Discovering water damage in your home is enough to shock any homeowner and stop you in your tracks. However, when it comes to water damage recovery, it’s important to act fast to get help and minimize the damages. One of the first things you will want to do is file an insurance claim for the damages. Follow this guide to find tips for filing a successful water damage insurance claim so that you can get your claim approved and get your home back to normal.
Common Water Damage Claims
Unfortunately, water damage is a common occurrence in most households. Water damage occurs due to anything from household accidents, including storms and floods that are out of our control. Some of the most common sources of water damage include:
- Clogged or overflowing toilets
- Overflowing bathtubs
- Plumbing and appliance leaks
- Roof damage
As a homeowner, you’re bound to run into one of these issues during your time of living there. What’s important is to know what to do next, especially when it comes to filing your insurance claim.
Prevent Further Damages
The first thing you should do when you discover water damage in your home is to prevent further damage to your property and ensure your family’s safety. If you discover a leak, turn off the water to that area. If you experience a flood or storm, make sure to shut off electricity and gas to avoid creating more dangerous conditions inside your home. Move your family to a safe location, and once everyone and the premises are safe, you can begin the process of filing an insurance claim.
Record the Damages
When it comes to filing your insurance claim, the first tip is to thoroughly record evidence of the damage. After you have secured the safety of your home and family, focus your attention on the damage and condition of your home. Take photos and videos of everything that you can, including damage to your belongings, surfaces, appliances, walls and floors, and anything else that may be damaged. You should also document the standing water levels before trying to remove any of it for an accurate claim. These thorough reports will help you get your claim approved as fast as possible.
Move Unaffected Belongings
Now that you have documented all damages, you should move any unaffected and undamaged belongings, furniture, and appliances to a safe area. If you’ve experienced a flood and have standing water, take these belongings to another level or higher ground. Just make sure to leave the scene as untouched as possible, and don’t throw away your damaged belongings just yet. These items are crucial to assessing damages and helping your insurance claim go through successfully.
Review Your Insurance Policies
Next, as you prepare to file your claim, review your insurance policies. Some homeowner’s insurance covers different types of water damage that is sudden and accidental, such as leaking pipes or appliances. Every insurance policy differs, but these are some of the main coverage examples:
- Water damage from HVAC systems
- Water damage from leaks and accidents
- Mold-causing water damage
- Restoration of water-damaged furnishings, electronics, and other belongings
However, it’s important to review what exactly is covered, because many policies don’t cover water damage due to poor maintenance, water backup or runoff, and flooding. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, most insurance companies highly recommend looking into obtaining additional flood insurance. Of course, if appliance damages are due to neglect or inability to maintain them, these costs will be coming out of your pocket as well.
Ask Yourself: Do You Need Temporary Lodging?
Another factor to consider is whether you will be displaced from your home due to more severe water damages, usually caused by weather-related storms and natural disasters. Your insurance may cover some living expenses if you have been displaced from your home due to water damage. You may also have to leave your home during periods of repair, mold removal, sanitation, and other remediation measures, so check with your insurance company to inquire if these extended living expenses may be covered.
Be Ready With All the Details
To file your claim, your insurance company will need to know all the details of what happened. Make sure that you are prepared to talk about what happened, the details of the event, the date and time, and the extent of the damages. This is why it’s important to take photos and document everything in advance to make the reporting process faster and to get you the help you need as soon as possible.
Work With A Restoration Service
Once you let your insurance company know, you’ll want to work with a damage assessment and restoration company to get an idea of how to proceed with cleanup and restoration. When working with a damage assessment company, you’ll get a better idea of estimated repair costs and will be able to forward this information to your insurance company for the claim. From there, and especially once your insurance company approves or denies your claim, you can start restoring your home. Hiring a remediation and restoration service can help with addressing damages to home surfaces, furniture, and more.
For example, at Aloha Restoration Co., we act quickly to prevent as much damage to your property as possible. Dealing with water damage is scary for any homeowner, especially when dealing with more dangerous gray and blackwater varieties. The first step is to dry out your home, sanitize, and clean before dangerous mold has a chance to develop. So don’t wait—seek out remediation help as soon into the claim process as you can.
These are some of the most important tips for filing a successful water damage insurance claim. If you follow these steps and act fast, you’ll be able to put your claim into motion faster and have a greater chance of it being approved. And the sooner your claim is approved, the sooner you can get back to your usual daily routine at home. If you find yourself looking for water remediation or mold removal help in your local Chicagoland area, you can always count on Aloha Restoration Co. For water damage and mold removal in Barrington and other nearby areas.