If water has damaged your home, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Filing an insurance claim for water damage can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before, but it doesn’t have to be.
With a little preparation and knowledge, you can make the process as smooth as possible. In this post, you’ll find the tips you need for filing a water damage claim with your homeowners insurance company. Non-weather related water damage is often the largest cause of loss to home insurance companies. Before explaining how to file a claim, let’s review a few tips to avoid having water damage your home in the first place or reduce the damage if something does happen.
- Have a licensed and insured plumber check all of your water connections to sinks, refrigerators, ice makers, dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets every couple of years. Proper maintenance will drastically reduce the chance of water losses.
- Replace outdated supply lines with stainless steel braided hoses or plumber-recommended supply lines based on your geographic location. Quality replacement hoses are inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store.
- Make sure every person who resides in your home knows how to shut off the water supply to the house. In the event of a leak or pipe burst, shutting off the water quickly could save you thousands of dollars.
- Recognize and take action immediately on any leak or dripping plumbing fixtures. Determining the location and cause of a leak is vital in expediting the fix. If you are not able to determine the source of the water, call a plumber quickly. Water damage over time may be excluded from your home insurance policy, so do not procrastinate calling a licensed and insured plumbing professional. In addition, wet areas are typically associated with mold, which could cause an unhealthy living environment for you and your family.
- Consider turning off the water supply to your home when the house may be empty for a couple of days or longer.
Water damage may still occur even when all of these tips are followed. If it does, shut off your water, call a plumber, and determine the extent of the damage. If your damage will exceed your deductible, call your insurance agent or carrier immediately. Most insurance companies work with water mitigation companies that will dry up your home and put a plan in place to mitigate further damage.
Many companies also have preferred contractors that will fix your home and guarantee workmanship. Because water damage is such a big problem, some insurance companies reduce or waive your deductible if you use their recommended contractors. In some states, insurance companies require you to use their recommended contractors to comply with the policy discounts you were provided at the time of securing the policy. The best advice is to communicate with your insurance agent and carrier as soon as possible.
HOW TO CLAIM WATER DAMAGE WITH HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
By following the few simple steps below, you’ll feel confident if and when you need to make a water damage claim with your insurance provider.
1. Gather All Your Documentation Related to the Water Damage
The first step is to gather all the documentation you will need to file a claim. This includes things like receipts, photos, and any estimates you have.
The more documentation you have, the better. Your insurance company will use this information to determine the extent of the damage and what type of coverage you’re entitled to.
2. Call Your Insurance Company and File Your Claim as Soon as Possible
Once you have all the documentation, it’s time to file your claim. Call the insurance company, inform them of what happened, and provide documented evidence. The sooner you do it, the better.
This will help ensure that further exposure doesn’t exacerbate the damage to water or other elements. It will also help preserve any evidence that may be needed to support your claim.
3. Cooperate With Your Insurance Company’s Adjuster
Once you’ve filed your claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster’s job is to evaluate the damage and determine how much coverage they entitled you under your policy.
It’s vital to cooperate with the adjuster and provide all the information they request promptly.
What Types Of Water Damage Can I Claim?
One of the most common causes of water damage is faulty plumbing. Over time, pipes can become corroded, developing leaks that allow water to escape. This can occur in both exposed and hidden pipes, which is why it’s important to check your plumbing for signs of wear and tear regularly.
If you suspect that you have water damage in your home, it’s essential to contact a professional for help. With their help, you can assess the extent of the damage and take steps to prevent further damage from occurring.
HOW TO GET AN INSURANCE COMPANY TO PAY FOR WATER DAMAGE
Most insurance policies will cover unforeseen water damage caused by pipe bursts.
However, if contractors prove the source of your water damage is because of neglect, your insurance is less likely to cover the costs of repairs. To avoid such problems, it’s crucial to keep up with home maintenance and make repairs as soon as they are needed. By doing so, you can help ensure that your home is protected in the event of water damage.
What To Do If Your Claim Is Denied By the Insurance Company
If you’ve recently experienced water damage, the first step is to contact your insurance company and file a claim. However, sometimes, insurance companies may deny your claim. If this happens, don’t panic. There are still steps you can take to appeal the decision. The first step is to contact your insurance agent and request a copy of the denial letter. This letter will outline the reasons for the denial and what you can do to appeal the decision.
By following these tips, you can make filing a water damage claim as stress-free as possible. Remember to gather all the documentation, file your claim as soon as possible, and cooperate with your insurance company’s adjuster throughout the process. If you have questions, reach out to your insurance company.
If you need help finding the best homeowners insurance coverage for the best price, start by speaking to a SimplyIOA agent at 833.872.4467 or get a homeowners insurance quote online now.