We know that stress levels skyrocket after any home disaster, especially in the case of water damage with its potentially lingering effects. That’s why we put all the information you need to know together with these water damage insurance claim tips, so you can keep stress to a minimum if the unthinkable does happen.
How to File a Water Damage Insurance Claim
If you’re standing ankle-deep in a flooded basement, take a deep breath and remember that you have a plan. The first two calls to make after a water damage event are to your insurance agency or representative and to a Water Damage Restoration Company, If you live in the Washington DC metro area, give Flood Doctor a call. We are the highest ranked water damage restoration company in the area. With over 20 years of experience, no matter how big or small your flood damage, we have the manpower and expertise to handle it.
If you do not live in the Washington DC metro area, do your research before hiring a water damage restoration company. Often the ones who advertise the most and you might have heard of are not the ideal company to go with. Without naming any names, most national water damage restoration companies have deals with insurance companies. They do the job as “cost efficiently” as possible, and in return, the insurance companies keep sending customers their way. What does this mean for a homeowner? It means that if they work for the insurance company and not you. If they can save them money by keeping water damaged carpet that should be replaced, they will do that. If they have to replace a wall in your home, they won’t paint the rest of the walls to match. Knowing full well that insurance companies would cover that. A good place to start looking for a reputable company is the Institue of Cleaning, Inspection and Restoration Association (IICRC).
“The IICRC is a certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associates, the IICRC serves more than 25 countries with offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.”
After you’ve made those calls, there are a few more steps to get your water damage insurance claim resolved:
- Review your homeowners or renters insurance policy. Your insurance company or agent can provide a copy if the original is missing or damaged. The declarations page has important information regarding your policy’s water damage coverage, deductibles, limitations or exclusions. It also should list any claim filing deadlines.
- Take photos and/or video of the damage before any cleanup or restoration begins.
- If you remove items from the water damaged area, don’t throw anything away until your claims adjuster has done an inspection. If mold is a concern feel free to put them outside. No adjuster expects you to keep contents covered in mold.
- Work with professionals like Flood Doctor for damage assessment, cleanup, and restoration. A professional company can quickly perform complete water extraction and drying, pack-out services, board-up and full mold remediation as needed.
- Gather the necessary information needed to file a water damage insurance claim. This information may include, but isn’t limited to:
- Date of loss
- Location of damage
- Contact information for the property owner
- Your personal contact information, if you’re not the property owner
- Receipts for all cleanup, repairs and other related costs
- Receipts for lodging and meals if you had to leave your home before or during cleanup and repair
- Complete list of all damaged items and building materials
- Keep detailed records or a log of each person you speak with at the insurance company. This log should include the date and time of the call, the representative’s name and a brief description of your conversation. Keep a copy of every written communication with the insurance company, including a file for digital communication like emails.
Flood Damage The average homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover floods that originate from the outside on the home. If the water comes into your home from outside rain, or an outside drain back up you need Flood Insurance. However, if the water originates within your home, water damage caused by a broken pipe, sewer backup or failed drainage lines, or even if your sump-pump stops working and backs up into the basement; a typical homeowners insurance policy will cover that.
It’s important to know exactly what your homeowner’s insurance policy does and doesn’t cover regarding water damage, so always check your policy first. Any type of water damage event is stressful. Let the experts at Flood Doctor help you get through the process without headache or hassle. From water extraction to the restoration of your artwork, books and important documents, our professional teams can help you get through the crisis and get back your life.