Did you know that approximately 1 out of every 50 insured homes has a property damage claim each year caused by water damage?* While different types of water damage are typically covered under your homeowner’s insurance, it’s crucial to understand what exactly it covers, in the case that you do experience costly water damage. This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to make a successful water leak insurance claim or water damage claim.

What is Considered Water Damage?

Under most insurance policies, water damage that occurs from sudden damage and some natural disasters is covered. This would involve the following situations:

  • Sudden and accidental leaks that occur in less than 2 weeks
  • Burst pipes
  • Washing machine leaks
  • Refrigerator leaks
  • Garbage disposal leaks
  • Rain and wind together (including hail storms)
  • Earthquakes (in some areas)
  • Slab leaks (slab leaks are sometimes excluded in insurance policies)

What Is Not Covered Under Homeowner’s Insurance?

Flood Damage: It’s very important to know that flood damage is not covered under homeowners insurance. In fact, most people will need to purchase flood insurance separately (although it is not always required), which is commonly done through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurance group.

Source of Damage: Most insurance policies do not cover the source of the damage – For example, if your home has water damage that was caused by a broken dishwasher, the costs of replacing the dishwasher would not be covered under the policy.

Gradual Damage: Some insurance policies will not cover issues that have been existing for a long period of time, typically longer than 14 days. For example, if you have a pipe burst as a result of old pipes that you did not replace, the insurance provider might find you at fault for neglecting to take care of your pipes and not cover the costs for any damages.

What To Do If You Experience Water Damage

Collect Evidence

It’s extremely important when you experience any type of water damage that you document everything. This means taking photos and videos of the damage, including damage done to the floors. Do not throw anything away - If you find broken items in your home such as filtration systems, pipes, garbage disposals, water heaters, washing machines, or other devices that have been damaged, make sure to keep them. Having this type of evidence throughout the claims process will help ensure there are no coverage suspicions from your insurance company.

Call a Licensed Plumber

A plumber’s report is also very important in determining coverage, so it’s recommended to hire a licensed plumber as soon as you notice water damage. Plumbers can determine a timeline of how long the leak has occurred and the exact location. As mentioned, insurance companies will not cover any long-term leaks (leaks that have lasted for more than 14 days). It’s crucial that you bring in a plumber quickly so that they can provide accurate evidence to support your claim.

Contact a Licensed Public Adjuster

Water damage claims can quickly become a headache and tend to be confusing. And insurance providers often try not to pay for any damages you have experienced within your property. The earlier in the process that you contact a public adjuster, the more we can help you with the claims process.

When you first file a water damage claim, your insurance provider will visit your home to inspect the damage. This is known as “field scoping,” where they are trying to determine what exactly the cause of the water damage was, how it happened, and what they believe needs to be repaired or replaced.

These third-party experts who perform the field scoping are commonly contacts of your insurance company. Ultimately, this leaves you with no one on your side to help defend you.

That is where a public adjuster comes in. An independent, licensed public adjuster represents you - the policyholder. Our mission is to make sure you receive a fair payout from the water damage done to your home or business.

How Excel Adjusters Can Help With Your
Water Damage Claim

At Excel Adjusters, our goal is to ensure your rights are upheld during the water damage process and maximize your payout. If you experience water damage, we will accompany the field insurance adjuster during the field scoping process and help you negotiate a fair payout.

We are not provided by the insurance company, making us fully independent and able to prioritize your needs.

We’ll help to:

Notify Your Insurance Provider

Whichever step of the claims process you are at, it helps tremendously to have a public adjuster speak with your insurance provider on your behalf. You might be wondering, why do I need a public adjuster when I can get my own repair estimates and talk with the insurance company myself? While it’s true that you can go through the claims process alone, dealing with water and flood claims requires in-depth knowledge of insurance policies and home repair. It is almost like speaking a different language. Most homeowners have never filed a water damage claim or flood claim before or spent any time understanding the intricacies of such claims. It’s also easy to become emotionally involved since your valuables and livelihood are at stake.

Maximize Your Payouts

As your public adjuster, we know how to speak with insurance carriers about water damage claims and do everything in our power to get you the money you need.

Many contractors and floor experts are actually not licensed by the Department of Insurance and therefore are not legally allowed to represent you on your water damage public claim. But as your public adjuster, we are licensed by the state and can provide legal representation for you throughout the claims process, helping you to have one less thing to worry about.

Guide You Through the Water Damage and Flood Claim Process

As your public adjuster, we will be there during the entire claims process to guide and advise you and negotiate payouts with your insurance company. We’ll also manage and submit any necessary paperwork. We only charge a small percentage based on what we settle for with your insurance. There are no upfront costs for you, making it affordable to get help when you need it.

Assist with Every Stage of Your Water Damage or Flood Claim

Whether you’re at the beginning of filing a water or flood damage claim, or several weeks into the process, we can help.

  • If your insurance company is refusing to cover ALE or Loss of Use expenses, we can work with your insurance company in an attempt to get you reimbursed for any living costs you incurred in your temporary home.
  • Sometimes insurance companies will try to cut corners in your repairs by doing a poor repair job to your floors, hiring cheap damage restoration companies, and failing to remove cabinets for drying when the drywall has been damaged. If you are not happy with the repair of your hardwood floors, we can help negotiate with your insurance company in order to get the “like-for-like” standard outlined in your policy. Also known as the “like kind and quality,” if your insurance policy includes these terms, you are entitled to receive a payout from your insurance company that covers the entire cost to replace items of the same quality as what you previously owned. Again, some insurance policies cover replacement costs, while others do not, so each situation is unique to your specific policy.
  • If your water damage restoration insurance claim has been denied, we can speak with your insurance company and provide evidence and reasoning as to why your water or flood damage claim should be covered by your carrier.
If you’ve experienced water damage and need to file a claim, we can help with the water damage insurance claim process.

*According to the Insurance Information Institute

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