Water damage is the the leading property insurance claim and causes the greatest financial expense to insurance companies. These claims are often underpaid, delayed or denied. You must understand your policy coverage so you can take proactive measures to protect from further damage. Here are our tips before filing your water damage insurance claim.
Tips before filing your claim:
- Understanding Verbiage: If 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. You could argue, but it would likely take months.
- Documentation: Before you do anything, document the disaster by snapping some photos. Be thorough in your documentation; look for anything that could cause irreparable damage if left. If nothing is going to self-destruct, leave it so the adjustor can see the full extent of the damage.
- Who Did It? Record the possible cause of damage and keep connections with anyone involved. (Are you getting a new pool and the contractor broke the pipe? Did your upstairs neighbor leave the water running the week she was on vacation?) Report any involved parties and document your communication with them.
- What Now? Your house has first floor water damage. Where do you stay? Will your insurance cover the temporary housing? Understand what your insurance covers 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. Here are some water damage insurance claim tips for after you have the claim.
Tips after filing your claim:
- Notify Insurance: Immediately notify your insurance once you have your claim. If you let the damage fester it can be grounds to deny your claim. Time will cause the damage (and any possibility of mold) to spread.
- Remove Standing Water: After you secure your claim you are free to begin drying out the area and remove any water that would cause further damage. Don’t make any permanent repairs until the insurance has made their own inspection to eliminate any chance of getting a lower insurance claim.
- Remove Water-Logged Material: Keep track of anything you remove from the area. Don’t discard anything yet; keep damaged items in a well-ventilated area to lower chances of mold growth.
- Documentation: Document the procedure and any changes made to the damaged environment. Log activity and record all instances of contact with your insurance for future use. Keep track of receipts for any purchased replacement items for reimbursement.
- Be Safe: 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 and/or property damage.
These water damage insurance claim tips for homeowners will encourage better claims and navigate you through a stressful situation. Call Jarvis Restoration before filing your claim to guide you through the process. We are available 24/7 at 949-362-5388. Anywhere in Orange County in ONE hour.