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General Advice About Water Damage Insurance Claims
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, hundreds have been displaced or suffered water damage to their property. In addition to the flooding or hurricane damage, there may be residual effects from leaking water damage and mold damage over time. Here are a few facts about water damage and the steps necessary to repair the damage from flooding, along with general advice for contacting your insurance company over water damage claims.
Be careful when dealing with flooding on your property, because damage from water is inexorably linked to mold growth – whenever one occurs, the other is not far behind. Water damage needs to be properly assessed and dealt with in an expedient manner. Whether your property has a leaky roof or heavy flooding from unexpected weather conditions, remember that time is of the essence when dealing with significant flooding or excessive water in your home. You need to remove the water from your property immediately in order to minimize mold and water damage. The more damp and wet an environment, the faster and more dangerous the mold growth on your property can become. Contracting a professional water restoration company to appraise your property is the wisest decision, unless you have personal experience dealing with water damage and mold growth on your property.
Many times water damage is covered in your insurance, although there are many different clauses – you should know your own policy and keep in mind the specifics of your individual case. If you find it necessary to file a homeowner’s claim, you should make sure to make a fast list of your possessions. Check your records for prior photos of your home interior to provide irrefutable evidence. Take current photos as well for comparison. You may wish to take a few steps to slow or stop the flow of water. Use tarps to protect a leaking roof or attempt to dry out flooded areas. Make sure you keep track of your expenses and ensure you are comfortable with what you are doing. If you are not comfortable, let a professional deal with it over risking your personal safety.
Document everything you do and let a local water restoration contractor provide a free estimate. Also document all your communications with your insurance company – missed calls, appointments missed, and rude behavior should all be properly recorded, if you have to take legal action in the future. When you are in communication with your insurance company make sure to thoroughly read everything you sign. For example, if you need a payment up front from the insurance company, make sure that it is not the only claim payout you can eligible for. Also refuse to sign documents if they are not factual, such as an instance where all damage is not flooded related but the documents you are asked to sign reflect the opposite. Make sure everything you sign is correct in all aspects. Sometimes your policy may require you to pay a certain amount before you can begin an insurance claim. Typically this represents between one to five percent of your homes insured value if applicable.
If you have water damage from a burst pipe, flooding or any other source, call Restoration Local 24/7 at 1-888-443-3110 for a free estimate!