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Water Damage Claim – What You Need to Know

by Olufisayo
Water Damage Claim

If you have ever asked any insurance agent, he will tell you that one of the more common reasons for an insurance claim is water damage. This is why it is lagging closely behind hail and wind claims.

But, you might be surprised that quite a lot of water damage claims are never really approved. The reason varies like a few because of the gradual damage. And there can be times that it is due to the claimant’s mistake in filing the claim.

How to File Your Water Damage Claim

Quite a lot of homeowners will prefer to wait a while until at least the water have been cleared. They will wait before they make the call to tell their insurance agent. However, it is important to note that contacting your insurance agent immediately should be priority number one as soon as tragedy strikes.

And even before starting the clean-up, you should already have taken care of the most vital transactions you should have with your agent. It is quite obvious for everyone that if you ever have a leak that have not already been resolved, then the cause should be fixed as soon as possible. This is so that further flooding can be prevented and damage will not accumulate.

It is not a good idea to wait up and start cleaning up the damage done by water first. This will only become messier than the predicament that you are already in.

And should it not be reported as soon as possible then it could become the reason why insurance company will deny you from getting the water damage claim that they owe you. Before we dive in into specifics, let us first define the two kinds of leaks as they require different approaches.

Sudden Leak

Sudden leaks are leaks that may be attributed to water pipes that broke or maybe any other form leakage that suddenly transpires without any warning. It is much easier to get water damage claims from these kinds of leaks.

Chronic Leak

These kinds of leaks are ones that can cause gradual damage over a lengthy time period. This is because this kind of leaks can be because of a roof leak or a leaking pipe.

As an insurance policy holder, it may there may be good reason for you to expect that the leak will be resolved as soon as possible. And because the leak will be allowed to continue causing your property damage, there is a possibility that your insurance company deny any claims as the damage may not be repairable.

Definition of Gradual Damage

There is much issue regarding gradual damage in insurance claims. Whenever a property is damaged and it happens in a slow manner over a lengthy period of time, it can then be considered as gradual damage.

When the small leaks in pipes over a period of time causes damage to house components such as the floor, the ceiling or the walls then it can be classified as gradual damage.

Should you have tried to ask for a claim for repairs to the damage from the insurance company, then it has a huge risk of being denied. This could happen even if the said problem have gone unnoticed.

The reason for this is because it can be considered as a long-standing problem because the damage that was incurred neither sudden nor accidental.

To the insurance policy holder, there may be reason to feel unjustly treated whenever a claim is denied by the insurance company. This is because you were only aware of the problem when it finally surfaced and started affecting the way you live.

But, as insurance companies goes, they have been structured in a way that will cover any sudden and accidental damages. And they will always hesitate to take insure damages that could have been done over a period possibly lengthy period of time.

Gradual Damage Recourse

Should you have determined that the reason for your damage is actually done by gradual damage, there are still options left for you. There is always a good reason for you to have a discussion with your agent.

He/she can try to reword the request and even the exact details presented by the policy you are enrolled in. These policies can have gradual damage exception, however there is still a chance that an exception can written be put into your existing policy.

What are These Exceptions

Broken Appliance or Pipes

When you have a broken appliance or a broken pipe such as a dishwasher, a washing machine, or any appliance that normally works with water, and they unexpectedly and suddenly breaks down because of wearing and tearing, there is an ample chance that the damage done could be covered in the policy you are enrolled in.

Usually, the replacement of the appliances or pipes is not part of the coverage for most water insurance. However, if the damage done is because of a breakage then it could still be.

How to Get Water Damage Claim

The first thing you ought to do is to get in touch with your agent. And you have to ask him/her the exact requirements that you should gather. It might be a good idea to have review the insurance policies tied to your home before making that call.

This is because there can only be so many details that you can ask and still be unsure about plenty of things with the underlying legalities regarding insurance claims.

The first things that your insurance may ask are the following

  • A written notice promptly putting into writing important details such as the reason for your claim.​
  • What you have done to ensure that the damage does not spread to your other properties that may affect the claim total amount.
  • The reasonable and necessary repairs that you have undertaken so you can protect the properties you own from any further damage.
  • A detailed record of all the expenses incurred during the whole ordeal.

Get Evidence

Of course it is important to start cleaning up as soon as possible. However, it is just as vital to get a recording of the damages done on your property.

Should you for instance be asked by your insurance agent some questions, then you would be able to answer with a firm proof of the exact damage and even how the accident transpired.

You can take some photos or even record a video document of the surrounding prior to starting with the clean up. Should there be any standing water, such as mud or some molds then you should have documentation of those as well.

This can help you should the worst thing happen and will assist your agent in understanding current predicament that you are in.

You can start by listing the properties that were damaged by the incident. You can write in the carpets, furniture, appliances, or anything of value that needs replacement or repairs because of the incident.

When you have yourself supporting photos of the event, it could be quite handy. And especially when you come up with problems in your insurance claim, it is always a good idea to go back to cold hard evidence.

Before anything else, you always have to wait to hear first from the insurance agent. Even prior to doing any large or permanent repairs on a structural level.

As with all insurance agencies, the insurance agent could be required to do a proper inspection of the water damage in foot. If you decide to proceed with the repairs without expressed consent from a representative of the insurance company, then there is a chance that the insurance claim could be denied.

Clean up and Repairs

As soon as possible there should not be standing water left. This should be taken care of and the immediate area to start drying as quickly as possible. This can all commence immediately right after the documented evidences are properly acquired.

The materials which are soaked in water has to be taken off the wet surroundings and placed on a well-ventilated and dry area. You should never throw away anything as trash, at least before your insurance agent gives you the go signal.

When taking care of all the water damage done, you should be sure to take caution. Accidents involving water can have a lasting effect on structures and can make them brittle thereby becoming a hazard for those intending to do clean up.

The better thing to do is to use professional tools in drying up the place and have the structural integrity of the building checked before proceeding.

As soon as you begin your clean up you should begin with a log of any activities that you have undertaken that is meant to boost your chances of getting your claim.

If in any case that you find a way for your insurance company to raise doubt in regard to your claim, then you will be armed with enough facts and well documented details for your perusal.

You should try to include all discourse with the insurance agent, including any steps that you have undertaken with repairing and cleaning up the damage.

As with photographic evidence, the receipts are also deemed as important and just as handy.

Even when the materials that you have bought are intended for temporary repairs, they may still be reimbursed by the insurance company so it is best to keep them. And this can also prove as your evidence that you have done everything that you can to prevent the damage from getting worse.

You should take hold all of any of the damaged properties that you have. These items should be  kept at least after your agent assures you that they have a record of it.

There is nothing better to prove the validity of your insurance claim than holding the remains of your destroyed property in up in front of your insurance agent.

Make sure that you have constant communication with your insurance agent. You should never try to spend substantial amount of money that you intend to be reimbursed with before you talk to your agent.

The amount that you should take out from your pocket should never be more than what you were willing to pay for even without a reimbursement forthcoming.

Should you get over excited and become financially irresponsible in your response to the repairs and clean up of your destroyed properties then you may have trouble with the bill should the insurance company decide to deny you the claim or even if they deny you the amount that you have preferred.

What to Do if it your Water Damage Claim goes South?

Unfortunately to some homeowners, there is a trend that coverage on the insurance claims may be denied of insufficient to rebuild the lives of the policy holder.

This is the reason why it is so extremely important for you to get a hold of your agent as quickly as you. The insurance agent should be able to adequately give you a thorough insight into how to process your claim and avoid any expectations that is beyond what your coverage can afford you.

And should the worst happen and you get denied your water insurance claim, there are still a few steps that you can undertake.

Ask for a detailed explanation

It is everyone’s right to hear from the insurance company exactly what happened and why you were denied your claim. Ask them to tell you the precise policy statement that makes you ineligible to get your claim from them.

While they could give you an answer that may be satisfactory grounds to turn your claim down, there is a chance that they have made a mistake and you can formulate your basis for a claim.

Ask for another opinion

There are many companies that offer water damage claim consultancies that can help you should things not turn out the way you expect it too. You should try to set up a meeting with one of these agencies and they could help you with your water damage claim.

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water damage August 1, 2019 - 10:31 AM

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