September 24, 2021
Water Damage Insurance Claims Tips
Home water damage is the most common insurance claim made on homeowner insurance policies. However, many policyholders are surprised when some of the cost of their damage isn’t covered. For this reason, you must understand water damage and how home insurance companies respond to it. Read on ahead our comprehensive list of water damage insurance claim tips to learn how to handle this type of loss.
Common Types of Water Damage Insurance Claims
Water can make its way into your home in a variety of ways. From a leaky roof to a backed-up sewer or broken washing machine hose. Therefore, several different problems can lead to a water damage claim.
Our first tip is to learn some of the most common types of water damage insurance claims. This way, you can better protect yourself from them by taking the appropriate preventive measures.
The most common type of water damage is flooding, which is also the most common natural disaster on earth. However, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding damage. Instead, you must purchase a completely separate policy called flood insurance.
Regardless, in most cases, your home insurance policy covers water damage. For example, home insurance covers things like your home’s structure, other structures on the property, and your personal belongings.
Moreover, suppose water damage temporarily forces you out of your home. In that case, your policy’s Additional Living Expenses clause can help reimburse you any extra expenses you might have to incur.
Most common water damage include.
- Broken Appliances
- Clogged Toilets
- Heavy Rain
- Sewer Backup
- Melting Snow
- Foundation Cracks
- Leaking Roof
- Plumbing Leaks
- Burst or Broken Pipes
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips
As we mentioned before, we have compiled this list of water damage insurance claim tips for you to learn how to deal with the disaster successfully. Following these tips means you’ll have all your ducks in a row, making it easier for your insurer to compensate you. Here’s what you need to do in the event of water damage:
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #1: First, Contact Your Insurance Company As Soon As Possible
The first thing you have to do when filing a water damage insurance claim is to notify your insurer as soon as possible. The insurance representative who handles your claim will verify your coverage and inform you if you are eligible for a claim. Only then will you be able to file your water damage insurance claim.
With this in mind, remember that the home insurance claims process begins when you make your insurer aware of your water damage. Therefore, the sooner you inform your agent, the quicker you can get a check for the repairs and get your life back to normal. Contact your insurance company via their online claims portal, phone, or app, then fill out the necessary claims forms.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #2: Second, Notify Affected Third Parties
Suppose the water damage affects a third party, for example, a neighbor. In that case, it’s important to notify them of the situation so they can quickly take action to minimize the damage. Moreover, if a problem with public infrastructure caused the damage, send a written notice to the city. You might be eligible for compensation if you notify the municipality on time.
The city will also be able to plan the repair or work required to address the problem. In fact, they might also be able to send out an emergency team to minimize the damage quickly. Furthermore, if you’re a tenant, notify the landlord as soon as possible. Finally, in case you’re a co-owner, tell your co-ownership syndicate.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #3: Then, Document All Damages
After you file your water damage insurance claim, you’ll want to document all the damages by taking photos and videos. This means you must report any standing water and every single item that was damaged by the water.
Meanwhile, it may be tough for you to determine how much water damage you’re facing. Documenting everything can make sure you can rebuttal any damage unaccounted for during the claims process.
It’s essential to make a list of your property and furniture when you take out home insurance and keep it up to date. When a loss occurs, having an up-to-date inventory of your belongings will help. Just prepare a list of damaged goods that includes their value and sales receipts.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #4: After, Mitigate Damage
Standard home insurance policies specifically state that you are responsible for limiting the damage and keeping it from worsening. So here are a few helpful tips:
- If you suffered from a burst pipe, temporarily turn off the water supply lines. In addition, be sure to shut off the electricity if you have serious water damage. You’ll be avoiding short circuits and the risk of electrocution.
- In case of a leaky pipe or hose, locate the leak and seal it to prevent further damage.
- If you are unable to limit the damage, quickly remove high-value items from the affected area.
- Remove furniture. If you cannot remove it, try to lift them off the ground so the water can’t damage them.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #5: If You Can’t Handle Emergency Repairs, Hire a Plumber
You are most likely not a professional, so you might not be able to quickly get the leak under control. As a result, you may need to call in a plumber to handle the deed.
However, many standard homeowners insurance policies offer reimbursement for damage mitigation expenses. So hold on to any receipts you acquire during the temporary repairs process. You will have to hand them over to your insurer when the time comes to get reimbursement.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #6: Once You Mitigate Damage, Call a Cleaning Service
After the situation is under control, it’s time to call in a specialized cleaner to prevent further damage. We strongly suggest you do not attempt to clean the damage yourself. Frequently, unprofessional care might end up resulting in more losses.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #7: Water Removal
The professional cleaning company you hire will likely take care of this step first. They will use pumps, vacuums, or any other necessary specialized tools to remove any standing water. In fact, not removing standing water could result in mold or bacteria growth.
In addition, the water removal process might include eliminating black water, which could cause sickness and, in extreme cases, death. In short, draining the water helps to prevent further damage and protects your health.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #8: Drying and Dehumidifying the Water-Damaged Areas
When the cleaning company drains the standing water sufficiently, they will then dry the water-soaked areas. However, even after water removal, your possessions and the floors and walls of your home will likely still be water-logged, especially if you have carpeting. Therefore, you will need to dry things up. Depending on the amount of water, this may take hours, days, or weeks.
Cleaners will lift a few corners of the carpet and place industrial fans. Drying the area can prevent mold growth, to dry the water-damaged areas,. Trust us, the last thing you want is black mold spreading through your home or property.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #8: Do Not Throw Out Any Damaged Items During the Mitigation Process
Although the photos we mentioned earlier might be helpful, it’s best to keep all damaged property around up until the end of the claim. This is because insurance adjusters may ask you for proof in order to process your insurance claim, and these items could be used as proof. In addition, they might need to inspect the damaged property to determine your compensation or settlement offer.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #9: Work With Your Insurance Company
Although dealing with your insurance company can sometimes be frustrating, it’s in your best interest to fully cooperate. For this reason, be sure to give them all the information they need, such as invoices, inventory of your property, sales receipts, proofs of loss, etc.
If you’re upset, don’t lose your cool, but rather be firm and stand your ground. Understand that you might have to negotiate your settlement, so be patient.
After evaluating your file, your insurer will compensate you based on the cost of repairs for the recoverable property. If your property cannot be repaired, your insurer will compensate you for the cost of replacing it. Of course, this settlement offer will be based on the coverage in effect in your policy. In case you need help maximizing your claim settlement, consider hiring a public adjuster for help.
Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips #10: Begin the Recovery Process
In order to begin the restoration process, you must first be authorized by your insurer. Waiting for their authorization prevents the risk of making repairs that aren’t factored into the total claim value. Moreover, your insurer will always want to approve contractor bids before getting any construction started.
However, if your claim has been settled and your insurance has given you the green light to begin repairs, feel free to do so. The sooner you start the restoration process, the sooner your life will go back to normal. Water damage restoration means replacing any damaged materials, such as drywall, so get professional help to assist you.
Best way to beat the insurance company is to hire AllCity Adjusting
At AllCity Adjusting we help residential and commercial clients alike get the claims support they need. Moreover, we have over 50 years of combined experience helping get our clients the max settlement time and time again. If your claim has been low balled or denied entirely we can help increase your maximum settlement. Call us today for a FREE consultation. Experience the AllCity difference.
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