Every year many homes suffer from water damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, these claims are the second largest in America. Most of the claims arising thereof are handled by the homeowner’s insurance policy, and for some, flood insurance coverage is required.
Water is fluid and knows no bounds. It flows into places you least expect and leave behind a mess that can have lasting repercussions. Therefore, water damage claims need to be handled with care and due diligence.
Water Damage Covered By Homeowners Insurance Policy
A Homeowners insurance policy usually covers all the standard causes of water damage. Nonetheless, just to make things a tad bit more clear, here is a list of events covered:
1. Pipe bursts.
2. Water leaks that damage the property.
3. Water seeps through the roof.
4. Flood damage (may be covered by the insurance policy, or you may have to buy additional coverage for it).
5. Damage due to a burst water tank.
6. Accidental leakage from the automatic sprinkler installed.
Water Damage NOT Covered By Homeowners Insurance Policy
Now let us have a glimpse of what the homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover. Knowing this beforehand will prevent you from filing unnecessary claims. So the events that are not covered are:
1. Water damage that results from deliberate damage to property.
2. Water damage that is a consequence of wear and tear of the physical structure of the residence, its depreciation, and any ensuing loss.
3. Damage that is caused by either nuclear weapons or ionizing radiation.
4. Damage that happens because of neglect and hitherto unresolved maintenance issues like rusty pipes, etc.
There could be several more exclusions as they depend on insurance provider to the insurance provider. The best thing to do would be to ask the insurance agent outright about what is excluded from the policy coverage.
Filing A Water Damage Claim
The process of claim handling does not begin with the actual filing of the claim. It begins much before and has a lot of say in successful claim settlement. This is how you need to proceed:
1. Ensure Your Safety First – Every home has electrical appliances, and it is a well-known fact that water and electricity are a match made in hell. Therefore, your first step should be to ensure your safety and that of all others in residence. It may include cutting off the power supply, switching off the gas pipeline valve, vacating the premises, etc.
2. Prevent Further Damage To Property – If there is no immediate threat to your safety, you must ensure the damage does not spread further. Containing the loss is essential. The insurance company will not honor the loss of those things that could have been easily saved by a little prompt action from the residents. Preventive action may include turning off the water supply and calling the water company immediately, placing sandbags and mopping up water to prevent its spread, and so on.
3. Intimate The Insurer – The next step is to inform the insurer. You can’t spring a claim on them without prior information. They, too, have to ensure that the claim procedure is followed correctly. Only then can they approve its settlement, and a timely intimation is a big part of it. So you need to inform the insurance company ASAP of what has happened and what you have done to contain the damage.
4. Photograph The Scene – For the sake of evidence, you will have to photograph the damaged site. Please do not move the damaged objects from their place. Take as many photographs as required to document the complete loss.
5. Gather Repair Estimates – Next, you will have to get an idea of how much the repairs will cost. Hence, you will have to gather quotes from the local licensed contractors. It is advisable to gather quotes from at least 2-3 contractors.
6. File The Claim – The actual claim filing requires filling up lots of forms, attaching identity proof, submitting proof of loss, repair estimates, and other supporting documents. You can find this information in your insurance policy, or you can speak to the insurance company’s agent and ask pertinent questions directly. Care must be exercised while filing the claim, as all information must be complete and accurate.
Once you have completed all these steps, your formalities concerning claim filing are complete. The ball is now in the insurer’s court.
Important Is To Follow The Guidelines Established By The Insurance Company
Always keep in mind that the insurer will honor only the covered losses if the proper procedure is followed. All these details are clearly given in the homeowner’s insurance contract. Hence, it is essential that you understand it completely. In case there are any doubts, you can always speak to the insurance agent or a representative in the office. Do not make the mistake of assuming that you know everything. When it comes to claims, best err on the side of caution as every claim is unique.
Before We Close
Have you ever thought of hiring a public adjuster? If not, the following lines may change your opinion. First and foremost, the public adjuster works for the insured and not the insurer. Second, they are experts in settling claims successfully. Third, when you hire a public adjuster, they do all the work for you, and you just have to sign the papers and get yourself available for any meeting, if necessary. Finally, they only charge a small percentage of the final claim settlement, and they get paid only once you are.
With offices throughout Florida, Continental Public Adjusters are a reputable and well-established company. To date, we have helped thousands of consumers, businesses, as well as condo and homeowners, settle several simply too complicated claims. Our aim is to get our clients the best possible settlement so that they don’t suffer any significant financial loss. To engage our services, simply dial (800)989-4769. We are here to make sure that your entire claim settlement journey is a smooth and stress-free process.