How to Get Insurance to Pay For Water Damage?

“You should not feel alone if you have to deal with an insurance claim for water damage. The average commercial and homeowner is routinely faced with insurance claims, whether living in a flood-prone area or suffering an unexpected disaster.”

 

Insurance to Pay For Water Damage

 

Property owners often carry supplemental insurance coverage if concerned about other maintenance issues, as basic policies tend to cover most sudden and unplanned events.

Navigating the terms of your policy and the requirements can be difficult when processing a claim. Still, by providing precise documentation and working with us, you’ll be able to ensure replacement costs cover the damage and that further damage does not occur.

Our professional team can assist you in making a case and how to get insurance to pay for water damage so your insurance company understands your needs, regardless of the cost of your repairs.

 

Does insurance pay for water damage?

A homeowner’s or commercial insurance policy may not cover all water damage. Depending on their location, property owners may be required to purchase flood insurance separately because properties on storm paths or near flood-prone water sources are more likely to suffer damage over time.

Depending on the degree of water damage, remediation may need to occur more often. Your property may also need additional coverage if your pipes freeze or a sewer backup causes seepage. Basic insurance covers water damage in the following ways:

  • A broken water heater or a burst pipe in the plumbing system
  • Damage from leaking roofs
  • Misfunction or overflow of an appliance (washing machine, dishwasher)
  • Injuries to personal property

 

How can we obtain insurance coverage for water damage to help pay for the expenses?

 

Find the water source and then take the necessary steps to stop the water from running.

Make sure it is safe before stopping more water from flowing where it shouldn’t. To stop the water flow, turn off the stops leading to your dishwasher, toilet, washing machine, or icemaker clockwise.

The main valve (which takes a wrench) can also be turned off. Check out this link for information on how to shut off a water supply valve. It is a good idea to check out automated shutoff valves and leak detection systems before calamity strikes.

In the long run, you may be able to save money on your home insurance if you make a bit of an investment.

 

Examine your homeowner’s insurance policy to determine if the water damages are covered.

A quarter of all home insurance claims in 2018 were for water damage. There were more claims for water damage between 2014 and 2016 than for fires and hurricanes. How do these figures translate into reality?

 

Report the claim to your insurance agent.

When it comes to flood damage, it is crucial to act quickly. According to FEMA, mold can appear between 24 and 48 hours after exposure. If your pipe bursts on Friday night, immediately contact your agent or insurance company.

To assist you with the claims procedure and provide cleaning advice, most insurance companies have 24-hour hotlines. An independent agent can help negotiate a settlement for damages much more effectively than a direct writer or a captive agent.

 

Engage an expert to remove the dampness and the water.

The first step to preventing mildew or moisture from developing is to have a water damage/restoration company remove any standing water and completely dry any surfaces.

Many companies offer restoration services for water damage; however, they differ. Some may attempt to profit from the need for immediate assistance in an emergency.

Verify the company’s license and insurance before signing work orders or contracts. Check the company’s internet reviews and ask your neighbors for references.

If the water disappears, the same company may not repair your walls, flooring, woodwork, ceilings, cabinets, and other structural elements. However, it is important to note that many water damage companies also offer contracting services and water and mold cleanup, so they may not be the best choice for your repairs.

Be sure to get at least one other contractor’s quote and consult with them before signing any contracts. If you need carpentry, flooring, or drywall work done, a carpenter, flooring, or drywall specialist is often the best option.

 

Consider whether or not you must get out of the house.

When a home has water damage, living in an unsuitable or hazardous environment is possible. Wading through household chemicals or wastewater when flooding occurs is not recommended, and electrocution is possible. Despite removing standing water, mold spores can still contaminate the air.

If you believe these problems exist, the WD/RC team can advise you on the best action. If you must leave your home, your insurance policy will cover the hotel and meals.

It’s important to know how much coverage (if any) you have for these charges and how you should front and document them (pay for them yourself before receiving reimbursement). If you decide to stay and eat elsewhere, take a copy of your receipts.

 

Take a picture of the area that has been damaged.

It is also important to bring photographs when repairing your house. The restoration team will likely take photographs, but you must include your own. If you decide to end your relationship with them in the future, getting the documents from them shouldn’t be necessary.

You should also photograph any items that need to be cleaned or replaced. Water damage involves more than just wet objects. Professional cleaning is also necessary for moldy objects in drawers and closets, and those costs may be reimbursable.

Note: Water damage insurance policies typically don’t cover the appliance that caused the problem. For example, your insurance may cover a leaky ice maker or dishwasher but not a new refrigerator or dishwasher.

 

Schedule an appointment with your adjuster.

An adjuster from your insurance company will visit your home as soon as possible. The team will assess the damage, take pictures, and measure it. The adjuster will also inquire about the cause and timeline of the damage.

 

Schedule an appointment with your adjuster.

 

Two objectives lie at the heart of his mission. His first goal is to figure out how much it will cost to repair the damage. Second, he wants to figure out who is responsible.

Think to yourself, “What if I’m the cause?” Don’t worry. In most cases, your insurance policy would protect you unless you caused the problem intentionally (for example, fraud in an insurance claim).

Insurance is necessary to cover accidents, even unintended consequences. Even if you cause a house fire by leaving a candle burning overnight, your insurance policy still covers you.

Similar approaches are taken to water damage. If you construct your toilet, you are still covered if water pours through your ceiling. However, the insurance company wants to learn whether someone else was at fault.

Consider the case where you didn’t install that toilet incorrectly; let’s suppose a licensed plumber installed it. In such a case, your adjuster and insurance company may pursue “subrogation,” which may involve suing the man’s insurer.

An appliance that malfunctions is no different. A faulty washer’s manufacturer may be sought for compensation from your insurance company. Your deductible may not be due if they successfully subrogate, which is good news for you.

 

Know the difference between the ACV and replacement cost in your settlement for loss.

Once your adjuster has evaluated your damage, he will provide a written restoration cost estimate. In addition to making a list of line items for labor and materials (drywall, paint, insulation mortar, tile, etc.), it may also be necessary to issue a check for some or all of this amount so that you can get the job done.

There may be a misconception that the settlement amount is too low. The total of your estimate likely relies on an actual cash value (ACV) unless your insurance policy specifies “replacement cost value.”

It is not the cost to replace your property or its purchase price. Loss settlements reimburse you for the new cabinetry you purchased 15 years ago with less depreciation. You can find more information about ACV versus Replacement Costs here.

There is one catch, however. Some insurance companies offer a “depreciation holdback.” This is when you prove that you paid your deductible and used all the money they gave you toward appropriate repairs.

You must send bank statements or canceled checks to prove payment to the vendors involved. What is the reason insurers use this type of payment? In part, they want to ensure your money goes wisely.

After receiving a water damage payout, a homeowner has repeatedly gone to Las Vegas but never repaired the damage. Aside from remodeling their property, they may have used the entire settlement to replace linoleum tiles with Brazilian hardwood.

An adjuster’s role includes keeping you on track for a fair and thorough repair. You and your mortgage lender receive settlement payments from insurance companies. Before depositing or cashing the check, please mail it to the mortgage company and have its Loss Draft Department endorse it.

The extra step may take longer and be more frustrating, but it’s important to notify your lender if a dangerous occurrence damages your home. They may need to have a house inspection after the repairs are completed.

 

Consult with several contractors.

Since the water has evaporated and mold or mildew is no longer present, now is the time to repair/rebuild the area. A modest job may need a meeting with only a few contractors. It might not be worth contacting, interviewing, and visiting several pros to save a few hundred dollars.

A big project requires you to partner with the best contractor, particularly one with many subcontractors. It is up to you to choose who to use this time rather than your insurance provider.

You are responsible for evaluating contractors, ensuring their current licenses and insurance, and comparing their prices with your adjuster’s settlement amount. Additionally, you may find that more than one specialist agrees if you believe your adjuster’s estimate needs to be higher by meeting with different contractors.

 

Coordination with your contractor for the repairs.

A modest claim may not need negotiation. Coordination with your contractor and adjuster can be a challenge for larger jobs. Your independent insurance agent can also handle this.

If you are apprehensive about haggling over like-kind replacement materials, your agency can be an intermediary. Asking someone with more experience with this process will help you construct the argument correctly.

 

What should you need to act quickly if you discover water damage in your home or business?

You need to act quickly if you discover water damage or a leak on your roof:

  • Determine where the water came from and mitigate any damage caused by it. Turn off the water supply to stop a leak caused by a broken pipe. In an electrical emergency, contact the fire department and the police.
  • Document the exterior damage on your property if a natural disaster triggered the leak.
  • If you have renters insurance, document the damage to any personal belongings. This information may also be useful to your landlord when filing an insurance claim.
  • Get a comprehensive inspection by our Restoration Company to determine the extent of the damage.

 

What can we do to avoid having the water damage claim denied?

Hearings and anecdotal reports increase the chances of your claim failing. Provide thorough and foolproof evidence. You should be able to provide evidence to support that the damage did not occur by a slow leak or lack of maintenance since insurance policies usually do not cover negligence or gradual damage claims.

Perform regular maintenance if you suspect something will break, and keep records of all property improvements. Don’t expect your insurance company to cover it if it fails. When the policy needs to cover mold mediation or damaged items, take photographs and videos of the damage so everyone involved knows exactly what needs fixing.

 

Bottom Line

Creating realistic and defendable expectations can help you get the best deal from your insurance company. Make sure you are aware of your policy’s exclusions and limits.

Be prepared to present all documentation to your insurance adjuster to support your claim and negotiate the appropriate settlement for the damage. You may have to pay a deductible when filing a claim with your insurance provider.

Do not hesitate to involve a restoration firm such as our Restoration Services in the insurance quote process if you receive pushback from your insurer.