Dealing with water damage is an extremely challenging experience, and that’s without getting the insurance company involved. The good news is that many types of water damage are covered by home insurance. The bad news is that you often have to jump through a ton of hoops to get your insurer to provide you with full compensation. Fortunately, our water damage experts at FP Property Restoration have dealt with so many disasters, we know how to help you receive a payout that lives up to the fullest extent of your policy. Keep reading to learn how to get homeowners insurance to pay for water damage, and remember, if your home experiences a sudden flood or storm, you can reach our team at FP Property Restoration 24/7 for emergency assistance.
7 Steps to Take So Your Water Damage Is Covered by Insurance
- Determine Where the Damage Came From: In some cases, such as when you are dealing with a burst pipe or flooding from a hurricane, it’s easy to know what caused your water damage. In other instances, however, determining the source of water damage can be difficult. Dishwashers, toilets, washing machines, and even icemakers can cause sneaky water damage that may be hard to initially detect. One of the best ways to do this is to turn off your main water supply valve, or the individual valves to your appliances, known as “stops.” This will not only prevent further damage from occurring, but can show you where the source of the problem is in your home.
- Call Your Insurance Agent: When it comes to insurance, sooner is always better. Failing to act right away may violate your policy, as it will give your insurance adjuster grounds to say that you could’ve acted sooner to prevent damage but did not take the opportunity when you had the chance. On top of this, mold can begin to form almost right away after water damage, and the quicker you inform your adjuster of your water damage situation, the better chance you will have of getting mold damage covered, too.
- Document the Damage: Strict documentation is absolutely essential when dealing with your insurance company, even though they are likely to make attempts to document the damage on your own. This way, if you catch something your insurer does not, you will have proof in order to include it in your claim and, hopefully, receive compensation. It’s also easier for you to say to your insurance adjuster that damage existed from the onset, as finding it later may give your insurance company a reason to believe you are trying to inflate your claim.
- Leave Your Home (If Necessary): While it is not always necessary to vacate the premises following water damage, there are some times when it may be essential. For starters, you do not want to live in a home where dangerous water damage has occurred; spending time in an area that has experienced significant mold growth or sewage damage may be hazardous to you and your family’s health. Moreover, not leaving your home after water damage has occurred may give your insurance company grounds to say the damage is not as severe as you have reported, and therefore less worthy of compensation.
- Review Your Policy: The better you know your insurance policy, the better you can advocate yourself throughout the insurance process. While coverage varies from state to state, policy to policy, and situation to situation, it is usually easy to receive compensation for damage related to sudden leaks, frozen or burst pipes, leaky roofs, vandalism, ice dams (this is not usually a major concern in Florida, but an ice dam is ice that has built up on and overhands your roof,) and certain kinds of storm damage. However, things like basement flooding, groundwater damage, long-term pipe corrosion, and even mold often are not covered under standard homeowners insurance, as they are typically viewed as things you could have prevented (whether that’s true or not.) And since you can bet your adjuster will definitely know your policy back and forth, it pays for you to know it, too.
- Meet with Your Adjuster: After you have done all the necessary preparation, it’s time for you to set up a time to meet with your insurance adjuster. Be ready to talk about the actual cash value, or ACV of your policy, versus the total replacement cost. And – frustrating as it may be – know going in that it is not in your insurance company’s best interest to provide you with full compensation, and that there is a significant chance they will try to lowball you. However, as long as you have done all the necessary work ahead of time, and are familiar with the terminology, you should be in good shape. Of course, there’s one other essential task to complete…
- Call FP Property Restoration: We kind of cheated here, as this is actually one of the first steps you should take, but let’s just say we saved the best – or at least most important – for last. At FP Property Restoration, we have helped countless satisfied customers navigate the insurance process. Our team takes pride in helping you get your property up and running again ASAP while ensuring you receive fair compensation from your insurance company. From water removal to catastrophe response, FP Property Restoration is here for you, and our experts always have your best interests at heart.