Water damage can be a real headache for homeowners. But don't worry, your insurance might be able to help. Here's how to get your insurance to pay for water damage repair.
Find the Source of the Water Damage and Stop It First!
First, you need to find out where the water is coming from. Is it a leaky window or a burst pipe? Once you've found the source, try to stop the water to prevent more damage. Remember to take photos and videos as proof for your claim.
It's advisable to hire a plumber to address minor issues promptly, and gather all necessary details before reaching out to your insurance company. This approach will spare you the stress of being uncertain or uninformed during your conversation with the insurance representative, which can lead to frustration for both sides.
Check Your Home Insurance Policy
Next, check your home insurance policy to see if it covers the type of water damage you have. Here are some examples of what might be covered:
- Burst pipes
- Overflow from appliances like washing machines
- Frozen pipes in a heated home
- Rain, snow, or ice that suddenly entered your home
- Water damage from putting out a fire
And here are some examples of what might not be covered:
- Flooding or groundwater seepage
- Slow water damage over time
- Water damage due to not fixing problems, like a hole in your roof
- Backup from a sump pump or drain
- Frozen, burst pipes in an unheated home
If you're not sure, call your insurance company and ask.
Contact Your Insurance Company and Show Proof
Once you've checked your policy, contact your insurance company right away. You'll need to show them proof of the damage, like photos and videos. If you're claiming for damaged personal items, having a list of your belongings will help speed up the process.
Wait for the Claims Adjuster and Think About Hiring a Contractor
After you've filed your claim, your insurance company might send a claims adjuster to look at the damage and decide how much money you should get. If you want a second opinion, you could hire a contractor to give you an estimate for the repairs.
What to Do If Your Insurance Won't Pay
If your insurance company won't pay for your water damage claim, you might want to hire a public adjuster. They work for you, not the insurance company, and can help you negotiate your claim. Just remember that you'll have to pay them, usually a percentage of your final claim settlement.
Extra Coverage for Water Damage
Standard home insurance policies only cover certain types of water damage. But you can add extra coverage to your policy for more protection. For example, you can get water backup coverage for damage caused by sump pump, drain, and sewage backups. Or you could get flood insurance if you live in an area that's at risk for flooding.