Water damage can destroy your entire home. This is especially true if you don't take care of the cleanup quickly enough. If you've never dealt with a water damage claim before, you may not know what to do. Unfortunately, that lack of knowledge can cause problems for your insurance claim. Here are four things you need to do to protect your water damage claim.
Read Your Insurance Policy
If your home flooded, read your insurance policy. You need to know what's covered and what isn't. Most insurance policies differentiate between water damage and flood damage. If the damage was caused by a broken water pipe or water heater, your claim will probably be covered. But, if your water damage was caused by a seasonal flood, chances are good that the claim won't be covered. That's because most insurance companies will cover water damage but not flood damage. It's also important to know the time limit for filing a claim. Some insurance companies will deny the claim if you wait too long to file a report.
Separate Your Belongings
Once you've read your policy and filed a claim, begin the sorting process. Your insurance claims adjuster will identify the items that have sustained water damage. You can speed up the process by dividing your belongings into manageable piles. Sort your belongings between undamaged, damaged, and destroyed. Give your claims adjuster a better view of your belongings. Use the three-pile process. Once you've sorted your belongings, gather documentation for them. This should include any receipts that you might have. Receipts ensure that you receive full value for your losses.
Document Your Losses
When filing a claim for water damage, you want to document your losses. Many people take pictures of their damaged belongings, but that's just the start. Besides photographing your damaged belongings, you also want to take pictures of the damage inside your home. Your documentation should also include pictures of the water level, as well as pictures of water-soaked drywall. The pictures help document the damage. This is especially important if your insurance adjuster takes a few days to get to your house.
Hire Your Own Insurance Adjuster
If your home has suffered water damage, consider hiring your own flood damage claims adjuster. You may think that the adjuster from your insurance company will suffice, but that's not the case. Your insurance company wants to reduce its level of liability. That means they'll work hard to deny as much of your claim as possible. When you hire your own insurance adjuster, their goal will be to increase the size of your claim.
Purchasing insurance — the right insurance — is one of the smartest things you will ever do. While there are definitely differences between homeowners, car, life, and health insurance policies, they all serve the same purpose when it comes down to it. Insurance protects you against financial ruin should a tragedy happen in your life. In the case of homeowners insurance, that tragedy could be a fire or a flood. In the case of life insurance, that tragedy would be your death. The more you learn about insurance, the better the decisions you'll make when purchasing it. So dive into the articles here, and start reading.