Are you trying to figure out what water damage insurance is and if you need it? Read this article to learn more about what it is and if it’s for you.
Water damage is a huge inconvenience. According to studies, approximately 14,000 people in the U.S. have a water damage emergency each day. Not only is it messy, but it can be very costly to clean up.
The good news is, water damage insurance helps to take care of most of the cost for repairs. However, there is a bit of a caveat when it comes to getting the insurance to pay.
If you have questions about water damage coverage, this article has the answers. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Water Damage Insurance?
Water damage insurance is protection if there is accidental water leakage. To get the insurance company to cover the costs of the damages, the destruction most not have occurred due to the homeowner’s negligence.
Also, flooding is not covered under basic water damage insurance. Most flood coverage requires a separate policy.
Is Water Damage Covered by Insurance?
As you learned from the section above, there are only certain circumstances that the insurance approves for water damage coverage.
Furthermore, most insurance policies require that water damage be a sudden and internal occurrence. These some of the qualifications:
- Burst pipes
- Faulty plumbing
- Accidental overflow
- Rain or snowstorm
- A leaking roof
- Water damage from extinguishing a fire
- Accidental overflow of appliances
When Water Damage Isn’t Covered
If you fail to get maintenance on your home, that’s considered negligence on your part by the insurance company. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the cost of the repairs. Below are the common reasons why a water damage insurance claim is denied:
- Sewer or water pipe backups
- Ground seepage
- A lack of maintenance on pipes
In the insurance world, there’s a thing known as gradual water damage. It happens slowly over time and eventually causes destruction to the property. Gradual damage is a common reason for denial in water damage insurance claims.
As you may know, homes require regular maintenance and there are always small issues going on, and many of them are not noticeable. There could be a problem underneath the surface and you’ll never know it. Examples of gradual damage include:
- Deteriorating shingles and tiles
- Pipes that leak over time
- Deteriorating electrical wiring
- Poor repairs or no repairs
- Mold or corrosion
During your inspection, if signs point towards gradual damage, your claim could possibly be denied.
How to File a Water Damage Claim
It’s important to call your insurance as soon as the damage occurs. That way, they can send someone out as soon as possible and get the ball rolling. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the destruction and everything else that was damaged.
Doing so provides photo evidence of everything that was destroyed by the water. Also, if you happen to have pictures of the area before the incident occurred, that’s helpful. It helps the adjuster assess the extent of the damages.
The insurance company will ask you a few questions and proceed to have an adjuster come to your home. If you want, you can also hire a contractor to evaluate the water damage and get a repair estimate.
Once you and the insurance come to terms with a settlement amount, they’ll likely send you half of the money first to begin the repairs and the remainder later.
How to Get Insurance to Pay for Water Damage
Getting water damage coverage is tricky, but it is doable. There are things that you can do to prepare yourself in case water damage ever occurs to your home. Here are some suggestions:
- Make sure you fully understand your insurance policy coverage. You also want to ensure that you know all of the exclusions. There may be some things lacking in the policy that you need to add, just in case.
- You should also know what the insurance expects you to be responsible for. For example, if you need toilet overflow clean up, you need to know if that’s covered.
- Do regular maintenance on your home. It’s the best way to avoid any surprises and avoid large expenses from severe damage.
- Get the best insurance coverage for your home. Also, ask your insurance provider about extra coverage that you can add for more protection.
- Keep a record of all repairs that you get. This will help prove your case in the event that the insurance claims gradual damage. You’ll have a record showing that you received regular maintenance over the years.
Water Damage and Mold
Mold is a serious issue, and it’s a common result of water damage. Most insurance will cover mold remediation if a pipe bursts or there’s an overflow with the AC system.
Your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover all or a portion of the removal cost because mold is considered an extension of water damage.
The amount of coverage you get for the mold removal is based on your policy. You might also have the option to add extra mold coverage as well.
Keeping Your Home Safe and Dry
If water leakage wasn’t an issue, that would make homeownership a lot easier. Unfortunately, that’s not an option… it happens. Thankfully, water damage insurance comes to the rescue when you need it!
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