Tips for Filing a Water Damage Claim
Following the recent catastrophic events caused by Hurricane Harvey, Texas is still fighting to rebuild its structures. Homes and buildings were destroyed, and some were even lost because of the storms. The most common damage that was caused was water damage due to the flooding. Many people had to escape the floods by climbing onto the roofs of their homes. Many were also rescued by boats, rescue teams, and volunteers.
Thankfully, countless lives were saved. One of the biggest tragedies that victims had to face was returning to their homes and finding their special belongings destroyed – or gone. On top of cleaning up the mess and worrying about their families’ safety, they have to start thinking about insurance. After a tragic event, there is nothing is more stressful than dealing with insurance companies. How can you ensure you are covering all your steps with the insurance agent?
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
About Water Damage Coverage
Did you know that some of the most common home insurance claims deal with water damage? Water damage is the second most recurring claim, right behind wind and hail damage.
There are many different types of water damage, and your insurance plan may not cover all of them. It is important to review your plan or call your insurance company to ensure your damage will be covered. Some of the most common types are sudden or accidental discharge, sewer backup or water backup, overflow, flood, or storm-related water damage.
Many insurance companies can be finicky when it comes to water damage claims. For example, gradual damage is usually not covered. In order for the damages to be covered, they usually need to be sudden and accidental. Gradual damage is self-explanatory. It refers to damage that has been building up, growing, or worsening over time. Some examples of gradual damage include plumbing (leaking faucets, etc.), water seeping in from cracks in the foundation, mold, corrosion, lack of repairs, and more.
Usually, we only pay attention to the inside of our homes, like the refrigerator, decorations, etc. There are so many other components that keep everything protected and working properly. It is essential for you to regularly inspect your home and schedule proper maintenance of the key components in your home. By doing this, you can rest assured that you will find an issue as soon as it presents itself.
What You Need to Do
Review Your Policy
As stated earlier, not all types of water damage may be covered by your plan. Review your policy before you start filling out unnecessary paperwork. If you cannot find your plan, call your insurance company. You can also speak to an agent about adding extra coverage, extending dollar limits, and other relevant issues if the plan does not cover the extent of the damages.
Record the Proof
Pictures and videos are going to be your best friend in proving your case. If there is anything that is damaged or broken, document it. You may be asked to have a time stamp on your picture, so make sure the time is also being recorded on whichever device you are using for documentation. Make sure you don’t throw away anything or start cleaning up the mess that was created before doing this. An insurance adjuster is likely to come and inspect the property, so the scene should look like you described it.
Create a Detailed List of the Damages
In order to be compensated for your lost items, you need to have a detailed inventory of everything that was affected by the water damage. Be sure to list the make and model of each item, including age, condition, value, and replacement costs. This is very tedious and may seem like a waste of time, but it will help greatly once you meet with the insurance company to review your claim. If you want to be properly compensated for your belongings, be sure to be as thorough as possible.
Remember, even though you will list the value of your items, the insurance company will adjust the pricing to match its decreased value – from age, wear and tear, etc. You will most likely only receive the cost to replace those items based on their current state.
Ryan Orsatti Law in San Antonio, Texas
If you need assistance with filing a water damage insurance claim, contact Ryan Orsatti Law. Your initial consultation is always free! Insurance companies only want to help themselves. Make sure you are covering all your steps to ensure you will be properly compensated for the damages. Call 210-525-1200 to speak with a representative today!