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Is Water Damage Covered by My Insurance Company
Not all insurance is created equal, as not all damage is created equal. Insurance companies can be finicky about what they are and aren’t willing to help you repair. The majority of homeowners insurance covers at most types of water damage, but the devil lives in the small print. Depending on the damage, your insurance company may consider you to be at fault – whether or not that actually seems fair.
If the kind of water damage you’ve experienced in your home is covered by your insurance, it’s easier to handle than you may think. If it’s one of the many kinds that’s not, half the battle is knowing what to do.
Understanding What Is and Isn’t Covered
Homeowner’s insurance will cover any water damage caused by a structural fault in your home. This means common issues such as roof leaks and burst pipes are probably covered under your policy. Sump pumps that have malfunctioned usually fall under the same umbrella. If the damage involves mold and the mold was caused by the fault in your home, your insurance will probably cover the mold removal as part of the damage recovery process.
The majority of homeowner’s insurance policies won’t cover things that they can find a way to blame you for. This means malfunctioning or improperly used appliances that cause water damage will generally become out of pocket expenses. Leaking dishwashers, washing machines, or refrigerator water lines are difficult to negotiate with your insurance company. If they believe that your error as the user or improper maintenance of the appliance is responsible for the water damage, they won’t cover it.
Some extended policies cover these things, but they’re almost never covered in bare bones plans. If you’re unsure, check your policy or call an agent with your company. They’ll let you know. Water brought in from outside sources, such as overflows of any kind or flooding, are not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Unless the water came from within your home, it’s considered by the homeowner’s insurance company as an unrelated problem. If you live in an area that’s prone to storm flooding, you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. General homeowners insurance will never cover floods, no matter how long you spend arguing with them on the phone. If you have flood insurance, you’ll find you have more options at your fingertips in the event of a disaster. Consider whether or not you need a separate policy if it isn’t already too late.
Considering Preventative Measures
If significant damage hasn’t occurred yet, or if it has and you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again, the most cost effective step to take would be implementing preventative measures. The preventative measures you take will vary based on your home and the area of the United States you live in.
If you have a crawlspace, it may require special care. Water sitting in a crawlspace can cause the area beneath your home to rot and develop mold. Your house can easily face damage from the ground up. If you live in a part of the country that faces harsh winters, your pipes can burst from freezing and thawing, causing damage that’s difficult to control and ameliorate. Consider waterproofing your crawlspace.
If your home is old, you should inspect your pipes. Any sign of moisture outside of the pipe, as well as visible corrosion or rust, are signs that your pipes should be replaced before they become an issue. It’s far easier and more cost effective to tend to disasters waiting to happen than it is to resolve the aftermath. The same goes for leaky faucets and plumbing connections that have started to degrade with time.
Procrastinating simple repairs is one of the most common causes of water damage. It’s far cheaper and a lot less time consuming. Waiting around can cost you thousands of dollars and a dry home. It’s better to shell out a few hundred for a fix than it is to wait until things get out of hand.
How to Start The Process with Your Insurance Company
If the water damage you’re dealing with is of a variety that’s recognized by your insurance company, a water damage restoration process will be able to deal directly with the company. They’re used to handling adjusters, so they know how to best present your issue. They’ll be able to document the damage and help you submit your claim.
All you need to do is provide the information to the restoration specialist. They can handle the facts and figures, working with your adjuster to compile costs and submit photos during the damage restoration. This method is pretty hands-off for the homeowner, and is the ideal situation. You won’t have to worry about much.
It’s important that you don’t attempt to repair any of the damage yourself. If you inadvertently create more damage, this can affect your insurance claim. Don’t do anything unless a restoration specialist gives you the green light first. If the company is paying for you, you have nothing to lose by leaving everything to your hired contractor.
Where Do You Go For Help?
Whether or not your water damage will be covered by your insurance company, you’re going to have to find a restoration specialist who can complete the job for you. Waiting around too long can cause the damage to spread, so you’ll need to act immediately. Companies like Restoration Local are experienced in helping homeowners find top-notch, highly rated restoration specialists.
Restoration Local works with hundreds of elite contractors across the country. Give us a call, and we can send one out to provide you with a free estimate. Emergencies can happen at any time, so our phone lines are always open. The sooner you act, the better the outcome will be. Your home will return to its pristine state, and you’ll have less to stress about when you know that everything has been placed into capable hands.