Accidents and disasters happen, and we get to experience life altering events at least a couple of times in our lifetime and no one is immune to it. Some people have more luck than others, they only get to experience severe water damage in their homes, while others are not fortunate, they may experience hurricanes that will really damage their houses and put their lives in danger. Insurance companies offer several policies to protect the homeowner from any accidents or disasters. One of the most disastrous and difficult situation to be in is having severe water damage in your home.
Water can damage all parts of your home, and it can lead to the growth of molds which is also equally disastrous and hazardous and will be more costly to fix. Water damage needs to be addressed quickly, as the conditions of the insurance policy with regards to water damage must not be more than fourteen days. If you have an insurance policy against water damage then you can actually make a water claim and have the insurance companies replace the damaged parts of the house and fix your broken pipes or any other case of the water damage.
But before you can make a water claim, you must know that your insurance company will not shoulder the repair and replacement of the affected area in your home if the cause of the water damage are natural disasters and long-term leaks. If you have a flooded home from the most recent hurricane in your area, then the insurance company will not pay for it. If your home have water damage brought about by a long-term leak, such as more than fourteen days, then it automatically disqualifies you from making a water claim. More often than not, the presence of molds is used as an indication that the water damage had been going on for a long time and this will make it impossible for you to make a water claim. You will probably have to pay for every damage that was caused by the leak, and that is a huge problem for any homeowner. So if you discover a leak, make sure that you immediately fix it and report the water damage to your insurance provider and file for a water claim.
How Bad is a Water Damage and How Can Water Claim Help?
Next to fires, water damage is probably the most problematic issue you could have in your home. For one, water damage is brought about by a water leak which can come from pipes, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and other susceptible appliances, while it could also come from rain and strong winds, and burst pipes. If you have an insurance policy on water damage, then you make a water claim as soon as you can since the water claim processing takes a lot of time and for the average homeowner it can be utterly confusing. Moreover, water damage is very bad for your home, the water can seep into hardwood floors, walls, insulation and furniture. The moisture and the dampness of the usual parts of the house affected by the water damage may readily lead to the growth of molds, and molds are very bad for the health. Mold spores can travel through the air and can cause various diseases and illnesses. Moreover, you cannot kill the molds once they have taken hold of the area, you need to replace all of it so as to make sure it does not pose a health threat. If water seeps into the inner walls and insulation, it can also cause electrical shortages and grounding which again is very dangerous for the homeowners. Without a doubt, water damage is a very bad thing to have in your home.
Making a Water Claim
When you have discovered a water leak in your house, make sure to act immediately and call for an expert and licensed plumber to fix the leak and you need to ask the plumber to make a report of his observations and to document the water leak through pictures and videos and the before and after pictures of the leak and its surroundings. All of this will help in facilitating that your water claim is processed by the insurance provider and you would not want to submit lacking documents as it may get your claim disapproved. Water claim is the claim you make against your insurance provider for the replacement and fixing of the damaged areas in your home brought about by the water leak.
What You Need to Make a Water Claim
After fixing the source of the water leak and making enough documentation about it, you still need a lot of things to make sure that your water claim will be approved in the shortest possible time. So even before you submit your water claim papers and documentation, make sure to have on hand any part of the pipes or appliances that have been damaged as the source of the water leak. This can include broken pipes, damaged filtration system, broken washing machines or dishwashers, water heaters and other materials. You also need to have photos and videos of the leak and it must have the date and location stamped into the photographs so that your insurance providers can actually tell when it was, so they could not argue that it has been going on for more than fourteen days.
How To File A Water Claim
Making a water claim has to follow a limited time line for your insurance providers to accept and process your claims and to increase the chances that your claims will be approved. First off, when you discovered the water leak that caused the water damage, hire an expert who can attest that the leak was accidental and it had not been a long-term one. This will make sure that your insurance provider will not deny your claims on the ground that it is a long-term leak. With the appropriate documentation and the report from the expert plumber you hired, you can now file your water claim at your insurance company. After receiving your water claim, the insurance providers will send water claims adjuster to your home or property to inspect the original leak, make sure to have your evidences with you and present this to the field inspectors. Then the insurance company will send field inspectors who will identify the areas of the house that is covered by the claims and make a quote of the amount that they will be shouldering.
What Does Water Claims Pay For?
The funny thing with insurance providers is that they will try to squeeze out from the policies that are insured to them, they are only going to pay for the minimum amount that they can manage to negotiate. Per practice, it is customary for insurance providers to pay for the repair and replacement of what has been damaged by the water leak. If the leak was from a burst pipe, they would only replace the pipes that burst and not the entire pipeline, if the water damaged your hardwood floors in the kitchen, it will only replace the actual damaged floor panels and not the entire kitchen floor. In order to get the maximum amount as indicated in your policy, then you need to hire your own public water claim adjuster.
Water Claim Adjusters
Water claim adjusters are experts in the processing of water claims, they have a good understanding of the processes involved in making a water claim from your insurance providers. More so, that your insurance provider will also be hiring their own water claim adjusters and will try to work with you and pretend to help you but they are really being paid for the insurance company for their benefit, and that is to make sure that they pay the minimum amount. Thus, getting your own water claims adjuster will make sure that your best interests will be prioritized. Also, the adjuster is authorized by the state to represent you in the negotiations with your insurance providers. Field adjusters are probably the adjuster you need to look out for, their job is to visit the location and interview you, and then determine the costs of repair and replacements and suggest this to the insurance provider. To make sure that you do not get low balled by the field adjuster, do not give them the idea that you are not completely honest with them and what had happened in your home.
Most insurance companies will tell you to get an insurance policy as it will cover the maximum coverage, however what they do not tell you is that making an insurance claim is too difficult and frustrating that more often than not, insurance policy holders would not even contest how much the insurance provider should cover for the repairs but just that they will pay whatever amount it is they can pay for. No one would be want to be stuck in a long and tedious process of filing a water damage claim, and this is where the public adjusters come in. A public adjuster will make sure that your rights are protected, and that the insurance company will respect whatever is stipulated in the insurance policy. It would be a smart more to protect yourself from the tactics of the insurance provider by hiring your own public adjuster. The public adjuster have been authorized by the state to deal and negotiate in your behalf with the insurance provider and you get the most out of the policy you have paid for events like these.
Water Claims Restoration and Repair
After all the field inspections and evaluations have been made, and the water claim have been approved with the set policy the insurance provider will then order a restoration team be sent to your home to assess and then carry out the replacement or restoration of the damaged area of the house. Even if this is a good news, your expectations should not be set so high, the insurance provider will not pay for the replacement of all the hardwood floors, it will only pay for the costs of repair and replacement in the damaged area. For example, if half of your floor in the kitchen have been damaged by the water leak, and it would look better if you just replace the whole floor, this might not be the case since only half of the floors will be fixed by the insurance company, and you need to shoulder the other half if you want it all replaced. This is also the same for walls and other parts of the house that has clearly been water damaged. Also, the insurance provider will permanently fix the problematic pipes but not all of the pipes in the house. If you do decide to have them removed and replaced, you need to shoulder all of the costs.
At times, the insurance provider will hire the cheapest workers or firms to get a bargain from the costs of the restoration and this would often mean substandard and poor quality work. No responsible homeowner would want that to happen, and you can actually ask the insurance provider to pay for the repairs and restoration by a contractor of your choice. Although most insurance providers would make it difficult for this to be approved, it is your public adjusters effectiveness to pull it off.
Different Kinds of Claims
Aside from the repairs and restoration, the insurance company can actually pay for a number of claims as a rider to your insurance policy. However, the insurance companies do not want you to know them. The different type of claims include situations as when you are unable to live in your own house because of the repairs, then you can claim for Additional Living Expense and or loss of use coverage which can be used by the policy holder to charge hotel expenses or food expenses. If the damage has destroyed the kitchen and you are unable to prepare food in it, then you can have the insurance company pay for the meals you had to purchase while the repair was being done.