Filing a water damage claim with your insurance company is not as straight forward as you think.
Sure, you call them to file the claim, tell them what happened, and expect them to pay for your damages. But let’s take a deeper look into some of the things you should do:
Things you should do when filing a Water Damage Claim
1. If needed, get a plumber out as soon as possible. Have the plumber document the water damage to include areas that were damaged such as baseboards, floors, etc.. While most plumbers will simply write on their invoice like “replaced leaky valve under sink” ask them to also write what was damaged because you will be making an insurance claim.
2. Document any water damage by videos, photos, having neighbors come observe, etc…
3. Contact a water mitigation company to perform a dry out, remove baseboards, cut into the drywall
NOTE: Make sure when you contact a water mitigation company that they DO NOT hold you responsible for any money that the insurance company doesn’t pay OR if the insurance company doesn’t pay the water mitigation company within 90 days.
This is what I would do. Have the mitigation company write on the contract that they will not come after you (property owner) if the insurance company doesn’t pay them or you write this on the contract. Now, if the insurance company denies the claim then you might be responsible for the bill. However, even if it’s denied, the water mitigation company should have a process in place on how to file a lawsuit again the insurance company. The water mitigation situation is tricky when the claim is denied.
Tips when filing a Water Damage Insurance Claim with your Home Insurance
4. NEVER NEVER NEVER say the leak has been there “a Long time” “we never knew we had a leak” “we noticed the leak a few months ago”
DO NOT USE WORDS LIKE: Long time, Didn’t Know, Don’t know how long, Repeated Leak, Long Term Leak, Constant Leak
5. USE THESE WORDS when you talk with the insurance company and/or the claim adjuster for the insurance company
“My water damage”
ALL OF A SUDDEN
HAPPENED A COUPLE DAYS AGO
You can even say a leak happened a week ago up to two weeks ago. I wouldn’t say the leak happened past 2 weeks though.
6. Why is it important to say the leak recently happened or just happened?
This is a key point
EVERY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY STATES THE FOLLOWING IN SOME FORM:
REPEATED OR CONSTANT SEEPAGE OR LEAKAGE IS NOT COVERED
Was your water damage claim denied?
More than likely, if your water damage claim was denied, it was denied because the insurance company has determined that the leak is a long term issue. They might even go so far as hire a leak detection company and/or engineer to support their denial. These “hired guns” are paid by the insurance company to support the denial so I put very little credit into their findings. I deal with these “hired guns” all the time and at the end of the day, they have no impact on getting your claim paid when you are represented by a good public adjuster like myself. We have ways to ensure your claim is paid and circumvent the insurance company’s denial. The insurance company will more than likely send you a denial letter, quoting the insurance policy, and why the claim was denied. DON’T EVER TAKE WHAT THEY SAY AS GOSPEL. You should always at least have a professional take a look at your claim to see if they can help you. IT COSTS YOU NOTHING TO HAVE A PUBLIC ADJUSTER REVIEW YOUR CLAIM!!!!
If you need help with your claim, let me see if I can help you, feel free to call, text, or email me.
Mike (754) 252-5438