Water damage, the bane of homeowners and insurance companies alike. Water damage insurance claims are one of the leading reported property claims and cause the greatest financial expense to insurance companies. You can imagine, then, how many claims are underpaid, delayed, or even denied.
In order to make sure your claim doesn’t fall through it is important to know what your restoration policy covers so you can take proactive measures to protect from further damage. In order to get a comprehensive claim there are some things you have to do before you get your claim. Here are some tips to go through before obtaining your water damage insurance claim.
Drop the Flood
When you have a burst pipe and your basement is filling with water, don’t call it flooding. Most insurance companies won’t compare your drowning basement with the aftermath of a natural flood and while you could argue it would likely take months.
Before you do anything, take photographic evidence. Make sure you completely document as you go through and look for anything that could cause irreparable damage if left. If nothing is going to self-destruct, leave it as it is so those giving the claim can see the full extent of the damage.
Who did It?
Make sure you record the possible cause of the damage and keep connections with anyone involved. Where you getting a new pool and the contractor broke the pipe, maybe your upstairs neighbor left the water running the week she was on vacation. Keep track and report any involved parties.
Your house has first floor water damage, where do you stay and will your insurance cover the temporary housing? Make sure you know what your insurance covers before contacting them or find out during your first call and get a set number.
Once you have your claim there are things you do to ensure consistent coverage, as such here are some water damage insurance claim tips for after you have the claim.
Immediately notify your insurance once you have your claim. If you let the damage fester it can cause grounds for your claim to be denied. Also time will cause the damage and any possibility of mold to spread.
Remove standing water
After you get your claim you are free to begin drying out the area and removing any water that would be causing further damage. However don’t make any permanent repair until the insurance have made their own inspection to remove any chance of getting a lower insurance claim.
Remove water-logged material
Keep track of anything you remove from the area, don’t get rid of it just yet but keep them in a well-ventilated area to lower chances of mold growth.
Continue documented the procedure and any changes made to the damaged environment. Log and activity and record all instances of contact with your insurance for future use. Keep track of receipts for evidence for any bought replacement items to use as evidence for reimbursement.
Keep within your own financial capabilities and make sure you proceed within the phrase “safety first”. Water damage can cause trouble to more than what can be seen with the naked eye and improper protection can result in personal damage in addition to property damage.
These water damage insurance claim tips for homeowners will encourage better claims and make your life easier in an otherwise stressful situation.