Water Damage and the Insurance Claim Process
When You First Notice Water Damage
That the first words out of your mouth are, “Well….crap.”
You have just arrived home from work and you can already hear the slight sound of rushing water the moment you step into the doorway. You look horrifyingly at the water traveling down your wood stairs into the Livingroom and through the ceiling. It doesn’t take much to guess that a pipe has burst on the second floor, and the rest of your home is now reaping the reward of becoming an indoor waterpark. As you step onto the floor, you can feel the unevenness underneath you, proof that the floor is now starting to lift.
The Nature of Water Damage
Water has a unique ability to find a way inside your home or business. Water can creep inside in small amounts causing minimal damage, or large amounts where the damage can be…catastrophic.
Water damage can be caused by many different sources, whether that be:
- Leaky roofs
- Pipe breaks
- Thawing ice or snow
- Ice damming
- Sewer backups
All of these unwanted happenings can cause significant water damage. Leaks can be very obvious (such as the indoor waterpark scenario above) or small enough that they can go on for months without your knowledge.
When it comes to water damage, the water itself is only a small part of the problem. When water is present, moisture can start to build up. Moisture buildup can lead to mold growth. Once mold growth develops, the spores can circulate through the hair, air ducts, and ventilation system in your home or business. This mold can have adverse health effects if touch or inhaled, and is especially dangerous for children and pets.
After you find that the damage has been done, it’s time to take action. Unfortunately with water damage, cleaning the mess up yourself will likely make the situation worse. Water damage cleanup requires specialized skills, industrial grade cleaning materials, and a lot of professional labor to do properly. After all, the wet sections you see are only one small fraction of the damage which has already been done.
Typical water mitigation bills can easily exceed $3,500 just to remove the water, demo the affected building materials, and dry the structure. It will likely cost even more to restore the property to pre-loss condition.
Fortunately, your insurance policy covers water damage, depending upon the source of the water. If you find that you have become a victim to water damage, a good first step might be to file a claim with your insurance company to get the funds you need to repair the damage that has been done.
Unfortunately, filing a claim is often just the beginning.
After you take that step and file a property damage claim, your insurance company will assign an adjuster who must inspect the property. Depending on the adjuster’s schedule, it may take days or even weeks for your property to get inspected. This isn’t ideal when your living room or main office might currently resemble a slip n slide.
When the property is finally inspected, adjusters tend to drag their feet since they often operate on 30-day reporting cycles. This means there is plenty of time for your claim to languish while the adjuster’s attention is elsewhere. All of these things put together can make it very easy for your claim to drag on for months at a time – while you are left without a livable house or functional business.
Finally, when your payments arrive, you will probably be disappointed to find the amount you received is significantly less that what is needed to restore your property to pre-loss condition. Insurance companies have actually developed internal estimating guidelines that systematically undervalue damage claims, which results in smaller claim payouts for you, the policy holder. If you find you need additional funds, the adjuster must then re-open the claim and you will have to go through the same process. All. Over. Again.
Feel a little stressed out? You aren’t alone. These factors, among many others can make the claims process very stressful and overwhelming for policyholders. The good news? You don’t have to go through all of this alone.
A Rainbow After The Storm
It’s time to take a deep breathe, and let us step in and help. Our public adjustment firm specializes in helping New York policyholders successfully navigate through the often complex and difficult property claims process.
We will take the stressful side away, and manage your entire claim to help you achieve a maximum claim settlement in the least amount of time possible. We will help you to get paid quickly and fairly for your damages so you can get back to pre-loss condition quickly.
Our services include:
- Claim Submission
- Claim advisory services
- Communications management
- Inspection Coordination
- Final settlement negotiation
- Professional recommendations
- And more!
If you have water damage, make calling us your first step. Call us now to get a free, no obligation consultation with a licensed pubic adjuster. On our call, we will review your claim, discuss options, and provide our professional recommendation for moving forward.
Remember, when you sustain property damage:
Contact Claimly First!