The most common causes of house insurance claims are water damage. However, it is seen that many water damage claims are rejected. Unfortunately, this happens mostly because of the homeowner’s errors while filing the claim to the insurance company. It is important to learn the specific steps about how to file an insurance claim for water damage.
Whenever there is property damage, restoring it to the normal condition requires a lot of time, effort, and money. If your home is covered with a trusted house insurance company you can alleviate the burden on your budget to some extent. An insurance company reimburses most of the cost for repairs and helps you to restore the property quickly. Thus, purchasing insurance is the best way to reduce the financial strain in case of property damage.
Let us learn in detail about what homeowners should do to file an insurance claim for a smooth claim process. Let’s begin with the Dos and Don’ts.
- Prevent any additional damage by securing your valuables. Board up any broken doors, tarp holes, turn off the water supply. You must also take your valuables to a safe and dry place.
- Record all the evidence of water damage. Include any broken parts that might be the cause of the water damage.
- Read all the terms and conditions of the insurance policy to know which water damage is not covered under the policy.
- Prepare a detailed list of all the damaged items mentioning their model numbers, condition, actual cost, and replacement cost.
- Use experienced and reliable vendors for repairs.
- Throw away any damaged item unless the inspection is done.
- Alter the scene until after the inspection.
- Repair any items on your own.
- Use the insurance company listed vendors if you aren't required to. Always use experienced and reliable vendors.
If you follow the above Dos and Don'ts it helps you for a smooth claim process and settles your claim quickly with the insurance company. Having said so, let us learn how to file an insurance claim for water damage.
How to File an Insurance Claim for Water Damage
The Claim Process
- Approach your agent or the insurance company and file your water damage claim.
- Within two days of filing the claim, the insurer will contact you to explain the entire process and your responsibilities.
- The investigation starts within 15 days of when the insurer receives written notice from you.
- The decision of acceptance or rejection comes within 15 working days.
- If the claim goes through, money will be credited to your account within five working days.
- You will receive a written explanation if the claim is rejected.
Inspection by Adjusters
This is the second most important step after you file an insurance claim for water damage. All claim inspections are carried out by professional adjuster who inspects the damage and reports to the insurance company. They also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure a smooth and beneficial claim process.
There are three types of adjusters:
- An individual salaried employee working for the insurance company.
- Any claim service provider to the insurance company, like an independent contractor.
- A public adjuster who charges a percentage of the claim as a fee.
Tip: Hire a public adjuster to have the best chance for insurance claim success. However, ensure the person you are working with is a licensed adjuster. You don't want to get scammed!
If everything goes well and the insurance policy you have covered the sustained damage, the claim is settled within five working days. However, the reimbursed amount for the replacement cost policy and actual cash value coverage policies are different.
- Replacement Cost Coverage: The reimbursed amount is paid to repair your home on the basis of the current cost of construction.
- Actual Cash Value Coverage: The reimbursed amount is paid for rebuilding or replacing your property.
Dealing with Mold
Mold remediation is generally not covered by insurance companies when you file an insurance claim for water damage. Some insurance companies only cover the repair costs, not getting rid fo the mold itself. Remember, mold spreads fast, damaging large areas in just days. The best way to tackle this problem is to remove the excess water and dry the household materials quickly.
Some insurance policies cover additional living expenses when your home is badly damaged and you have to live outside until the restoration work is over. Check whether your policy has this coverage or not and also find out the details of the expenses to be reimbursed.
Water damage restoration is difficult and time-consuming. Be mindful and take extra precautions to prevent your home any water damage in the future. Always read all the terms and conditions mentioned in the insurance policy you have before you submit a claim for water damage. If you still have water damage, follow the above steps to settle your claim smoothly.
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