If your home has suffered water damage, you might be worried about how to pay for repairs. Many people rely on their insurance company to pay for repairs. While making an insurance claim can be difficult, there are several things you can do to make it easier. Here are several steps to take when filing an insurance claim for water damage to your property.
Document all damage to your property
The most important thing you can do when suffering water damage is to document what’s broken as soon as you can. This type of documentation can be difficult and time consuming, but it’s necessary for reimbursement.
It’s important to be as detailed as possible. This means documenting the damage as much as you can. You should take photos and video of all the damage along with writing down any notes. Take more photos and notes than you think is necessary. Take photos before any repairs are started and save samples of destroyed materials.
Get an estimate for repairs. This provides more information that your insurance company can use when evaluating your claim. Also, save all written estimates, receipts for all payments made, and any other documents you think might be relevant to your claim.
Also, make sure you check what documentation is done by your restoration company. They may take photos or do testing as part of their repair services. Their documentation may save you time or provide you with additional evidence you can present to your insurance company.
Document all damage to personal property
In addition to documenting damages to your property, you need to document all damaged personal items. Make an itemized list of all damaged items. Record any make, model, and serial numbers. Figure out the cost to replace the item along with the actual cash value of the item. Take photos of all items and write a description of the damage to each item.
Start the claims process
You should start the claims process as soon as possible. Before you begin, check to see what your insurance covers. Your insurance may cover damage from burst pipes, but not flood damage. Before you call, you should know what part of your insurance policy you can use to claim reimbursement.
Have your policy number ready and be ready to answer any questions. Also, have a pen and paper nearby to take any notes and document the insurance company’s response.
During your first call, find out the next steps from your insurance company. Often times, the insurance company will describe the claims process and tell you what further responsibilities you have. Make sure to ask any questions you have at this time.
You should get information on who will be handling your claim. You may get a name right away, or they may take a day or two to assign someone to handle it. Before you hang up, make sure you know who to contact if anything else comes up.
Follow up on the claim
Once you have filed a claim, make sure to follow up with the insurance company. If they request more information, make sure to provide it as soon as possible. If the company sends an adjuster to inspect the damage, make sure to be present during the inspection. Being available for the inspection allows you to point out all the damage and answer any questions.
You will get an initial estimate from the insurance company. This estimate may change during the process. If your claim has not been fully settled within 45 days, make sure to ask a written explanation why it is still ongoing.
If your claim is rejected, your insurance company is required to give you the reason in writing. If you are not satisfied with the insurance company’s decision, you may need to file an appeal.
Contact us if you need help repairing water damage
Dealing with water damage is a difficult process for everyone. If your home has suffered water damage, contact us today. We can help get your house back to normal while guiding you through the process.