The importance of understanding how you can maximize your water damage claim can’t be overstated. If your plumbing leaks or your ceiling drips, you’ll thank yourself for having homeowners or business insurance. In the event of a water damage claim, all damages will be covered–right?
In part, yes. Insurance companies want to keep your claim amount as low as possible, despite the fact that most homeowners do have this coverage. Don’t worry. The tips below will help you maximize your water claim and receive the coverage you deserve.
1. Control the Damage
When you discover water damage, you should take all necessary steps to limit or control it. If you don’t intervene, your insurance company will be entitled to decline your partial or complete claim on the ground that you didn’t try and mitigate the damage.
Your course of action will be primarily dictated by the type of water damage you have. A windstorm that breaks your windows could lead to water getting into your home, so the best course of action would be to board up your windows as soon as you can. When a leak is present in your house, turn off the water supply. In case of roof leaks, temporarily block the rain with a tarp.
Getting professional help (plumbers, restoration specialists, roofers) as soon as possible is a wise move. They may have suggestions on how to control the damage, and they can get started on repairs as well. Although, it might not be a good idea to sign off on major repairs until your claim has been accepted by your insurance company since there’s a chance they won’t approve the whole amount for the repairs. In case you decide to wait, you should get an estimate you can show the insurance company or claim adjuster.
Additionally, it would be best if you didn’t throw any of the damaged items away yet. You should keep water-damaged things (and debris) in plastic bags in order to show a water damage adjuster the physical evidence.
2. Keep Evidence
Your insurance company will require evidence to assess your water claim. You can readily provide evidence using your smartphone. Ensure that you take good photos of everything that was damaged. Do not forget to include anything and everything you think might have caused the damage.
If possible, take videos as well to support the photos. We know that it might not be easy to be as thorough with videos as with pictures, but they can be more persuasive and give a better sense of the damage than photos do. Videos could also prove very helpful if you had to present your water claim in court. Be sure to describe what you see while you record.
In addition to photo and video evidence, written evidence is essential as well. Make a list of what was or was damaged, including the value and cost of replacement of each item. If you aren’t very sure about the value of a piece of furniture or item, your restoration experts can provide valuable insight.
The professionals you’re working with can assist you with creating quotes and reports that explain what happened and how much it will cost to repair the damage. Roofing and plumbing professionals should be familiar with this procedure. In the event that you choose to pay up-front for quick repairs, keep your receipts.
3. Report It
This step only requires you to contact your insurance company. Make sure you do this as soon as possible, or else your claim’s acceptance could be at risk. Whether you’re ready to make the repairs yourself or not, calling your insurance company can save you a lot of headaches in the future. If you are uncertain whether your insurance policy covers water damage, still file a claim. Insurance companies will tell you if you’re not covered, and there are no penalties for asking.
You are likely to be asked for your policy number, so make sure you have it ready. The insurance company will ask you to fill out a “proof of loss form.” Ask them to send a copy (preferred by email) or to point you to where you can print the form online.
Your restoration specialists can perform the entire procedure for you if you feel it is too complicated or you do not have time to do it. A professional restoration company should have extensive experience handling many types of claims, including water damage.
4. Is it Flood Damage or Water Damage?
Insurance companies address flood damage differently from water damage. Floods are natural events and can affect more than one home (exceptions being large rural properties). However, water damage involves everything else, including leaking HVAC equipment and broken pipes.
Flood damage is not covered by all homeowner’s insurance policies, even though most include coverage for water damage. It’s a good idea to notify your insurance company of the type of damage your home has experienced; they can provide you with information on the process, the proper forms, and the appropriate coverage.
5. Hire a Public Water Claims Adjuster
Filing a water claim is typically a lengthy and complex process. The company can only send an adjuster within 15 days to assess the extent of the water damage. It’s actually much better to hire a public water claim adjuster such as Maximum Public Adjusters, if possible–especially if your claim is significant. Here’s why. Since public adjusters are not affiliated with the insurance company, they are unbiased and focused on finding the truth rather than minimizing the insurer’s payout.
6. Avoid Using Insurance Company Vendors
After assessing your water claim, your insurance company has 15 days to decide whether your claim is valid or not. Then, they have five days to transfer the payment to you if they approve your claim wholly or partly.
The insurance company may try to persuade you to utilize their vendors through this period. They will have their own team of roofers, plumbers, and restoration experts. The problem is that these people get their work through the company, so it would be difficult to get an objective assessment from them. Having someone on your side is crucial when filing a claim, so hire professionals whose work you can trust.
The Time Is NOW to Act. Reach Out to Maximum Public Adjusters.
You can always request the assistance of professional claims adjusters like Maximum Public Adjusters if you are concerned about maximizing your water claim. From beginning to end, we can take care of your claim for you. We are on a mission to ensure our clients get fair and full claim payments from their insurance companies. We will respond to your calls or emails within 15 minutes and offer same-day appointments! Contact us today at 516-385-2422.