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Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips

Eavestrough on house overflows with rain water.

June 10, 2019. Any kind of damage to your home is disruptive and stressful and many homeowners do not know where to start with filing a claim when it happens. One of the most common home insurance claims is for water damage. Here are a few tips just in case your home ever gets damaged by water.

  1. Stop the leak or get to safety

Stop the source of the water so it does not create more damage and mess. If a large amount of water came into your house and caused structural damage, deal with the immediate danger.

  1. Call your insurer right away

Calling your insurance provider should be one of the first things you do, even before cleaning up.

  • Do it right away because your claim could be denied if more damage is caused by not cleaning up the water.
  • They will ask for details about the cause of the water damage and what you did to prevent further damage.
  • Make sure you have your policy number and find out what you need to do to file your claim.
  • Find out what will be covered by your policy and ask about things like what types of water damage are covered and whether living expenses are covered if your home is not habitable.
  1. Prevent more damage

Turn off the water, cover any holes in the roof or windows, remove as much water as you can, and take your valuables to a safe place.

  1. Record proof

Take pictures and videos of the water damage and save any damaged parts that may have caused it. Document everything in detail.

  1. Make a detailed list of damaged personal property

Make an inventory of damaged items. Include information like the make, model, age, current condition, replacement cost, and actual cash value of each item.

  1. Do not make permanent repairs without approval

Your insurer will need to inspect your property to determine how extensive the repairs need to be. Larger claims take a while to settle and if you start repairs before they have been approved you might not get reimbursed.

  1. Track the expenses for the repairs

Keep all related records and receipts and make sure any repairs you pay for are necessary.

  1. Make sure you understand what is covered and how you will be compensated

Water damage that is covered by basic home insurance includes:

  • Sudden, unexpected damage such as a broken pipe

Issues that are not covered can include:

  • Chronic leaks, such as from a pipe or roof that needs repair
  • Any other gradual damage that could have been prevented by maintenance

Check your policy to see if you will be compensated for the replacement cost or actual cash value of what was damaged. Replacement cost means you will receive the amount it will cost to replace the items, actual cash value means you will get reimbursed for what the items and materials were worth when they were damaged, not how much you paid for them when you bought them.

Keeping these tips in mind will help make it easier to make a water damage claim.