Water Damage | Water Damage Insurance
Water damage cleanup, repair and restoration can be a costly operation, and surely you’d want to receive financial help from your home insurance policy. In fact, water damage is one of the top reasons why most home insurance plan holders make claims.
Unfortunately, home insurance tends to be tricky when it comes to water damage, which is why many people have had negative experiences when claiming insurance benefits for their water damaged house.
The biggest challenge in making a water damage insurance claim lies in determining whether your water damage problem is covered by your policy. But even if you are uncertain about whether your insurance plan will cover your water damage expenses, it is still best to report any water damage incident to your provider.
Water Damage Insurance Reporting
Even in the panic of finding your home flooded, don’t forget to call up your insurance company to report the damage. Ask them about the step by step process they require in making a claim, and you may also ask for some recommendations on which water damage companies you can trust. You are not obliged to heed their advice, but there’s no harm in including the recommended companies in your comparisons when you ask for quotes. If you have had any kind of water intrusion, a proper inspection by a Certified (IICRC) Water Damage Restoration Professional can help detect water intrusion issues early, saving thousands of dollars in repairs costs.
After receiving your report, your insurance company will most likely send an agent out to evaluate and document the loss, but in the meantime, before you or your water damage restoration service start the cleanup, take pictures of your water damaged home. After extracting the water, you should also take pictures of your water damaged floors. Take individual photos of everything that get damaged, including water damaged ceilings and walls, furniture, and even small loose items. These photos will come in handy when you make a claim; some homeowners have even taken videos. While taking pictures, write down these damaged items in a list. The goal is to give your insurance company a clear idea of the full extent of the damage.
Other documents that can help make your claim stronger include cost estimates, a complete water damage report, and receipts of repairs, restoration, and even sanitizing services you used. If your insurance agent and water damage repair company comes up with a different cost estimates, they will have to agree on a single amount, usually halfway between their estimates. Just make sure nothing is compromised in terms of the complete repair and restoration your home will need.
Homeowners Insurance on Water Damage – What’s Covered and What’s Not
Since policies cover different types of losses, insurance companies have different standards, and water damage is caused by many reasons, not all water damage incidents are automatically covered. Water damage incidents that are covered are those that occur due to material defects such as dishwasher malfunctions or burst pipes, and those that are accidental in nature. However, insurance companies will not pay for damage caused by neglect, carelessness, or poor maintenance.
There are exceptions, though. There are sudden and unexpected reasons that are beyond your control that insurance agencies nevertheless exclude from their basic coverage. These include water damage caused by natural disasters such as heavy rainfall or river overflows; such damage is considered to be flood damage, which is a common exclusion. Usually, home insurance policies offer separate coverage packages for the water damage incidents their basic plans do not cover. This way, homeowners have the option to purchase additional coverage. The most common optional coverage packages offered are flood insurance coverage, sewage damage coverage, and coverage for fire water damage, among others. These optional coverage plans may double your premiums, though. But since you are purchasing these added coverage plans as a contingency just in case the covered incidents occur, you should consider getting a higher deductible, which can decrease your monthly premiums.
Is Your Home Insured Against Water Damage?
Will My Insurance Cover It? Yes. No. Maybe. The single most confusing element related to water damage is what is and is not covered. Find out what you have, or don’t have, and learn what you need when it comes to water damage and your insurance.