Water Damage Insurance Claims Process
Water damage is one of the most common reasons homeowners file an insurance claim. To get your claim processed quickly, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the claims process before you need to make a claim.
How To File a Homeowner's Claim
Filing a homeowner's claim is a multi-step process. Proceeding through the steps in order will help you make sure you don't forget to do anything.
1. Read Your Policy
Your policy should explain what your responsibilities are and what types of damage are covered by your policy. This is particularly important for water damage claims, because most homeowner's policies cover water damage from sudden and accidental discharges, such as a pipe burst, but exclude damage from a flood.
2. Mitigate Your Damage
Most insurance policies require homeowners to mitigate their damages. This means that if there are reasonable steps you can take to prevent additional damage from occurring while you are waiting to get the initial damage repaired, you are expected to take those steps. An example is shutting off the water to your home when you have a leaking pipe. If you have to spend any money to make temporary repairs, save your receipts. Your insurance policy may cover these costs.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance agent or the claims office of your insurance company as soon as possible to begin the process of filing your insurance claim. Ask any questions you have about your coverage and deductible. Find out how long it will be before repairs can begin. Ask if you need to get an estimate done or if the insurance company will be sending someone out. Drying your property out promptly is important, so you may want to inquire about hiring a water remediation company in Lake Charles, LA., to begin that process.
4. Complete Claim Forms and Other Paperwork
Your insurance company may mail your forms or allow you to complete them online. It may also ask you to submit other documentation. Return the requested materials as soon as possible. The longer you take to furnish the requested documentation, the longer it will take to process your claim.
5. Prepare for the Insurance Adjuster
In most cases, your insurance company will send an insurance adjuster to inspect your home and estimate the amount of damage. Take photographs of your damaged property and make an inventory of everything that was damaged. Gather together any receipts or other documentation that proves the value of your damaged property.
6. Keep Your Receipts for Relocation Expenses
If your home is uninhabitable because of the damage, keep your receipts for the cost of hotel rooms or rent for the period of time you are unable to live in your home. You may also be reimbursed for other additional living expenses, so keep the receipts for anything you had to spend money on because you were unable to occupy your home.
Filing an insurance claim for water damage can sometimes be confusing, but your insurance professional should be able to answer any questions that you have. Promptly and correctly filing your claim is critical for getting your home restored as quickly as possible.