Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips: Advice From the Field
A burst pipe, leaky roof or faulty appliance can devastate your home in just minutes. Something as simple as a 1/8-cm crack in a pipe, for instance, can dump up to 250 gallons of water in your home, destroying everything in its path and leaving dangerous mold in its wake.
Non-weather-related water damage in St. Louis is one of the most common types of insurance claims, and the average claim for homeowners runs almost $7,000. With insurance companies paying out more than $13 billion nationally to cover water removal and damage each year, they’re scrutinizing homeowners’ claims closer than ever to protect their own profits.
Helping You Get the Most for Your Water Damage Restoration Claim
When the unexpected happens at home, it’s critical to adhere to the following guidelines to ensure your claim is covered, and if it’s not, how you can go back to your insurance company and fight for what you’re owed.
- Stop the damage from getting worse. Then hit pause. If you can reduce additional water damage by removing standing water, putting a tarp over a leaking roof, or moving property that can be salvaged, then do so right away. However, if you perform permanent repairs yourself, your insurance company will likely deny your claim. Take photos and video of the damage, including where the leak occurred, the rooms it affected, and any household items that need to be replaced. Don’t throw anything away until it’s been documented, and if possible, record the make and model of any high-priced electronics or appliances.
- Contact a St. Louis water damage restoration company for a quote. A reputable company should be able to be on site within 24 hours to provide an estimate. They can get started on water and sewage extraction immediately, but in many instances, you may want to wait until your claim has been approved before hiring them to work on repairs and restoration. To help maximize your payout, it’s best to obtain quotes from a minimum of three water removal companies you trust.
- Be conscious when describing the damage. Never say your home is “flooded,” unless the water damage is truly weather-related or caused by an overflowing river nearby. Flood insurance requires its own policy, and if an insurance company believes your damage falls under that category, they will decline your claim. Simply state how the loss occurred and stick with generic terms like “water damage” and “leak.”
- Submit a claim quickly and get back-up if needed. Since insurance companies have 15 days to send an adjuster to your home, contact them as soon as possible and have your policy information at hand during every call. Because the adjuster is working for the company’s best interests, in the event of serious damage or a lower-than-expected payout, it’s worth the extra money to hire a public adjuster who can survey the damage, determine its extent with a moisture mapping software, and prepare an unbiased report. They may also help review the “proof of loss” form from your insurance company to ensure all of your bases are covered.
- See if you’re covered for costs outside the home. If you aren’t able to cook because of a damaged kitchen or if you have to move out temporarily because of dangerous water damage and mold conditions, keep all of your food and hotel receipts. Depending on your policy, you may be able to claim these expenses as well.
Partner With a Water Removal and Mold Removal Expert in St. Louis
Whether you have a new home with extensive piping or an older home with an aging infrastructure, today’s homeowners are at a higher risk for water damage. As a water damage restoration company in St. Louis, Pride Cleaning & Restoration has been a middle-man between our clients and their insurance companies for more than 30 years. If you need water removal or mold removal services and are struggling with your insurance provider, contact our specialists today for a detailed estimate and additional suggestions on submitting your claim.