Experiencing water damage can cause stress for homeowners. Understanding the necessary steps to take in such situations is vital for a seamless recovery process. While the likelihood of reading this article from start to finish when faced with severe damage might be slim, it has been condensed into simple steps that anyone can follow when dealing with water damage insurance claims.
Stop the Flow and Assess the Damage
The first step is to identify the source of the water damage and take immediate action to stop it. Locate the water shut-off valves or seek assistance from a professional plumber if needed. Once the water flow is controlled, carefully assess the extent of the damage to determine the severity.
Call a plumber first, most of them operate 24/7 to help in emergency situations like burst pipes and sudden flood. It will be way cheaper to let a professional plumber handle the situation and get all the facts before contacting the insurance company.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Reach out to your insurance agent as soon as possible within 24 hours to report the incident with as facts as possible. They are the repair money for the damage.
Inform them about the water damage and inquire about coverage for repairs. This communication initiates the claims process and sets the wheels in motion for the restoration of your home.
Please note that how you talk to the insurance company matters a lot. Saying the wrong things can get your claim denied. The insurance company doesn’t know how much to pay until a water damage remediation assessment is done.
Engage a Professional Remediation Company
Depending on the severity of the water damage, you may need to hire a professional remediation company. These experts have the necessary tools and expertise to handle water damage effectively. They will assess the situation, provide guidance, and ensure thorough drying to prevent mold growth.
Based on the assessment, insurance will pay.
Collaborate with Contractors and Insurance Adjusters
Open communication between homeowners, contractors, and insurance adjusters is crucial. The insurance adjuster will assess the damage and determine the coverage, and they will always try to do their best to not pay if they don’t have to. So they are not your friend, just to be warned.
Collaborate with the contractor to create a comprehensive restoration plan, considering materials, paint colors, and quality. Having a single point of contact simplifies the process and expedites restoration.
Manage the Restoration Project
Decide whether you want to manage the project yourself or hire a general contractor. Companies like Harris Services can handle the entire project, coordinating various trades for a smoother process. This ensures that the restoration aligns with your insurance coverage and returns your home to its pre-loss condition.
Finalize the Restoration
Once the restoration work is complete, a final walkthrough is conducted to ensure your satisfaction. Insurance companies may withhold appreciation funds until the project is inspected and finalized. Upon successful completion, a certificate of completion is issued, signifying the restoration and release of recoverable depreciation funds.