There are normally two main causes of water damage: a weather-related event or an in-home event. Weather-related water damage events include wind driven rain, freezing, flooding, snow melt, etc. In-home events include burst pipes and appliance or plumbing issues. According to the Insurance Journal, more water damage is caused by in-home situations than weather.
When you experience a water damage issue, you need to know whether insurance will pay for water damage repairs — and how to get back to pre-loss condition for your home or business.. At 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, we have worked with business owners and homeowners as part of their claims process and offer these insurance claim tips for water damage.
Does Your Insurance Policy Cover Water Damage
Review your insurance policy to see what is covered for water damage. Most insurance policies will cover sudden and accidental water damage, but you should always check your policy specifically. For example, What is sudden and accidental water damage? This is damage that occurs if a burst pipe causes your drywall and ceiling to become damaged. However, if you had a leaky pipe for several months, it is less likely your policy would cover the resulting damage.
Insurance Journal notes that 53% of non-weather water damage insurance claims are related to plumbing. Knowing how to make a successful water leak insurance claim will make the outcome of your water damage situation easier to handle.
Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim
While your tendency may be to start remediating the water damage problem, there are three steps you need to take before you do anything else:
- Determine the source of the water and take reasonable measures to stop it from flowing.
- Review your policy to see if water damage is covered.
- Call your insurance agent to report the claim.
How to Maximize Your Insurance Claim
If your agent confirms you have an insurance claim, you need to prepare to work with an adjuster or complete a proof-of-loss form. Things you should do before the claims adjuster arrives include:
- Temporarily protect your property to prevent further damage. For example, if you have a damaged roof, cover your roof with plastic sheeting or plywood. The key here is temporary. You should not make any permanent fixes until you have met with the claims adjuster. Keep your receipts for any expenses you incur in performing these temporary measures.
- Document damaged items. Make a list of all damaged items and include photos or videos where possible. Do not throw anything away; you want the claims adjuster to be able to see the items in their damaged and current condition.
- Consult a water damage professional. At 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, we offer an assessment of the damage that you can present to the adjuster. The assessment is there to provide guidance and a cost estimate on restoring your home back to pre-loss condition.
The claims adjuster is trained to assess the damage to your home so the more information you can provide, the greater opportunity you will have your insurance claim covered. The Insurance Information Institute found that the average insurance payout for a water damage or freezing claim was $11,098.
The claims adjuster will provide you with a suggested proof-of-loss statement, which you then submit to your insurance company.
How much does insurance pay for water damage? That depends on your policy, the extent of the water damage, and your deductible.
Flood Damage and Your Insurance Policy
Standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. There is insurance available to protect against flooding through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is managed by FEMA. Flood insurance is a separate policy for property owners, renters, and businesses. Even if you live outside of a high-risk flood area, NFIP may be something to consider.
Hiring a Professional Water Damage Company
We’ve helped thousands of homeowners facing a water damage insurance claim, and we cannot stress enough how important it is to know what you’re facing for water damage restoration. Oftentimes, the damage can be more than what you visually see. Without an experienced professional assessment of the damage, you can be facing costly repairs in the future that might have been covered by your initial insurance claim.
When facing an average claim of more than $11,000 for a water damage or pipe freezing incident, it’s worth having an assessment by a professional water damage restoration service to ensure all aspects of the damage will be included.
The Plumbing Assessment
More than half of all insurance claims from in-home water damage are caused by plumbing problems. This could be a clogged pipe, accidental damage, improper installation, extreme weather, and even tree root damage. If a plumbing issue has caused your water damage problem, you will need a plumber to fix the broken pipe and permanently stop the leak or flooding. Following that repair, 1-800 WATER DAMAGE extracts the standing water and assesses the damage.
The Flood Assessment
Time is always of the essence in a water damage situation, and that’s certainly true when you’re facing flood damage. The 1-800 WATER DAMAGE team works quickly to assess the damage, remove water and restore your property to its pre-flood condition. Common areas of flood damage we treat include:
- Cracks in the walls or flooring
- Foundation damage
- Oversaturated drywall
- Contaminated water removal
- Mold and mildew growth
- Carpet and upholstery damage
Mold: The Hidden Issue with Water Damage
When we assess a property for a water damage insurance claim, one of the areas of concern is the potential for mold to establish and grow. Mold starts to form within 24-48 hours if left untreated and can result in additional damage to your property.
For this reason, mold restoration and removal are a natural part of the services offered at 1-800 WATER DAMAGE. When dealing with water damage, your focus is mostly on the restoration. You may not be aware of how mold can develop and your situation can worsen with exposure. Without a mold assessment, you may notice spots or smells weeks later and have to remediate the situation, reliving your water damage issue all over again. It’s always a good idea to have a mold assessment for any kind of water damage.
Contacting 1-800 WATER DAMAGE
When you call 1-800 WATER DAMAGE, we will assess your water damage and provide you with reliable solutions to return your home to its pre-loss condition. From a burst pipe to a flood, our professionals have the right tools and knowledge to assist with a water damage insurance claim.
We are available 24/7 online or by calling our 24-hour emergency service line at 1-800-928-3732.