Storm damage. Faulty plumbing. Frozen pipes. These are just a few of the very common water damage problems Southern West Virginia homeowners face. Because water damage is so typical, it is the most common cause of home insurance claims. In fact, the stats say about one in 50 homes file a water damage insurance claim every year.
Knowing you’re not alone in having damp and squishy carpets only helps so much. But what will help a lot is knowing with 100% certainty that your water damage insurance claim will be approved. You don’t want to have to be out of pocket because of plumbing repairs, especially since you have homeowners insurance.
Most home insurance policies cover water leak damage, but there are, unfortunately, some exceptions. It’s vital to know the ins and outs of your policy and exactly what it covers. This post looks at what insurers generally cover and tips for filing a water damage insurance claim to help you understand the insurance claim process.
What Water Damage Does an Insurer NOT Cover?
Most home or renter insurance policies cover water damage, but it will depend on the kind of policy you have, the water damage source, and whether the water issue was sudden or gradual. Gradual water damage is usually not included because this would mean that it was not an accidental or sudden issue that caused the damage.
Gradual damage happens slowly over time, implying that you have not adequately maintained your water supply or plumbing. Generally, if you regularly repair and maintain your home, it will not deteriorate and fall apart. So it’s best to create a regular maintenance schedule, especially for those top-priority parts of your home like plumbing.
Examples of gradual damage include mold, rot, corrosion, deteriorating electrical wiring, leaking plumbing over time that damages walls and floors, cracks in the foundation or exterior of your home causing water seepage, general lack of home repairs, and damaged parts on the roof.
Tips for Filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim
- Move quickly
- Document the damage
- Keep damaged items
- Look for vendors
File a home insurance claim as soon as you notice any water damage and meet with an adjuster as soon as you can. If there has been a natural disaster or severe weather conditions, the sooner you start the ball rolling, the sooner you can receive a check for the repairs needed to get your life back on track. Read our helpful prep tips for filing an insurance claim.
Top Tip: Don’t start to make repairs without prior approval. You don’t want to get into a situation where you have begun repairs and are then told you are not covered for something.
Take videos and photos of the damage, including every item that has been damaged, not just the property damage itself. If you can, take pictures of the standing water before it recedes. The more you have documented, the better chances you have at producing evidence the insurer may need.
Don’t throw out your water-damaged items until the insurance adjuster has had a chance to examine them and made an assessment. They will decide how much money it will cost to repair or replace the possessions.
While the insurance adjuster is assessing the damage – they can take up to 15 days – look for vendors to use and get estimates for the work you need doing. So that when you have the go-ahead for repairs, you know exactly who to call.
Top Tip: You don’t have to use the vendors provided by the insurance company. Instead, do some research and find a company you feel is best for the job and know to be reliable and affordable.
Negotiate with the insurance company if you are not happy with the final assessment. And once you and the insurance company have agreed on the settlement terms, you should receive your funds within five days.
How We Can Help
Water damage is a job for the professionals at Restoration 1 of Southwest Virginia. We use professional equipment that can prevent mold growth and other adverse effects of water damage. And we also, importantly, know to look for possible structural issues that may have come about due to water damage. There is no substitute for professional restoration experts.
If you have any questions about water damage restoration, please contact us 24/7 at Restoration 1.