Insurance companies are in business to make money. Therefore, they are not excited to pay your claim and will look for any way to avoid such payment or give you less than a stellar settlement. Damage caused by water is one of the easiest claims for insurance companies to pick apart and find loopholes in order to avoid paying, costing you money in the long run. To avoid this hassle, follow some of these tips to make your water damage claim a smoother process.
Should you experience water damage in your home, you have the right to do some homework before agreeing to any settlement. First, you should review your policy in full. If your copy of the policy is not certified, contact your insurance provider and request a certified copy of your policy to ensure there are no loopholes in your coverage. You also have the right to obtain quotes from contractors not working for the insurance company to determine your true repair costs and provide that information to your insurance company. You even have the right to compel your insurance company to make the most of technological tools and use them to actually test the level of water damage accurately and precisely. Finally, you have the right to have your claim settled within 45 days, and if that does not occur, to obtain a written explanation from your insurance company as to why.
Water Damage Versus Flood Damage
A flood in your home means an insurance company does not have to pay you, especially if you do not have flood insurance. Therefore, when your water damage is the result of an overflow or pipe burst, remember when speaking to your insurance company that it did not cause a flood. It caused water damage. At the very mention of the word flood, you may go through a series of agent transfers and questions that will result in additional stress and less money for your claim. Therefore, save that word for issues you may see on the news, as opposed to discussing your claim with anyone from your insurance company.
Document, Document, Document
Just like litigation, insurance claims require proof. Your word is not enough to prove the cause of water damage, especially since your insurance company wants to avoid payout. Therefore, you must take pictures of everything related to the damage. Scour your property and take pictures of the fallen tree or burst pipe. Find documents relating to your normal home maintenance to prove this is not an issue that could have been avoided. Collect actual quotes from potential contractors and include those in your documentation. Leave nothing untouched. Even if a person comes in to inspect the property for you, document that person’s name, company, badge number, and any other pertinent information. Even document the names and times you spoke with insurance representatives. The more information you have, the more prepared and the more likely you are to get the settlement you deserve.
The final step to making your claim easier is hiring a qualified public adjuster to help you make the most of your claim and deal with your insurance company on their level. Your adjuster should act as an advocate for you, not your insurance company, working diligently to get you the settlement you deserve. If you find yourself in need of a public adjuster, contact the experts at People’s Insurance Claim Center at (305) 956-3666. One of their qualified experts will be happy to help you with your claim.