Fewer things strike panic into the heart of a homeowner than seeing water coming into your dwelling. Water has a way of finding its way into places of a home and the resulting damage can be significant. With that, there are steps that you can take to lessen or prevent the damage that will help you in recovery.
Reaction time is key to minimizing water damage
First and foremost, you must stop the source of the water. If the water is coming from your roof, be sure to place a tarp over the area that is admitting the water. If water is coming from a busted pipe or appliance, be sure to shut off the water at the unit or the main. If the water is backing up from a sewer or drain, take what measures you can to stop the backup.
Trust your water damage cleanup and repair to a professional
Once you have stopped the source of the water damage, next you should contact a professional water mitigation company such as Carpet Care Plus, Servpro, or ServiceMaster. Do this immediately! With water – TIME IS EVERYTHING! Water can leech into walls and damage floors and their coverings. This could also lead to mold and mildew issues. Because of the extent of damage that can occur, it is not recommended that you handle the water cleanup on your own. You can remove all the visible water and move or elevate furniture to protect it, but you generally cannot dehumidify drywall cavities or properly clean carpets without a professional service. While performing the above, it is advised to take photos of the water locations before and after the cleanup efforts. These can assist a claims adjuster in clearly understanding the extent of the claim and the repairs made. If you must employ the use of a professional service or mitigation company for any of these steps, be sure to save all receipts for the work done and keep track of the time you have involved.
Is water damage covered on my homeowners policy?
While some water damage is covered under homeowner’s insurance, there are others that are not. Some examples of things that are covered are:
- water entering through a wind damaged roof
- backup of sewers and drains (if an endorsement specifically covering this is present on the policy)
- busted water pipes
- and overflows
Some examples of things not covered are:
- water seepage through basement walls or foundations
- and, in some instances, ice dams on the roof.
An insurance company wants you to make temporary repairs immediately to prevent further damage. It is the company’s practice to reimburse you for any reasonable expenses that you incur to make such repairs. This is your responsibility to do so as defined in the insurance contract. However, before you make any permanent repairs, you need to contact our agency or the company and make sure the claim is investigated or inspected.
Adjusters for insurance companies make every effort to handle a water claim efficiently and fairly. Their responsibilities and the amount of settlement are limited to the damage done. If there are additional costs involved over and above the original estimate, adjusters will consider these based on their merits and, if they are legitimate, will make supplemental payments to cover the additional costs.
Once a claim is submitted, it is important to keep your insurance agent informed on the progress or if you are encountering issues. This allows the agent and agency to get involved if you are having difficulty communicating with an adjuster. You should also contact your agent if you do not understand the coverage or the decision regarding the claim. Remember… insurance is a contract. It is written language that must be interpreted, and different individuals sometimes read the language of policies in different ways. So, it is always a good idea to verify the interpretation of the policy with your agent if you do not understand something.
Choose an agent that will assist you through the process
At Williamson insurance we want to be involved if there is a problem and when our clients need help. It is just another way that we bring value to the relationship with our customers and do our part to getting your life back on the road to recovery. If you have questions or would like to know how your home policy covers damage from water, call us in Zanesville, Newark, or Pataskala.