Water damage is a serious issue that many American homeowners struggle with each year.
Most homeowners who find themselves in this unfortunate situation look first to insurance for relief. After all, all of those premiums are supposed to account for expensive damage like this.
However, filing a successful water leak insurance claim can be more complicated than other types of homeowner insurance claims.
Here’s what you need to know to make sure your water leak insurance claim doesn’t get denied.
Limit the Water Leak Damage
The first step is to try to stop the leak and limit the damage as much as you can.
First try to stop any water that is still leaking but shutting it off at the valve.
Next, use towels to try and absorb and dry any standing water. You will want to open the windows and may want to use a fan to prevent mold from growing
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However, do not call any repair or home insurance specialists yet. An insurance adjuster will first need to visit your home to assess and document the damage for your water damage insurance claim.
Take Photos and Videos of the Damage
It’s crucial that you document the water damage yourself as well by taking extensive photos and videos.
You should make sure to have photos of every area that has been affected by the leak. Make sure to also take photos of the source of the water leak.
Finally, we recommend taking a walk throughout the damaged area while recording a video.
You’ll eventually give these photos and videos to the insurance adjuster, and they can later be used to support your water leak damage insurance claim.
Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover all types of water damage. Review your policy to determine if it includes your water leak damage.
But make sure you always contact your insurance provider about the damage, whether you think it will be covered or not.
Types of water damage commonly covered by homeowners insurance include:
- Flood damage, which is why flood insurance is important if you live in an area prone to flooding
- Storm-related damage
- Accidental discharge
- Accidental sewer overflow
- Sewer backup damage
Insurance companies sometimes deny water damage claims when they determine that the damage was more gradual damage than a sudden problem. Some common reasons for denials include:
- Insufficient maintenance
- Seepage in the foundation
- Hail damage
- Mold and rotting
- Roof damage or a roof leak
- Frozen pipes without proper protection
- A plumbing leak
Sump pump failure is a common cause of water leak damage. Replacing a faulty sump pump can prevent future problems.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
Once you have the leak under control and you have documented everything, it’s time to talk with your homeowners insurance provider about your water damage claim.
This will begin the process of filing your water leak damage insurance claim. Next, you’ll need to fill out some claim forms where you’ll provide info regarding the damage.
The insurance adjuster will advise you on your next steps. They’ll also give you an idea of when you can start repairs. You will want to start repairs as soon as possible to prevent mold damage and finalize your home insurance claim.
Contact a Water Damage Specialist to Begin Repairs
Now it’s time to start repairing the damage to your home. Find a reputable water damage repair company that can assess and repair the damage.
Call a few different companies in your area for estimates and look for the best value. It’s important to get multiple opinions for such a critical repair project.
Some claims will be paid out promptly, but there can be delays. Stay in communication with your insurance company and adjuster, and don’t hesitate to contact them with questions.