After filing your water damage claim, you are left to wonder what are the next steps that you need to do.
Water damages can change from situation to situation. They vary in type and the extent of the damage it caused. Thus, it is not right to think that the water damage claim process would be the same for one instance and another. And since there are differences in policies between each insurance carrier, the way the payouts are determined will differ. This adds another layer of complexity in computing the final payment handed to the policy holder. But, it would not be farfetched to surmise that there may be some key similarities among different types of water damage claims. As with any insurance claim there exists an important span of time when the claimant has to be on his or her toes. This time period starts from when the damage to your property occurs until the restoration of your property is complete. In this article, we are going to look at this exact timeline and find out what will happen during it. There will be some events that are likely to happen during this time and you should know the right way to react to them. Finally, some key pointers are going to be discussed to make sure that you get the right coverage and the best chance of getting a justified adjustment from your insurance provider.
The First Steps for Your Water Damage Claim
The first step is to educate yourself with the basics of plumbing. In claiming your insurance, it is particularly important that you can show that you have acted with due diligence to ensure that the extent of the damage to your property remains minimal. Water damage can creep up on your property with little to no signs. Thus, it would be to your claim’s benefit to show the insurance company that you regularly exhaust efforts to see these signs.
As soon as you find a possible leaking or any cause for concern that could lead to water damage, you should immediately hire a licensed plumber. It cannot be emphasized enough that the plummer should be licensed. Most insurance companies only recognize that you have done the necessary precautions if you hire someone that is considered to be professional. This means that your own diagnosis of the problem may not be sufficient. Furthermore, if the damage is seemingly severe and you are unsure of what to do, it is better for you not to try to fix the plumbing problem and instead focus on protecting your property.
A licensed plumber should be able to detect and gather evidence about any leakage in your plumbing. This information will form the basis of your water insurance claim. The length of the leaking in particular can prove to them that you have acted with due diligence. Furthermore, if the leak is considered to be long term, the insurance company will undoubtedly refuse your claim. Particularly, long term means that the leak has been ongoing for at least two weeks. If this is the case, the insurance company will have reason to believe that you have not acted to the best interest of your property’s safety. In which case, they will try to diminish your claim. It is wise to have a thorough inspection of your plumbing and fix any problems before applying for insurance. This is to ensure that any damage that could happen later on is not due to problems that have already existed that the insurance company may refuse to cover.
Building Up Evidence for Your Water Damage Claim
For any insurance claim, the evidence will always play a focal role. Even in water damage claims, the evidence will be fully reviewed and investigated before you are able to collect your full claim. Evidence gathering should not necessarily be difficult given the technology that we have today. The first evidence that you should be able to readily gather are pictures and videos. You should know what kind of media format you will use to properly portray the events that unfolded that led to your water damage claim.
Pictures are easy to capture and are not as time consuming as gathering video evidence. They also put the evidence on still meaning that it can be examined in length among multiple parties. This makes it simpler to communicate evidence as well since pictures, unlike videos, can be printed into a hardcopy. While videos can provide richer information, it cannot be fit into a dossier thus the standard is still pictures. Video evidence has its own merits however. Essentially, a video is just a lot of pictures continuously replacing each other, hence the term moving picture.
If you doubt your skills as a photographer, it might be best to take a picture instead. Just make sure that you get a wide enough angle so as to capture the entirety of the event and use a high resolution so that you will not have a problem with picture quality later on. Another case that the video would have over pictures is that the video would be able to capture motion. For instance, if you wanted to show that water continuously runs towards your damaged properties, then taking a picture of the stream if it is not fast enough may not be sufficient.
You might be tempted to enhance your picture and video evidence for some reason. You may simply want to improve the quality of the pictures or video. But, knowingly altering evidence will send negative connotations and cause detriment to your claim. Even if you keep the original copies, the suspicion will already have been put in place and it could hamper any statements that you give later on.
What Happens During Water Damage Claim
Right after you call the insurance company to file your water damage claim, a personnel from the company will be sent into your home. Their main goal is to find the exact value by which to compensate you for based on the agreement that you have signed during your insurance application.