What is water damage?
When you have to file an insurance claim for water damage, you need Experienced Public Adjusters on your side, fighting for your rights! Harm or destruction caused by water is called water damage. Based on the source of seepage, water damage is classified into three types. This categorization helps you take adequate precautions and summon water restoration experts, if required, to safeguard your property and possessions.
The first type is clean water. Normally health risks due to the collection of clean water are minimal provided it is cleaned up within 48 hours. An unexpected flow of water due to burst pipes, wax seal leakage, rainwater seeping through the roof, overflowing kitchen sink, defective ice makers, water softeners, and humidifiers, etc. are some reasons that cause water damage in your home.
Next is greywater. Malfunctioning home appliances like dishwashers and washing machines or your HVAC unit may result in a discharge of chemical-filled water. This can be harmful to your health and your home.
The third type is blackwater. Seawater or river water swept by tropical storms or hurricanes or water from a blocked sewer causes dirty water to enter your home, which is unhealthy and dangerous. This water is considered toxic as it contains harmful stuff like pesticides, grease, and urine and breeds bacteria and viruses.
Water damage claims are considered to be frequent insurance claims as per the Insurance Services Office (ISO). For water damage due to floods, a natural calamity, you will have to purchase a separate insurance policy provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under FEMA. So, before you buy a homeowner’s insurance policy, discuss the details with your agent. Some pointers are:
Check whether mold and water backup damage are covered under the same premium, or you need to pay an additional premium for it.
Since water damage may occur frequently, find out if there is a fixed limit for water damage cover.
Understand which type of water damage is covered by your insurance policy as insurance companies usually accept claims only if the water damage was sudden or accidental and not gradual.
If you install a whole-house leak protection system, you may be able to obtain reduced rates of premium.
Pay attention to the clauses and the fine print on your policy or you may get a rude awakening when it’s time to file a claim.
When claiming insurance, you should know that the dwelling coverage part of your policy will pay for the repair of your home, and personal property coverage will pay for the replacement of your damaged personal effects like clothes, electronics, and furniture.
Statistics show that water damage from water within your home is a common claim, so be prepared to tackle it successfully. Better still contact Experienced Public Adjusters!
Water damage claims are very complicated as water spreads quickly, getting into cracks and creating untold and unseen harm. So, by the time you realize that water has caused damage, it has already corroded your walls, furniture, and carpets and your insurance company treats this as gradual damage. If you read your homeowner’s policy clauses carefully, you will observe that the insurance coverage is for water damage that is sudden and accidental.
So, as a homeowner, what is your responsibility?
Regular maintenance. Timely upkeep of your plumbing system and electrical appliances will ensure that breakdowns are minimal. You can avoid mold, warping, or weakening of the structure of your home. Keep copies of the service contracts and receipts so that there is no question of your insurance company trying to prove your negligence in order to deny your damage claim. In some states, if you file more than two water damage claims, there is a high possibility that your insurance provider may not renew your policy. You may start looking for a new provider, but your premium may be higher.
Immediate action. Look for the source of the leaking water and turn off the valve leading to it. If that doesn’t stop the water from leaking, do not waste time, just switch off the main valve. To avoid electrocution, it would be a good idea to turn off the electricity too. All members of your family, including children, should be trained in these safety measures.
Drain the water. Standing water and leaks should not be ignored as these decompose furniture, carpets, and drapes, encouraging mold and bacteria growth. Call a plumber immediately and then your insurance provider. Salvage whatever items or valuables that you can.
Take notes and photos. Click photographs and make a list of the damaged items along with their descriptions, as this will be a critical component of your insurance claim docket.
Keep your insurance policy handy. It is always prudent to maintain a soft copy for quick reference and a hard copy at another location to protect it from destruction. Your insurance policy document should be kept safe but you need to be able to retrieve it quickly during a disaster.
Being veterans in the insurance business, we understand the tactics employed by your insurance company to reduce or deny your claim. Considering the unpredictable nature of water damage and your insurance company’s reluctance to pay your claim, it’s best to hire a public adjusting firm like Experienced Public Adjusters. We have a team of qualified and licensed adjusters who stand by you throughout the entire claim process. We are here to represent you and ensure that you receive a fair settlement. If your home is no longer liveable due to the influx of water, you need to find temporary housing and keep your family safe. It is our job to liaise with your insurance provider to find out if additional living expenses are provided and ensure you get them. We also know when to call in the experts like water restoration professionals, mold remediation specialists, architects, etc. For example, when the damage is structural, we may ask a construction engineer to inspect your property. We engage with your insurance provider right from the beginning, pointing out areas of damage that may have been overlooked, providing complete details and pictures of damaged items, and handling the paperwork. We prepare a strong claim, so you receive your deserved settlement.
Contact Experienced Public Adjusters today for any type of water damage, and we will assist you.