Water Damage Insurance Claim | Insurance Restoration MN
You’ve just returned to your home after vacation to find a flooded basement, perhaps due to a sewer or septic backup or broken water pipe and realize that in order to be able to get your life back on track you will have to have your house repaired. Or perhaps a drain clog caused the water in your sink to back up and overflow, and now your kitchen is a virtual swimming pool, right inside the house. What to do? Look for and bring out that homeowner’s insurance policy because you will have to file an insurance claim for water damage.
Water Damage Insurance Claims
The aftermath of a water damage event is not the time to discover what is and is not covered in your homeowners’ insurance policy. Too many people wake up to a flood, call their providers, and are politely told that they are on their own. Insurance, as it applies to water damage, is a tricky situation.
It becomes of utmost importance for homeowners to learn and understand their insurance plans, knowing what is covered, what isn’t, and making the appropriate adjustments. This is the only way to avoid being caught unawares when that upstairs pipe bursts or the local dam gives way. Find out if your insurance will pay for water damage.
Filing a Damage Claim For Water Damage
Your responsibilities, as outlined in most residential property insurance policies, include, but are not limited to:
• Give prompt written notice to the insurer of the facts relating to the claim
• Protect the property from further damage
• Make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property
• Keep an accurate record of repair expenses
Your actions should include, whenever possible:
• Stop the water leak/flow
• Remove standing water and begin drying the area
• Photograph the damaged property
• Remove water soaked materials
• Keep removed materials and move them to a secure, dry and well-ventilated area, or outdoors
• Protect repairable and undamaged items from further damage
• Keep an activity log, including a record of all contact with your insurance company
• Keep all receipts
• Don’t throw away removed or damaged materials until instructed by your insurance company
• Don’t jeopardize your safety
• Don’t make large structural or permanent repairs
• Don’t exceed personal capabilities
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to properly taking care of any water damage situation in your home.
Creating a Home Inventory
Creating a home inventory is one of the most important steps you can take in order to make sure you are adequately insured–and it can make filing a claim in the event of a disaster much easier as well.
Now comes the hard but necessary part – computing the damage costs. You’re probably at a loss, and don’t know where to start and how to do it. Here we’ll show you how and what to do step by step.
Call the Insurance Company
The first thing you’ve got to do is call your insurance company to inform them that you’re going to file a claim.
Make Temporary Repairs
Next, try to prevent further water damage from occurring by making temporary repairs. Make sure you keep the receipts for any repair work done, as payments for temporary repairs will be among those costs you will file for. What is important is that you’re able to arrest any water damage from further destroying your house. If you need to relocate, bring the receipts with you.
If there are any wet areas in your house, dry them and make sure there is enough air circulation to help speed up the drying process. This will help to minimize the growth of mold. Not everything that was damaged in your house may be eligible for insurance, so you must trust to save as much as you can.
Make a Home Inventory
Now you will have to separate the water damaged items from the undamaged ones, and make an inventory of the damaged stuff. Have a notebook ready, because you will have to list every single item that was destroyed.
We suggest that you work from room to room, listing the water damaged items in one room, then moving on to the next room. This will help you keep your list organized. Alternatively, you can group your list by category, such as all kitchen items together, all electrical equipment together, and so on. Make sure you don’t overlook anything, because once you submit your proof of loss, you may not be allowed to make any additions.
List every single piece of damaged item, making sure to include quantities, brand names, where you purchased them, the cost, model, and serial number. Describe in detail the damage to each item. Then, put in your estimate of the amount for each one. If you have receipts, attach them to your list.
Take Photographs for Proof
Your insurance company will need proof that the items you’re filing a claim for were really damaged, and the best way to show this is through photographs. A camera or a video camera will help, and will make it easier for you to substantiate your claim. Attach these photographs to your inventory.
Videotape or take wide-angle photos of entire rooms, which will help show the magnitude of a loss. If you use a video camera, you can record audio descriptions and make special comments. Take individual, close-up shots of expensive items and group shots of lower-value items. Zoom in on labels and special features, like signatures on artwork or serial numbers on appliances and electronics. Be sure to date each photo or use the date imprint function on your video camera.
When you inventory outdoor items, include bicycles, sporting goods, yard equipment and any other articles kept outside. While you’re outside, it’s also a good idea to photograph each side of your home’s exterior. Include your carport and other structures like a storage shed. Capture rare trees or shrubs and unusual landscaping. These things aren’t considered personal property, but it will be helpful to have a record of their appearance in case of a loss.
You Need A Water Damage Expert On Your Side
Water damage restoration is not a simple process and involves many stages using high powered equipment and expert knowledge so as not to cause further damage. A professional water damage restoration contractor will use innovative methods for water extraction and removal that involves drying of carpets, rugs, mats, floors and walls to deodorizing and disinfecting effect that restores your damaged areas.
When your home or business suffers water damage there are a lot of different things demanding your attention. The last thing you want or need is to have to deal with the insurance company and that entire process. Look for a Certified Minnesota Restoration Expert that is insurance approved. They can answer all of your questions about the insurance claim process.