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Water Damage Insurance Claim: What To Do?

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Water Damage Insurance can be tricky and can happen at any time. There are great chances that water damage will happen to you during your homeowner’s lifetime. Water damage insurance claims are among the most common types of property claims and the primary source of frustration.Indeed, water damage can be a nightmare — first, the stress it causes and the destruction. Then, the administrative maelstrom it generates. Finally, the financial impact it creates for homeowners and insurance companies.The trickiest part of water damage is and always will be the extent of your water damage.


The extent of your water damage is always difficult for homeowners to quantify and fully determine the extent.

Hence, if you speak to your insurance representative based on what is visible to you at the moment of the call, you may have inadvertently created hardship for yourself.

So, if water damage happens to your home or business, there are a few things to know.


Check your insurance policy.

In a nutshell, there are many different water damage insurance coverages, and they all vary. Before calling your insurance to log a water damage insurance claim, always ask for a certified copy of your insurance contract.

Ask your insurance inside sales representative or agent to include all provisions, exclusions, and conditions. An insurance policy is a complex document with sometimes conflicting and confusing provisions for homeowners that are not used to reading and interpreting them.

As an insurance policy uses a specific language, there is no shame in asking for a specialist’s second opinion. In some cases, public adjusters can help you clarify obscure sections of your insurance policy.Even if most insurances cover for accidental or sudden damage, like in the case of a burst pipe in a basement, a toilet overflow, or sewer backup, other forms of water damage appear progressively and cause other issues to your building structure.

In the case of mold, for instance. Mold can develop progressively following water damage that was not identified or if the remediation was not appropriately handled. Typically, most homeowners would call their insurance and file an insurance claim for water damage to cover the remediation work. Of course, most people expect their insurance to cover this type of water damage fully.
In reality, most of these claims are denied or do not cover all costs involved in the repairs because of a different interpretation of the insurance policy.

​To avoid coming to that dead-end, there are a few things you can do.

What To Do Before Getting Your Water Damage Insurance Claim Denied.

Here is what you should consider when preparing or dealing with your water damage insurance claim:

  • Prepare the documentation: Obtain records from all of your receipts and pictures of valuables. ​
  • Take photographs of the disaster. If you were a victim of water damage, leave objects the way they are, even if items are floating on the water in some extreme cases. If there is still water in your basement, do not extract the water immediately yourself and do not clean. Take pictures first.
  • Contact a restoration company for advice and help to deal with the mitigation and containment. Once the restoration company is on-site, take pictures of the triage and clean up process. Take photos of the carpet, objects, and furniture being removed. ​
  • Have the restoration company investigate and analyze the root cause and assess your water damage’s entire scope.
  • Make an informed decision based on the restoration company’s feedback to contact your insurance and proceed to an official water damage insurance claim or not.
  • Team up with your restoration company to get estimates for the repairs. ​
  • Connect with your insurance based on your restoration company’s feedback. The restoration company can negotiate with the insurance company directly to fine-tune the scope and cost of the reconstruction part based on the inspection report.
  • Engage in the restoration phase.

Key Takeaways

  • Home insurance policies cover water damage when it is sudden or accidental. Most water damage insurance policies do not cover gradual water damage that occurs over time.
  • You can determine if your insurance policy covers gradual water damage by reviewing your insurance policy’s specific wording. Talk to restoration experts who are used to handling claims or public adjusters. They can help clarify specific wording.
  • To make your life easier, decide whether or not to file a water damage claim once you have discussed it with the restoration company. ​
  • Document every step of the damages.
  • If you decide to file a claim without using public adjusters or a restoration company, and it gets denied, immediately contact your insurance provider to learn why. It’s possible that you might need an endorsement policy to get water damage coverage. ​
  • Remember that you may avoid water damage if you do periodic checks, assessments, and repairs around your house. It is especially true for non-accidental or non-sudden water damage.
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