Navigating Water Damage Insurance Claims: A Complete Guide
Water damage is so common that most standard home insurance policies cover it. The rider is that the water damage must be internal, sudden, and accidental.
Water damage from flooding and natural disasters is typically not covered, so you will need to take out flood insurance.
Anyway, when water damage happens, filing a water damage claim with your insurer is imperative. And when you do, you want your claim to be honored and get the highest payout to ensure all the damage is adequately covered.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file a successful claim.
1. Minimize Damage
The first thing your insurer expects you to do is prevent further damage. Some of the things you can do include the following:
- Remove undamaged items from harm’s way
- Follow safety precautions like turning off your main water supply valve if the water damage is from a burst pipe.
- Turn off your main electricity supply to avoid the possibility of a fire
- Investigate and have the leak fixed immediately
2. Determine If Your Water Damage Is Covered By Insurance
Not all water damage is covered by your insurance policy. Generally, water damage is only covered by your home insurance policy if it’s sudden or accidental.
Any water damage you get due to neglect or poor maintenance is not covered. For example, water damage from a roof you haven’t repaired in 30 years or an improperly installed skylight will not be compensated.
Also, note that most companies will cover the damage but not the appliance that caused it.
For example, if your HVAC system causes a leak that damages your walls and seats, the insurer will cover the walls and your couches. However, it will not cover a new HVAC system.
3. Record Evidence
Gathering evidence is a crucial component of making a claim, and the more evidence you have, the better your chances of success.
So take as many photos and videos of the damage in your home as possible, including individual damaged items. Take photos that show the extent of the damage.
If some of the damage is worsening gradually, be sure to take several photos and videos of different levels of damage.
Also, make an inventory of all the damage and, if possible, include cash values. If you use a professional water damage restoration company, include their fees in your losses. If your claim is successful, the insurer will pay these fees to you or directly to the company.
4. Contact Your Insurer
As with motor insurance, you must notify your insurer of the incident as soon as possible. Many providers will have a 24/7 hotline you can reach them on during emergencies.
When you call them, have your insurance policy number and inventory list on hand, just in case. Your adjustor will likely send you a link or an email where you can forward all the documented evidence. Some insurers will immediately dispatch an adjustor to your house.
Similarly, ask your insurance agent about their restoration process – for example, if you can hire a water restoration company of your choice, or if they have providers on their panel. If they suggest the latter, the company will directly bill your insurer for all water damage restoration costs.
5. Meet with the Adjustor
If an adjustor is sent, they will come to your property to assess the damage. They can look at it through the photos and videos you have taken.
Their job is to determine the cause of the water damage, if your policy covers it, and calculate the restoration cost, including repairs and replacements. The adjurer will then write a report of their findings, which will be used in making decisions regarding your claim.
Suffered Water Damage? Call Us!
Water damage to your home can be stressful, so you need a knowledgeable ally to help with the recovery.
At Vetted Los Angeles Restorations, we provide expert water damage technicians within an hour of your call. This ensures that work on your home begins immediately and that you get some guidance with your insurance claim. If you have water damage, call us immediately and let us work our magic for you.