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How Do I File An Insurance Claim For Water Damage?
Water damage is something that most of us are going to have to deal with as homeowners, whether it be a problem from severe weather, broken pipes, accidental spills, or whatever the case may be. One of the most pressing questions from many homeowners is whether or not their homeowners’ insurance will cover the damage, and how quickly they should file a claim once such a problem has occurred. Keep in mind that in some of the more flood prone areas of the country, flood insurance is mandatory, and there are a number of steps you must take if you wish to file a claim with your insurance for water problems.
First, see what kind of water damage you are dealing with, and make certain that your homeowners policy covers that type of damage. Standard home insurance may only cover a limited number of scenarios, and you may have to purchase more comprehensive coverage to make sure you are completely covered.
Contact your insurance claims department and tell them you wish to file a water damage claim. You will need to provide the necessary information such as contact details, insurance policy numbers and other info, along with the details of the damage done to your property.
You should also provide some documentation of the damage, such as a photo or video record of the scene, along with a listing of items damaged, water levels, and other property issues. Make sure all of this is in writing, and do not throw anything away unless it is a safety or health risk. Insurance adjusters may want to see some of these items when compiling their reports.
You may begin the water restoration process and make other repairs as necessary in order to prevent further damage to the home, however, refrain from making large scale or permanent repairs until advised by your insurance company to do so. Stabilize the situation and save all records and receipts for insurance purposes.
Make sure you have filled out a proof of loss form with your insurance. They can provide the necessary forms and explain how they are to be completed. Such forms act as a sworn statement to back up your insurance claim and is required by most insurance companies.
Don’t be shy about following up with your case as often as you feel is necessary. Most insurance companies will be diligent about processing your case and providing proper compensation, but if they are dragging their feet or you feel that the process has stalled, don’t hesitate to make a phone call. You have spent a lot of money and time paying into the policy so it is perfectly reasonable to expect them to be just as diligent when the time comes to pay out.
Lastly, the time to check your insurance and how it pertains to water damage coverage is now, before you have a problem. Make arrangements to speak with your insurance agent and learn what coverage you have and what additional coverage, if any, that you require.