Coming home to a kitchen full of standing water or a basement with a pipe gushing water is scary but don’t worry, If it happens to you it’s something you can totally have control over. In this article, we walk you through the SIX steps you’ll experience in filing a water damage claim
Here is the sequence of steps to follow when you need help with water cleanup:
- STEP ONE: Stop the Damage. If it’s safe you should stop the water from doing more damage. That usually means finding the water shut off value to your home and turning it off.
- STEP TWO: Contact Water Remediation Specialists. They will come in and help you to start minimizing the damage and help you start with the process of fixing the damage. They will have a contract with you and not your insurance company. It is your responsibility to file the claim & pay for the water remediation. If your insurance company doesn’t cover the cost for water cleanup, it will be your responsibility to pay for those costs. There are some very important things to do to give yourself the best possible chance of having these costs covered by your insurance company. If they do deny your claim or the payout is low, you have rights and things you can do to appeal the insurance adjuster’s amount of payout.
- STEP THREE: Contact Insurance Company. Your insurance company should help pay for getting the water damage fixed. They represent the money side. Keep in mind that they might try to underpay or deny your water damage claim. The insurance adjuster will come out and look at your water damage and all areas affected. Be aware that most insurance adjusters are employees of your insurance company, thus, it is in their best interest to minimize the payout on your water damage claim. They are not always going to be your ally. You might have to appeal their quoted payout amount or denial of coverage of your water restoration claim. If they don’t pay for the water damage to be resolved, it will be your responsibility to pay for the water restoration and the rebuilding of your affected areas. Yes, you read that right!! You could be on the hook for all of the repairs or at least some of the repairs.
- STEP FOUR: Create a Scope of Work. You, the rebuilding contractors, and the insurance adjuster will work together to decide how everything will be fixed and how much that will cost. We suggest using ONE general contractor and having them manage the roofer, plumber, electrician, floor specialist, etc. It’s much easier than managing the process on your own.
- STEP FIVE: Have the Work Completed. This step can take longer than you think. Each rebuilding contractor has to be scheduled, get into your home, and do the work. Everyone’s schedule generally makes the process take a lot longer than it could.
- STEP SIX: The Money. After Step Three is complete the insurance company will cut the first check. BEWARE, that check will be less than the total cost of the job AND it will probably be written to you and your mortgage company. Don’t let it be sent to your mortgage company or else you will have a hard time recovering those funds and paying for your current expenses. The mortgage company is not in a hurry to get those funds to you.
Once the job is done the insurance company will do a walkthrough and cut the second Replacement Cost check. If your policy has ACV coverage this check will not be cut.
FINALLY, the claim is complete and your home is back to normal.
Have questions? Ask them in the comment section below.