Homeowners, renters, and condo owners are all at risk for water damage. Homeowners can get coverage through their insurance company, but many don’t have flood insurance.
Homeowners know that water damage is a common problem. In the past year, they filed over 26,000 claims. Many claims are covered by home insurance, but many others require flood insurance.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage claims are only second to wind and hail damage. With water’s boundless potential, you should be careful of its many different forms.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common water-related claims and six tips for dealing with them.
Types of Water Damage Insurance Claims
While it’s important to try and prevent water damage claims, some are simply unavoidable. One of the most common types of water damage is flooding, which is also the most common natural disaster on earth. Despite not being covered by home insurance, you can still protect your home, possessions, and financial future by purchasing flood insurance.
Flooding isn’t the only type of water damage. Homeowners’ insurance policies often cover other types of water damages, including water damage to structures on the property, personal belongings damaged by water, and loss of use of your property from water damage.
Below are the 10 common types of water damage, some of which are more common than others.
- Flood damage
- Sewage Backup
- Clogged Toilets
- Structure Damage from Heavy Rain
- Structure Damage from Melting Snow
- Roof leaks
- Cracks in Foundations
- Plumbing Leaks
- Pipe bursting
- Appliances Breaking
Now that you are aware of the most common types of water damage, let’s talk about the best water damage insurance claim tips to handle these scenarios.
You may also want to check out our recent article discussing whether or not home insurance covers storm damage.
1.) File a Claim ASAP
The first thing you can do when you notice water damage is to file a claim with your insurance company. If the water damage was due to flooding, you’ll need to file with your flood insurance provider.
Regardless, the quicker you file a claim, the quicker an adjuster can assess the damage, and the quicker you can get a check for the repairs that will get your life back to normal.
2.) Carefully Document the Damage
To document the damages, take photographs and videos documenting the standing water/flooding in your home and then take pictures of every item that was damaged by the water to ensure you get an accurate assessment.
Documenting water damage is challenging, but it’s important to know how much you’re experiencing. Documenting everything will give you a rebuttal for any damages that can’t be seen during the claims process.
A home contents list can help you more accurately document your possessions, figure out how much you paid for them and calculate their current value. The list is simply a document listing all your possessions when you bought them, how much you bought them for, and any pictures of the items if you have them. It will be an important document for your water damage insurance claim to ensure you receive an accurate claims adjustment.
3.) Drain Any Standing Water
To prevent water damage additional water damage from standing water you will need to drain it as soon as you finish documenting all your damaged possessions. After that, it’s important to drain the standing water. This will help stop it from traveling to other areas or getting any worse.
4.) Dry Any Water Damaged Areas
Water can take a long time to dry up after it has been standing for some time. You’ll want to drain any standing water and put fans on the wet areas in order to get your possessions and the floors and walls of your home back to normal.
This is especially important if you have carpeting, as it can retain water for up to 2 weeks. To dry the water-damaged areas, lift a few corners of the carpet and place fans in the room to dry up the affected areas.
Drying the area, especially the walls and carpet thoroughly, will help to prevent mold from growing. The last thing you want to do after filing a water damage claim is to have black mold start growing and infect more of your home.
5.) Keep Damaged Items
Once the water-damaged spot is dry, you should keep all other items in your home that were affected by it even if they seem OK at the moment. An insurance adjuster will come over to examine them and then offer what to do with them. We take into account how much the damage was and the extent of it (Up to 5 quotes)
If something on the property is on the list of covered items, don’t throw it away until you receive written authorization from your insurance company. They may need to assess how much it’s worth so they can give you a settlement.
6.) Start the Recovery Process
Unless your roof or walls have been extensively damaged and are still allowing water to come in, it is best to wait until you’ve been informed on what type of repair work you may be able to do on your own. Your insurance company will give you more information on this.
People can sometimes get anxious when they are waiting for their insurance claim to go through. But the best thing you can do for temporary repairs is to cover any leaking areas with something like tarps or plywood while you wait on the claims process.
Your home is often the greatest investment you will make in life. And the most common home claim? Water damage.
Flood insurance can cover water damages not covered by your home insurance. Given the recent rise in natural disasters, it’s important to have lifetime coverage.
In addition to considering flood insurance, you can follow the above tips if you ever do have to deal with the very common water damage insurance claim.
Hopefully, these water damage insurance claim tips are helpful, we are standing by to help you with your home insurance, compare rates now.