Everyone should know how to maximize a water damage claim. Whenever your pipes springs a leak or the ceiling begins dripping, you may thank your lucky stars that you have homeowners insurance. You’ll be covered for each of the damage whenever you make a water damage claim–appropriate?
Most homeowners don’t have this coverage, but insurance companies are encouraged to keep your claim amount low. Additionally, there are some mistakes you can make to assist them. Do not worry. Follow this advice for homeowners insurance claims to get the policy you’re owed.
1. Limit the Damage
Once you realize that you have water damage you should take steps to limit it. Otherwise, your insurance company may be able to deny some or all of your claim, on the grounds that you did not intervene.
The actions you can take depend on the kind of water damage you’ve got. If you are experiencing a windstorm that’s broken your windows and let in water, then board up your windows. If you have a plumbing leak, switch off the water into the home. In case you have a roof leak, then it’s possible to put a tarp up to temporarily block the rain.
It’s also advisable to call the applicable professional whenever possible, whether that’s plumbers, roofers, or restoration specialists. They might know of other actions you may take to limit the damage, and they are able to start working on repairs. However, you may not want to sign off on major repairs until your claim has gone through, as you might not be approved for the complete repair sum by your insurance company. If you choose to wait, do get an estimate you can demonstrate the insurance adjuster.
Also, it is crucial that you don’t throw away any damaged items yet. Collect water-damaged items and debris from plastic bins or bags so that you have physical evidence for the adjuster.
2. Collect Evidence
Your insurance company will require evidence to evaluate your claim. Luckily, smartphones have made this part simple. Take photographs of all the damage, and be comprehensive. Also include anything that could have caused the damage, such as a broken pipe or a hole in the roof.
Think about taking a video to supplement the photos. It’s difficult to be comprehensive using a video as with photographs, but videos are more convincing and offer a new perspective on the damage that photos can’t quite catch. If your claim ever has to be taken to court, videos are extremely illustrative. While you’re recording clarify what you’re visiting.
Written evidence is also important. Make an inventory of what’s been damaged and include each item’s value along with the estimated cost to replace it. If you are not sure, your restoration experts should have amounts for common items such as shingles. They can also help you research the worth of a piece of furniture or other products.
Have the other professionals you are working with create quotes and reports that describe what occurred and what it will cost to correct the damage. Experienced roofers and technicians must be familiar with this process. In case you choose to pay for any fast repairs up-front, make sure you keep your receipts.
3. Report It
Now it’s time to contact your insurance company. Do not delay doing this, or you jeopardize your claim. Even if you think you can make the repairs , calling now will save you a headache later. If you’re unsure water damage is covered by your policy, you should still attempt to make a claim. The company will let you know if you’re not insured, and there’s no penalty for asking.
Before you make the call, pull out your policy number, since it’s the very first thing they will ask for. The insurance company will likely tell you that you’re expected to complete a”proof of loss form.” If that’s the case, make sure you ask them to send you a copy by email (email takes too much time ). Or, inquire in which the form can be found on their site so that you may print it off.
If you discover this process unnerving, or do not have time for this, your restoration specialists can make the claim for you. They have a lot of experience with making powerful claims of all sizes.
4. Is It Flood Damage or Water Damage?
To an insurance company, there’s a big difference between flood damage and water damage. Floods are brought on by nature and generally effect greater than one home (there are exceptions to large metropolitan properties). Everything else, from broken pipes into leaking HVAC equipment, is water damage.
When most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage, not all of cover flood damage. So be sure to be clear with your insurance company about which kind of damage your home has experienced so that they can guide you into the right forms and provide you with the right coverage.
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