Whether you have sustained water damage due to a faulty water lining on your fridge or a leaking roof, your insurance company will be there to help when water damages your home, and your personal property. Here are some simple steps to help you file a water damage claim for your property:
First, you need to prevent any further damage from occurring. Take whatever steps you need to prevent any additional damage. An example would be a leaky or broken pipe. From there, you would turn off the water at the source. If you didn’t know where the source of the water leak was, you would turn off the water main.
Secondly, it is time to give your insurance agent or insurance company a call. It helps to have your policy number available to make the process easier. The agent will confirm the coverage you have, the deductible, what happened to your property, the damage that was done, and any damage to your personal belongings or contents. Each policy is different and coverage can vary depending upon the cause of the water damage. While storm damage is covered under a basic plan, water backing up from the sump pump usually is not covered unless you’ve purchased a water backup and sump pump plan.
As you talk with your agent, they will explain the claims process to you, and they will then assign an adjuster to meet with you at your property and begin a home assessment. This may be needed to conclude if the damages that were sustained were related to a recent event or if it has been on-going long term damage. After all is said and don’t, the agent will work with you to begin setting up a timeline for needed repairs.
From there, you should begin taking photos of the damages that have occurred on your property. Before you remove any of the standing water, you should take a couple of photos or record a video to send to your agent. By doing this, you are stating that this is a record of the damage and it will help move the claims process along. It is also advisable to share these photos with the adjuster when they arrive to your location.
If you will need the help of professionals but don’t know who to call, your insurance company can help you find a local contractor in your area. The contractors cost will generally be covered by your policy, minus the cost of the deductible. Make sure to keep any receipts for an emergency contractor’s clean up to submit for reimbursement from your insurance company.
An upside of using a professional contractor is that they can help determine the cause of the water damage and will help you understand what needs to be done to fix it. A contractor or a property appraiser doesn’t have the authority to determine your coverage, approve any payments, or begin repairs. Make sure that you don’t begin any large-scale structural repairs before initiating your claim and meeting with your adjuster.
Your insurance agent may ask you to complete an online log of your personal property that was lost due to water damage, as well as a statement outlining the damage of your home or business. You’ll need to provide them with the year, make, and model of any items that were severely damaged.