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7 Water Damage Insurance Claim Tips

From clean-up to restoration to replacing irreparable items and everything in between, here are Coventry Remediation Services’ top seven water damage insurance claim tips.

  1. Keep a Catalog of Your Belongings to Make the Claims Process Easier

When items are damaged, your insurance company will ask you for a list of your affected items. While you likely do not catalog every purchase you make, and it is darn near impossible to keep a spreadsheet of everything you own, maintaining a list of your most valuable and treasured belongings before an incident occurs will be helpful when filing any type of insurance claim.

In times when you are stressed and your mind is filled with anxious thoughts as you deal with things like finding alternative living arrangements for yourself, your family and pets, having a pre-existing list of all the belongings that you care for most will go a long way in making sure that these things do not accidentally go overlooked as you weed through which items you need to include on your claim.

  1. Save the Receipts (Especially for Expensive Items)!

How do you get an insurance company to pay for water damage? For starters, they will want proof surrounding the value of your items as a means for mitigating fraudulent claims. Saving your receipts for big or meaningful purchases can save you a lot of leg work when a pipe bursts in your basement or a clogged pipe backs up and damages your expensive bathroom scale.

Scan and digitize receipts to have a record of them that exists outside of the physical realm where these fragile pieces of paper themselves may get lost, destroyed, or damaged in the event of a disaster at home. Another great option is to have a waterproof and fireproof lock box in your home to protect sensitive documents (including receipts for purchases and other important items like social security cards, birth certificates, titles and lien paperwork, policy documents, and even valuables like jewelry and family heirlooms that cannot be easily replaced).

  1. Be Familiar with Your Insurance Policy

Know the limitations of your insurance policy by actually reading and learning to understand your policy. Familiarizing yourself with what is and isn’t covered by your insurance company will make you more prepared to deal with your water damage claim. It is never a good idea to go into these types of things blind.

You should know what is and isn’t covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. There is a definite distinction between certain types of damage. For example, homeowner’s insurance does not cover items damaged inside your car even though it may be parked on your property. You will have to file a claim with your auto insurance company for items damaged within your vehicle and will have to look at the specifics of that policy. Your level of homeowner’s insurance coverage will dictate how much you can recoup—if you do not have a comprehensive policy, you may be taking more of a loss.

  1. Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

For homeowners and renters it is critical to know that standard insurance policies do not cover flood damage caused by natural disasters. There is a distinction made between water damage caused by faulty plumbing, clogged or busted pipes, or a backed-up septic system.

Traditional insurance policies will leave you high and dry and in a serious predicament in the event of a flood caused by natural disasters. If you are concerned about coverage, it is important to research the federal flood insurance options available to you and the limitations surrounding this additional coverage. Flood insurance is a highly recommended expense for areas with high flood risk.

  1. Figure Out What is and Isn’t Salvageable

Assessing water damage can be a tricky task but figuring out what is salvageable and what isn’t (especially in a near-total loss situation) is important. Why? Because insurance has its limitations and knowing the level of damage will help you expedite your claims process.

Recovering items is typically less costly than replacing them (i.e. it is more economical to salvage your washer and dryer if they’ve retained a little water damage from a leak rather than purchasing new ones). 

  1. Have a Water Damage Insurance Plan

Preparedness is important. We recommend that you have a plan created ahead of time as to what you’ll do in the event of water damage. This documented plan will help you navigate the claims process and should include a list of to-dos in terms of things to pack and take with you if you need to make alternate living arrangements, documentation for the claims process, and more.

  1. Hire a Water Damage Remediation Professional

Want to make the process a whole lot simpler? Hire a remediation service to help you recover damaged items, inventory damage, pack-out and protect belongings at a secure off-site location, and help you begin the recovery process.

These professionals can help with the recovery, restoration, and documentation and do much of the heavy lifting for you—they can also act as a third party when dealing with your insurance (insurance adjusters work for the company and do not have a vested interest in your loss). At the same time, you can concentrate on the safety and well-being of the members of your house and pets.

If you are in Northern Virginia, Coventry Remediation Services is available 24/7 to assist you and your family when an unexpected event causes water damage in your home. Visit our website to learn more about who we are and what we do.

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