Filing a water leak insurance claim can seem like a daunting prospect. This is especially true when you’ve never done it before, or when you’re tempted to take simply take care of the damage yourself without getting insurance involved. Is it worth going to all the trouble? Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it sounds – as long as you follow a few important steps. Today we’re going to talk about how to make a successful water leak insurance claim – along with all the ins, outs, and possible complications to avoid. We’ll have you making your claim in no time (and feeling like a pro, as well).
Assess the situation
The first thing you want to do – before making any repairs or filing a claim – is to assess the damage. Also, decide whether the situation needs to be dealt with immediately to avoid further damage or whether it can wait until after you start the claims process. For example, if your pipes are still spurting water, you’ll need to get a plumber over right away and have him turn off the water. Or he could make temporary repairs, depending on the situation. Obviously, you should try to stop the flow of the water before calling the insurance company.
On the other hand, if your home is not in danger of further damage, then do not make any repairs. As an example, let’s say your water leak was caused by heavy rain. But it has stopped raining. And your home isn’t in danger of further damage. In this case, you can refrain from making repairs until after you get your insurance involved.
Your insurance company will need proof of damage when they come to your home to inspect it. So do not make any permanent repairs. And in some cases, leave the damage as-is. You’ll have to make the ultimate decision based on your particular situation. But be careful. You could end up ruining your chances of receiving compensation.
Secure damaged items
Take any furniture, decor, and belongings out of the path of the leak and store them in a dry place. Also, make a detailed inventory of any damaged items as you go. A few of the things you’ll want to record are:
- The type of item
- The make and model
- The year it was made
Do not throw anything away. The success of your claim depends on your evidence. If you throw away all the furniture that was ruined in a flood, for example, you’ll have no claim to make to the insurance company. As a precaution, take a lot of pictures and videos before you move anything in the room or make any temporary repairs. This will be invaluable proof that will ensure that you make a successful water leak insurance claim.
Make your claim
There are many variables when making a water leak insurance claim, and there will be instances where your policy won’t cover the type of water leak you’re dealing with. Make sure you have read and understood all of the coverage and exclusions detailed in your policy.
How to make a successful water leak insurance claim
After you make your claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster out to inspect your claim. This is either a person who works for the insurance company or a contractor. They will inspect your leak and after they have gathered all the evidence and information they need, the insurance company will reject or accept your claim within 15 days.
In this stage, you may want to consider hiring a public adjuster. This person will work for you and you alone. He or she will discuss the situation and options with the insurance company’s adjuster and help everyone come to a favorable settlement. This takes a lot of the load off you personally and gives you a much better chance of coming out on top. Getting a professional opinion will help you make better and more informed decisions. Public adjusters can also educate you further on how to make a successful water leak insurance claim.
If you’re unsatisfied with how your claim is being handled or if your claim has been rejected, don’t hesitate to contact your insurer. Most of the time, they’ll be happy to come to an agreement with you. However, if you are still unhappy with the service you’ve received, request a complaint form and file an official complaint. Only file a complaint in the case of a rejected claim if you’re positive that it shouldn’t have been rejected.
Again, getting a public adjuster involved or getting a second opinion can be a big help in this type of situation. After you have completed the process of inspection or come to a settlement, you’ll receive a written estimate and then a check.
Congratulations! You just learned how to make a successful water leak insurance claim. Although all insurance claims must be handled with care, all you need is a good understanding of the process. When you know what to expect, that’s half the job taken care of already. For more tips on how to make an insurance claim for water damage, check out How To File A Successful Claim For Water Damage.