We all buy insurance hoping that we will never need it. So, what happens when you come home to find that a pipe burst, and you need to make a water damage insurance claim to fix the hardwood floors in your house?
Read on for details on what is and is not covered in your homeowner’s insurance with regard to water damage, and when you might need help from the pros.
Make Sure You Know the Difference Between Water Damage and Flood Damage
One is covered by insurance, the other is not. Water damage is something that is covered in a typical home insurance plan, and it is important that you know if what you are asking for is covered by a water damage insurance claim.
Water damage is something that is extremely common, in fact, it is often pointed to as the most frequent type of damage reported by homeowners. Regardless of the cause of the water damage, whether it is from a frozen or broken pipe, a leaking appliance, a sewage backup, or problems caused by a leaky roof or rain, water damage is part and parcel of the insurance business. Yet, it is also important to know the flooding damage is not something covered in a typical policy.
Consider Purchasing Flood Insurance if You Live in a Flood-Prone Area
Flood damage is never covered under homeowner’s insurance, even if it was caused by a natural disaster. Flood insurance is a new development in the American insurance industry when it was introduced just over fifty years ago in 1968 with the National Flood Insurance Program.
You should determine if you need flood insurance before you buy it, so it is important to understand how insurance defines a flood. Your property and another property must be inundated with water, partially or completely, in an area of land that is usually dry. Any rising water or mud that occurs from runoff water, overflowing rivers, heavy rain, thawing snow, or hurricane storms counts as flood damage.
Since this type of damage is not subject to a water damage insurance claim, if you live in a region prone to these conditions, flood insurance might be a smart choice for you.
Report Any Damage from Water to Your Insurance Company Immediately
If you hesitate to report water damage to your insurance company, they may come back and deny your claim for preventable damages.
Insurance is just that: insurance. It covers unexpected catastrophes. But, as the homeowner, you have a responsibility to take care of your property. If you fail to report damage that occurs, then you could be considered neglectful.
Some insurance policies try to use language that prevents you from reporting damage more than 14 days after the incident that caused the damage. If you are away on a trip, or if you own a vacation home in a wet climate like Florida, you could be denied on a technicality. In that case, you should look into hiring a public adjuster: they specialize in maximizing insurance payouts for the claimant.
Choose a Reputable Repair Company and Make Sure They Use Advanced Equipment
If you simply go with the restoration company recommended by your insurance company, they may not be paying for the care your home needs after a water damage insurance claim. If they are constrained by the budget from a small payout from insurance, they may not take the best care of your property.
It is necessary to treat for mold and mildew after water damage occurs, and to make sure that all moisture is removed. Inquire as to whether the cleaners use hygrometers, infrared cameras, moisture detectors or other equipment to make sure that all of the water damage is completely remediated.
Know When to Hire A Public Adjuster
If your disputed amount is over $10,000 then it is time to call in the help of a public adjuster. A public adjuster will help you through the claims process, and they do so for a portion of the settlement awarded at the end of the case.
You will likely only file an insurance claim a few times in your life if you are lucky, but public adjusters live in the insurance industry and fight for you, the homeowner, against the insurance companies that want to pay out as little as possible.
Whether your home was damaged by rain or you are filing a water damage insurance claim as a result of another disaster, like extinguishing a fire, make sure you have someone on your side who are experts in the business.
Why You Need Continental Public Adjusters
Continental Public Adjusters is proud to serve the entire state of Florida in handling property claims, and they have the experience to help you get the most out of your policy.
If you have a new property claim, or even worse if your claim is denied, delayed or underpaid, you need an experienced public adjuster.
Continental Public Adjusters will do five key things for you:
1. Advocate: Our sole responsibility is to make sure you receive the maximum recovery for your loss.
2. Review: A comprehensive investigation helps us understand each specific type of loss. With our experts and consultants, we begin to determine the overall value of your property loss.
3. Estimate: Using the latest cost estimating software to prepare supporting documentation and provide to your carrier.
4. Adjust: We will adjust your claim and negotiate with your insurance company adjuster to reach a settlement meeting your approval, in your best interest.
5. Maximize: We can foresee issues and obstacles in the claims process with the experience that comes from settling thousands of claims, and will work to reach your maximum benefit.
Start with a free consultation with one of our team members to learn about your options. Continental Public Adjusters, Inc. has 38 years of experience successfully settling thousands of claims related to both personal and commercial property in the state of Florida.