When it comes to unexpected home repairs, water leaks can be both destructive and expensive. However, Your homeowner’s insurance policy might provide coverage for the damage caused by a water leak.
Water damage claims are common among homeowners, caused by factors like flash floods, faulty plumbing, or frozen pipes. We’ve compiled some valuable tips in this blog to ensure a successful claim.
By following these tips, such as identifying the source of the leak, documenting the damage, and seeking professional help, you can improve your chances of receiving a good settlement.
How To Make A Successful Water Leak Insurance Claim
To ensure you receive the coverage you deserve, it is crucial to understand how to make a successful water leak insurance claim.
Claiming insurance for water damage can be a bit complicated, but by following these steps and tips, you can improve your chances of a successful claim.
Get the leak under Control
In many homes, water leaks occur because of plumbing problems. Look for the source of the leak and try to stop it. If it’s a burst or leaking pipe, turning off the main valve should help. For smaller leaks where the source is unknown, try turning off the valve that supplies water to your appliances.
It’s important not to attempt any repairs until an insurance company representative assesses the leak and the resulting damage. Controlling the water leak is just a temporary measure to prevent more damage to your home.
Prepare your evidence
Once you have stopped the water leakage, it’s important to document everything for your insurance claim. Take videos and photos of the leak’s source, the areas affected by the leak, and any evidence of damage.
Make sure to document water damage behind appliances, cabinets, and any damaged items in closets and drawers. If there is mold or mildew, take pictures of that too.
While your home restoration company will also document the damage, it’s a good idea to have your own documentation as well.
Seek professional assistance with Water Leak Insurance Claim
If you’re not sure how to make a successful water leak insurance claim, it’s wise to seek help from an attorney.
They can guide you through the process, make sure you get the coverage you deserve, and handle the documentation and negotiations with your insurance company.
Having an attorney by your side can relieve stress and improve your chances of getting a fair settlement.
Talk to an Attorney
Once you have taken control of the water leakage, it’s important to contact your insurance agent or company right away to report the damage. They have emergency numbers that you can call even outside of regular business hours.
When an adjuster from your insurance company inspects your home for water damage, it’s important to collaborate with them. Understanding common tactics used by insurance claim adjusters can help safeguard your interests.
The adjuster will determine if the water leakage was your fault, but in most cases, it’s beyond homeowners’ control. They will also guide you on starting the repair and restoration process, which is the next step to take.
Get Professional Water Damage Restoration
It’s crucial to address water damage promptly, as it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew within a day.
If the damage is significant, it’s recommended to seek professional assistance. Professionals may need to pump out standing water and use cleaning agents to prevent or remove mold.
However, be cautious when hiring water damage/restoration companies, as they may overcharge due to the urgency of the situation.
Insurance companies are often hesitant to provide recommendations. To avoid excessive costs, it’s wise to obtain quotes from multiple companies before committing to any contracts.
Assess the safety of staying in your house
If your home has suffered extensive water damage, it may be safer to temporarily leave the premises.
Flooding can lead to contaminated water, mixing of chemicals, and the risk of electric shocks. Mold can also grow after severe water damage.
Check your home insurance policy to see if it covers hotel accommodations during such situations. Some policies may also provide coverage for dining expenses.
Contact your insurance agent to discuss your options and find out how much the insurance will cover and what costs you need to cover yourself.
Stay in Touch with Your Insurance Provider
It’s important to stay in touch with your lawyer and insurance company when making a claim. This will help keep the process on track and avoid any delays.
Keep copies of all your communications and documents related to the claim, and don’t hesitate to ask your insurance company for updates on its status.
Discuss Your Settlement Offer with an Attorney
Before agreeing to a settlement offer from your insurance company, talk to a lawyer.
They can explain the offer to you and give advice on whether it’s fair or not. If needed, they can also help you negotiate for a better settlement.
Negotiate the settlement for repairs
When dealing with smaller claims, negotiation may not be difficult. However, larger projects can be challenging when it comes to aligning the adjuster and contractor.
In such cases, your independent insurance agent can be a helpful resource. If you’re not comfortable with negotiating the details of replacement materials, you can ask your agent to act as a middleman.
They have experience with this process and can assist in presenting your case effectively.
What Water damages are covered by the insurance policy?
Most home insurance policies provide coverage for common issues like a burst or frozen pipes, sudden plumbing or appliance issues, ice dams, roof leakage, and even vandalism.
However, there are certain situations that are typically not covered by home insurance. These include water leakage from old rusting pipes, leaks from old and unmaintained roofs, groundwater or floodwater seeping into the basement, water leakage due to unrepaired faucets or toilets, and any damage caused by fungus, mold, or rot.
It’s important to review your policy carefully and consider additional coverage if needed to protect against these specific situations.
Insurance companies typically do not provide coverage for the cost of new appliances or features that were not already present in your home before the water damage. However, dealing with water damage can present an opportunity to update and enhance the affected area.
Collaborating with an independent insurance agent can assist you in finding the appropriate home insurance coverage and successfully navigating the process of making a water leakage claim.