Everyone should understand how to maximize a water damage claim. Whenever your plumbing springs a leak or the ceiling starts dripping, you might thank your lucky stars that you have homeowners insurance. You’ll be covered for each of the damage when you make a water damage claim—appropriate?
Most homeowners do have this coverage, but insurance companies are encouraged to maintain your claim amount low. Plus, there are a number of mistakes you can make that will help them. Don’t worry. Follow these tips for homeowners insurance claims to get the coverage you are owed.
1. Limit the Damage
As soon as you realize you have water damage you should take action to restrict it. Otherwise, your insurance company may be able to deny some or all your claim, on the grounds that you didn’t intervene.
The activities you can take depend on what kind of water damage you’ve got. If you’re experiencing a windstorm that has busted your windows and let in water, then board up your windows. In case you have a plumbing leak, turn off the water into the home. If you have a roof leak, then you can place a tarp up to temporarily block the rain.
It’s also advisable to call the relevant professional whenever you can, whether that’s plumbers, roofers, or restoration specialists. They may know of other actions you can take to limit the damage, and they can begin working on repairs. But you might not want to sign off on major repairs until your claim has gone through, as you may not be qualified for the full repair amount by your insurance company. If you decide to wait, do receive a quote you can demonstrate the insurance adjuster.
Additionally, it is crucial that you don’t throw away any damaged items yet. Collect water-damaged debris and items from plastic bins or totes so that you have physical proof for the adjuster.
2. Collect Evidence
Your insurance company will need proof to assess your claim. Luckily, smartphones have made this part simple. Take photographs of all the damage, and be comprehensive. Also consist of anything which could have caused the damage, like a broken pipe or even a hole in the roof.
Consider taking a video to supplement the photographs. It is hard to be comprehensive using a video like photographs, but videos are more convincing and offer a new perspective about the damage that photos can not quite capture. If your claim ever has to be taken to court, videos are extremely illustrative. As you’re recording clarify what you are seeing.
Written evidence can also be important. Make an inventory of what’s been damaged and include each product’s value along with the estimated cost to replace it. If you are not sure, your restoration experts need to have levels for common items such as shingles. They are also able to help you research the worth of a piece of furniture or other items.
Have the other professionals you’re working with create reports and quotes which describe what occurred and exactly what it will cost to fix the damage. Experienced roofers and plumbers must be familiar with this process. If you decide to cover any fast repairs upfront, be sure to keep your receipts.
3. Report It
Now it’s time to contact your insurance company. Don’t delay doing this, or you also jeopardize your claim. Even in the event that you believe you can make the repairs yourself, calling now will save you a headache later. If you’re not sure water damage is covered by your policy, you still need to attempt to submit a claim. The company is going to let you know if you’re not covered, and there’s no penalty for asking.
Prior to making the call, pull your policy number, since it’s the first thing they will ask for. The insurance company will probably inform 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 (mail takes too much time ). Or, inquire where the form is found on their website so that you may print off it.
If you find this process unnerving, or don’t have time for this, your restoration specialists can make the claim for you. They have lots of experience with making successful claims of all dimensions.
4. Can It Be Flood Damage or Water Damage?
For an insurance company, there’s a big difference between flood damage and water damage. Floods are caused by nature and generally effect more than one home (there are exceptions to big rural properties). Everything else, from broken pipes into leaking HVAC equipment, is water damage.
When most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage, not all cover flood damage. So make sure you be clear with your insurance company about which kind of damage your home has experienced so they can guide you to the right forms and supply you with the perfect coverage.
5. Take a Public Adjuster
The water damage insurance claim process can be slow. Your insurance company has 15 days to send an adjuster, who will assess the water damage. It is generally more difficult to hire a public adjuster if it is possible, especially if your claim is big. These professionals aren’t tied to the insurance company, so they are wanting to get the truth, not seeking to minimize the insurance company’s payout.
6. Do Not Use Their Vendors
As soon as they have assessed the water damage, your insurance company has another 15 days to make a decision about your claim. If they approve some or all the assert, they have another 5 days to send you the money.
During this time period, the insurance company may encourage you to use their vendors. They have their own trusted technicians, roofers and restoration experts. However, these professionals receive their work via the insurance company, so they are very likely to support the company’s best interests instead of yours. You need someone who is on your side, so choose professionals you trust to make the repairs.
Are you concerned about optimizing your water damage claim? Restoration Brothers Knoxville will take care of your claim for you, from begin to finish. We are going to make sure your best interests are served and that you get the policy to which you are entitled.