Water damage is one of the most common insurance claims that homeowners have to file. In fact, about 40% of all homeowners have experienced a loss from water damage at some point in owning their home. Even though it is commonplace, it is one of the trickiest claims to get right. There are many factors that insurance companies will take into account and proving the value of the damage is a little harder to prove. Is something actually damaged, or is it just a little wet? That is what an insurance company will try to ask.
So what can you do to make sure that your claim will go more smoothly? Here are some things to keep in mind!
Should my water damage insurance claim be covered?
In the vast majority of cases, your water damage should be covered by your insurance. Water damage is included in almost all insurance packages and covers a wide variety of different ways that water damage can occur. Here are just some of those types of damage.
Different types of water damage
Caused by excessive rain or other natural causes. This is oftentimes NOT covered by a standard insurance policy, but it depends on the cause of the flood.
Causing foundational issues in your home that could let water in.
Can be caused by many factors outside of your control including overall system backups from high rainfall levels.
Sump Pump Discharge
System failure causing water from a rising water table or outside pressure from building water.
As you can see, there are many different ways that water damage can occur and not all of them are covered by standard insurance policies. It is important to be familiar with your policy so that you can get the maximum settlement possible.
Why could my water damage claim be denied or result in a reduced settlement?
Like we mentioned before, Water Damage claims can be extremely tricky and there are a lot of ways that insurance companies try to get out of giving you a fair settlement.
The most common way that this can happen is if the insurance company feels that you were neglectful of your property which is what caused the damage. For example, if you own a second property and are not there very often so you choose to keep your heat off. Because of this, the pipes in the house freeze and burst causing damage. An insurance company will try to deny this claim because it could have been avoided.
This is also true with different things like household appliances. Let’s say you have a sump pump that is on the older end of its life and it fails right before a rainstorm causing your basement to flood. An Insurance company may try to say that you were neglectful in replacing the equipment that could have prevented the problem.
It is also important for you to know exactly what is covered in your policy. Flood insurance, as we previously mentioned, is often not a part of a standard policy. Knowing what is covered and what is not in your policy is an important step in the entire process.
What to do if your homeowners insurance claim is denied
If your claim is denied, your next step should be to contact a public adjuster. I know, I know, it seems a little self-serving, but it really is the best next thing you can do to make sure you can get a fair settlement from your insurance company. We know all the ins and outs of every insurance policy and know exactly what should be covered and what is not.
Hiring a public adjuster puts an expert in your corner to talk to the insurance company for you and show them that you won’t settle for anything less than what you deserve.
If you want to learn more about what we do as public adjusters, feel free to contact us or check out this blog!