Water damage is one of the main categories of severe damage to homes, furniture, and even roofing structures. In severe water damage, you may need restoration services that may also include the repair and replacement of damaged items. Filing insurance claims for water damage may seem complicated. Fortunately, you may get indemnification to navigate the difficult times if you experience insurable damages. Prevalent ways in which water can destroy your property include through the window, door, and infiltration during an intense storm or hurricane.
Other damages may emanate from accidents, severe weather storms, plumbing hitches, and appliances. How do you navigate the process of getting compensation from your insurance provider? How do you ensure that you get the most out of your insurance claim? This article highlights how you can navigate the compensation process from water damage claims.
1. Secure Your Valuables
The first thing you’d want to do is secure the rest of the valuables before the water damage destroys everything. It also means salvaging whatever you can, including half-damaged items. Most of these items can go back to their post-damage conditions after a high-quality restoration process. However, don’t throw anything in the process of salvaging your belongings. The insurance company has a right to see these items before processing any disaster claims. At this point, things may be chaotic but don’t get distracted.
2. Document Any Damage Proof
Don’t make the mistake of throwing anything away. Like in personal injury claims, the insurance company would want documented evidence supporting your damage claims. Thus, photograph and videotape every water damaged item after salvaging whatever you can. Of course, there will be physical signs of damage on the floor and walls, but the pictures and videotapes may enhance the compensation process by creating additional proof of loss.
You may also want to file any receipt if you incurred any immediate expenses after the damage. This may include any urgent work to protect your property. Even so, the insurance company will have zero interest in unapproved repairs and non-urgent works.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
After documenting any water damage proof, you’d want to call your insurance company. Some people make the mistake of calling the insurance provider before salvaging or recording the damaged materials. This call is important because talking to your broker will help you determine whether you suffered an insurable peril. The insurance company would want to establish whether you made any material change in risk or liability without informing them.
After getting your side of the story, the insurer will send a professional to assess the damage situation and if it poses any risks to the neighbors. Professionals from the insurance company will help you clean the areas when assessing the cause of the damages. They may do humidity tests to determine the amount of water that may have leaked into your walls or floors.
The insurance professionals will also give you special aftercare advice to protect your property from disasters that don’t attract compensation. For instance, you may learn how to prevent mold infestation after the cleanup process. If the insurance company had specified that no work should commence without their approval, you might want to hold on to any plans until they show up.
4. Talk to Your Adjuster
The next step will involve talking to an insurance adjuster. In most cases, the insurance company will send an in-house adjuster. The adjuster will help assess the damage, recommend repairs, and facilitate the entire settlement process. At this point, your broker will only be there to watch as the final proposal regarding your indemnification lies with the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will review your documented list of damaged items and determine the work needed to restore your home.
Other factors that the insurance adjuster will review in the process include:
The overall claim and compensation process
Storage of items
Any waiver of deductible
5. Claiming Your Loss
Besides the damages caused to your property’s physical structures, you might also want to claim the loss of personal items like jewelry, furniture, or even money. The insurance company will send you a home inventory list to fill in all the damaged items. You might also need to give the reason why you’re making a claim. Insurance compensation processes aren’t that liberal, and this can be the most daunting task of all.
Some of the basic information that the insurance company may want you to fill in for every damaged item include:
Cost at purchasing time
The item’s condition
Any available receipts
If you didn’t buy the items recently, there are high chances that you can’t access the receipts. Moreover, the damages may wash receipts away. You can visit physical stores and retail websites to establish the exact cost of the items. If you bought them at a discounted price, you might also want to indicate the same.
6. Special Policy Limitations and Payouts
Have you read your insurance policy to determine some of its clauses and guidelines about limitations? Items of high value like cash, jewelry, collectibles, and landscaping may not attract full payment that reflects their value. The insurance provider will pay you up to the limit specified in the guidelines. For instance, if you had $10,000 in your bedroom and it all gets lost, you may get compensation of only $500 if that is the cash limit in your policy. Remember, the compensation process still aims to indemnify you instead of bringing gains.
7. Reconstruction, Bylaws, and Contractor Concerns
It is essential to note that the insurance company will have the final say on which contractor does the repair job. The company will consider all estimates gotten from different contractors to determine the one that meets their standards and budgeted payout. However, the reconstruction claims can be somewhat complicated if your neighborhood subscribes to particular community bylaws. In that case, the insurance may not pay for any repair or construction designs inspired by the local bylaws.
8. Factors Affecting Your Payout
Policy covers attract varying amounts of compensation, even if the damage is nearly similar. Primary factors that will influence your overall compensation amount include replacement cost, Actual Cash Value (ACV), and the replacement cost with a cash-out option. The ACV will reflect the depreciated value of the lost items. That means you’ll never get the exact value of the damaged item. The replacement cost will cover easily replaceable items. The insurance company may want you to replace the items before full settlement
The last replacement cost with a payout option caters to high-value homes and special policy covers. The amount of premiums payable for this option is higher than that of regular insurance. This payout allows full replacement cash value, obligations, or check-in-hand policies notwithstanding. Thus, this policy tends to give homeowners more flexibility than standard policies.
The Bottom Line
Following the above process will make it easy for you to get compensation. Don’t fret in a water destruction emergency. You only need to know what your policy covers to expedite the insurance claim and the compensation process. Here at Exodus Public Adjusters we make it easy for you to get the compensation you deserve from your insurance company. Visit our website and contact us today.