As a homeowner, you must know how to best maximize water damage claim. Once your ceiling starts dripping or your plumbing begins to leak, you will be grateful for having homeowner’s insurance. All the damage must be covered when you make a water claim- right?
Maximize Water Damage Claim
Unfortunately, it is not always the case. Your insurance company will find ways to lower your claim. But don’t get stressed, yet. There are ways you can do to maximize water damage claim. Follow these tips.
Minimize the Damage
The first thing to do in order for you to maximize water damage claim is to make sure that you minimize the damage.
When you realize that water damage is happening to your property, take all the necessary steps to limit the damage. If you didn’t intervene or do something to control the damage, your insurance company will deny some of your claim or the entire claim.
Your actions depend mostly on the type of water damage you are experiencing. If the damage was caused by a windstorm that broke your window and the rainwater gets into your house, you can board up your windows to control the damage. If the water damage was caused by a plumbing leak, you should turn off the main water valve. You may use a tarp to prevent rainwater to seep into your house if you are having a roof leak.
Call in professionals right away. It could be a plumber, a roofer, or a restoration specialist. They can give you ideas on how to control the damage, and they can start with the repair. But, it is best to leave affected areas that require major repairs unless your claim has been settled. Because there could be a chance that your insurance company will not cover the whole amount of the repair. Instead, get an estimate that you can show to your water claim adjuster.
Don’t throw anything, yet. Keep all damaged items in a plastic bag or container. You can use it as your physical proof to the water claim adjuster. By doing so, there is a chance for you to maximize water damage claim.
Another thing you can do to maximize water damage claim is to collect evidence.
Your insurance company will look for evidence to study the damage. Luckily, nowadays, gathering pieces of evidence are easy with the use of our smartphones. Capture photos of all the damage. You can include everything and anything that can be the cause of the damage.
You may also take videos that can be used to back up your photo evidence. Videos are more convincing and they can provide a better view of the damage, even though you can’t be very thorough with the videos. When you have your videos as your proof, you don’t have to explain everything in the case you have to take your water claim to court. A good tip from a pro; describe what you are seeing while you are taking a video. A piece of good evidence can help you to maximize water damage claim.
Together with photos and videos, written evidence can also be useful. Make a list of the damaged items or belongings including the value and replacement cost of each item. If you are not sure of the right cost, your restorer can give you insights into the value of the item.
Let the professionals who work with you help you with making quotes and reports that explain what happened and the amount needed to fix the damage. Professional plumbers and roofers should know this procedure. Moreover, make sure to keep the receipts for quick repairs.
Third, and one of the most important things that you must do to maximize water damage claim, is to report it.
This time, you have to call your insurance company. Never delay this as it can deny your claim. Even if you think you can do the repairs on your own, contacting your insurance company will save you headaches later on. Even if you are unsure that the damage will be covered, contact them still. Your insurance company will tell you if it is covered or not, and doing so does not have fines or penalties.
When calling your insurance company, make sure that you have your policy number with you. They will surely ask you that. Then, you will be instructed to fill up a “proof of loss form”. Get a copy of the form by asking them to send it to you through email or access it online.
If you feel that doing the process is complicated and worried that you won’t find time for it, you may ask your restoration specialists to do it. They are experienced in handling all types of claims and can help you to maximize water damage claim.
Identify the Damage. Is it Water Damage or Flood Damage?
These two types of damage are entirely different from an insurance company. Floods are created by nature and usually affect a big number of homes (large rural properties can be exempted) while water damage involves everything else, from leaking HVAC equipment to broken pipes.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies indeed cover water damage; however, not all cover flood damage. Check the type of water damage you are facing with your insurance company. They will enlighten you with the procedure; the right form and the accurate coverage.
So, before asking the insurance companies to maximize water damage claim, make sure that you know exactly the type of damage that happened to your property.
Hire A Public Adjuster
The process for the insurance water claim can take some time. There are only 15 days for your insurance company to send you an adjuster, who will be assessing the severity of the damage. It is way better to hire a public adjuster, especially if your claim is large. These professionals are not tied up to any insurance company, thus they will evaluate the damage fairly and will focus only on finding the cause of the damage, instead of focusing on minimizing the insurance company’s payout. A good public adjuster can help you to maximize water damage claim.
Avoid Using their Vendors
Last, in order to maximize water damage claim, make sure to avoid using their vendors.
After evaluating your claim, your insurance company has another 15 days to decide whether your claim is true or not. If the claim has been approved, they have another 15 days to send you the money.
At this time, your insurance company will do an effort to convince you to use their vendors. Your insurance company will have a team of roofers, plumbers, and restoration professionals. Yet, these people collaborate directly with your insurance company, so they will work for the benefit of your insurance company, not for you. You would want people to work on your side, so it is better to choose professionals you can trust for any repairs and restoration.
What Would You Do If Your Water Damage Claim Was Denied
If your claim was denied and you believe that the claim should have been approved, look for a licensed professional or an organization that specializes in consumer advocacy to get a second opinion.
You may try to file an appeal directly to your insurance company. They will assist you and provide details of what you need to do in order for you to maximize water damage claim. Doing this will not guarantee that the claim will be approved. Just make sure to present the necessary documents or proof to support your claim.
Doing the process to maximize water damage claim can be very stressful and you might be worried that you are doing it alone. Superior Restoration will handle the claim for you, from beginning to end. We assure you that we are on your side and will do our best for you to get the coverage you are eligible for.