How to Handle a Water Damage Claim

Fall is approaching, and with it, the chance for some wet weather. If you find yourself stopping the rain from dripping into your living room and cleaning up any sitting water on the carpet and furniture, you may be wondering….So what now?

Notify your insurance company as soon as possible if you have a claim. To help the claims process go more smoothly, consider the following:

  • You may already be familiar with your policy. If not, give it a quick read or ask your local agent for clarification.
  • Have your policy number ready when you call your company.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the damage.
  • Take photos or videos of the damaged area and property. Pictures are essential if you make repairs before the insurance adjuster has seen the damage.
  • Don’t throw away anything until your adjuster has seen it.

You may be required to notify them in writing, so follow up with a written notice with all of the necessary information about what happened. If you need to make some reasonable repairs to protect your home from additional damage, go ahead. Try to hold off on significant structural or permanent repairs until your insurance company says it’s okay. Keep a log of everyone you spoke with at the insurance company (include the date, time, name, what you talked about) as well as a list of everything you spent on repairs, plus receipts. Your insurance company will even pay for your additional living expenses if you have to leave your house during the repair.

After filing the claim, you should expect to hear back from the insurance company within a day or two. They will tell you about how the claims process will work and if you have any additional responsibilities. Your claim will be assessed, and a settlement amount is decided after a review of the damage, coverages selected, and deductibles applied. After repairs the repairs, some companies will send a second check for the balance of your claim once they get the bill for the contractor’s repair job.

Along with your typical homeowner’s insurance coverage, you may be able to add coverage to backup sewers or drains, protection from sudden and accidental water damage from a plumbing, heating or air conditioning system, and even mold remediation. Take note that your policy does not cover floods. Flood insurance is available under a separate policy.

If you have any complaints about how the settlement of your claim, call your insurance company’s customer service or claims department. If they cannot resolve your issue, you may want to get in touch with your state department of insurance.

Do you have questions about how to file a water damage claim? Ask one of our insurance experts today for free!

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