaster franchises are learning. Sub-freezing temperatures engulfing much of the country this month are leading to frozen pipes, and costly clean-up afterward.
The Michigan Insurance Review reports damage from a single frozen pipe (if it subsequently bursts) can easily reach $5,000—a number this Minneapolis-based blogger can personally verify is on the low end.
Ice damage and deep freezes and other effects of winter storms accounted for more than 7 percent of all insured catastrophic losses over the past 19 years, making them the third-largest cause of losses behind hurricanes and tornadoes.
ServiceMaster says the effects from brutally cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest were so great, the franchisor mobilized at least 20 franchise crews from the West Coast to help respond.
ServiceMaster set up two hotlines, 1-800-RESPOND for homeowners and 1-866-RECOVER for businesses, and is receiving record numbers of calls. Calls fielded by ServiceMaster's customer service unit during the second week in January surpassed the number of calls typically received in a full month.
ServiceMaster has more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, under the names Terminix, ServiceMaster Restore and more.
Franchise Ranking History
Franchise 500®: #35 (2014), #24 (2013), #40 (2012), #42 (2011), #31 (2010), #33 (2009),
Fastest-Growing: #60 (2013),
Low-Cost: #10 (2011), #9 (2010), #5 (2009),
Top Home-Based: #9 (2012), #11 (2011), #8 (2010), #4 (2009),
America's Top Global: #23 (2013), #37 (2012), #38 (2011), #25 (2010), #28 (2009).