How To Handle a Water Damage Claim

Following days of heavy rain, it seems as if your roof wasn’t ready to weather the storm.  You’ve finally stopped the rain from dripping in to your living room and cleaned up any sitting water on the carpet and furniture. So what now?

Notify your insurance company as soon as possible if you have a claim. To help the claims process go more smoothly, consider the following:

  • You may already be familiar with your policy. If not, give it a quick read or ask your local agent for clarification.
  • Have your policy number ready when you call your company.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the damage.
  • Take photos or videos of the damaged area and property. This is important if you make repairs before the insurance adjuster has seen the damage.
  • Don’t throw away anything until your adjusted has seen it.

You may be required to notify them in writing, so follow up with a written notice with all of the necessary information about what happened. If you need to make some reasonable repairs to protect your home from additional damage, go ahead. Try to hold off on large structural or permanent repairs until your insurance company says it’s okay. Keep a log of everyone you spoke with at the insurance company (include date, time, name, what you talked about) as well as a list of everything you spent on repairs, plus receipts. Your insurance company will even pay for your additional living expenses if you have to leave your house while repairs are made.

After filing the claim, you should expect to hear back from the insurance company within a day or two. They will tell you about how the claims process will work if you have any additional responsibilities. If they decide to take your claim (which will be decided within 15 days), they must pay you for estimated cost of repairs, minus depreciation and deductible, within five business days. After repairs are completed, some companies will send a second check for the balance of your claim once they gets the bill for the contractor’s repair job.

Along with your typical homeowner’s insurance coverage, you may be able to add coverage to backup sewers or drains, protection from sudden and accidental water damage from a plumbing, heating or air conditioning system and even mold remediation. Take note that your policy does not cover floods, as this is covered by a separate flood policy.

If you have any complaints about how your claim was handles, call your insurance company’s customer service or claim’s department. If they cannot resolve your issue, you may want to get in touch with your state department of insurance.

As the rain subsides and you start making repairs, aren’t you glad you decided to get a homeowners insurance policy? Though the damage may be irritating, rest assured knowing your insurance company is there to help bring your home back to normal.

Do you have questions about how to file a water damage claim? Ask one of our insurance experts today for free!


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